The President's Page

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President Philly smiles while talking to two women. In the background is a wooden door, this is taken on the DeVos campus. Philly is wearing a nametag for the 'Reach Higher Showcase' event.

(Kendra Stanley-Mills)

The arrival of wide-eyed visitors for orientation, campus tours, camps and other events fills me with optimism while the beauty of our campuses inspires my soul.

While bustling, our spring season has provided some respite from an active and enriching winter semester that included our inaugural Reach Higher Showcase, commencement ceremonies that saw degrees conferred to 3,043 Lakers for a Lifetime and an inspiring March visit from alumna and Michigan Supreme Court Justice Kyra Harris Bolden.

Justice Bolden’s story, featured in this issue, is one worth reading and sharing.

Kyra embodies the spirit of what we mean when we say you’re a Laker for a Lifetime. Not only does she continue to draw strength from the family, friends and faculty members she connected with while she attended GVSU, she also continues to give back to the GVSU community and inspire future generations of leaders.

Our university community, like others, has lived through unprecedented times and emerged stronger and more resilient than ever.

One of many shining examples of that emergence was the Reach Higher Showcase in April — a vibrant event that invited our community to see firsthand the empowering innovations emanating from our faculty, staff and students.

Yet, our nation continues to face the lasting effects of the pandemic in meaningful ways that Grand Valley will lead the way in addressing.

Last month I was pleased Grand Valley was among the first universities in the nation to pledge action in support of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Partnership for Student Success.

We were well prepared for this partnership, thanks to groundbreaking work by the team that created our innovative and exemplary K-12 Connect online tutoring program. Launched in 2020, K-12 Connect has linked more than 1,000 GVSU students with more than 3,000 learners in big cities, small towns and remote reservations across the nation. 

Our commitment to employ more GVSU students in tutoring roles with K-12 students will help our nation's students catch up from learning losses suffered during the pandemic, while also providing meaningful and empowered experiences to those who tutor.

One student at a time, our Laker tutors are changing the world.

From the highest court in Michigan to schools across the nation, our campus community — your Laker family — is helping to shape a brighter future for generations to come.

Thank you for your continued support and encouragement.

Signature that reads "Philly"

Philomena V. Mantella, President

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