Rebirth, re-creation and rejuvenation.
The three Rs that make up the rites of spring. We always welcome the change of seasons, especially from a Michigan winter to its promising spring, but this year, we need it. Usually, we high-five each other on making it through the dark skies and snow, but this year, we’re also marking a full year of COVID-19 and celebrating the light that the vaccines are offering.
The real basis of our celebration on campus is not only did the university survive, we’re thriving. Our talented and dedicated faculty and staff put in efficient and successful virus testing programs; we opened up our Meijer Campus in Holland as a vaccination clinic site, and our nursing and physician assistant students have been helping the community get “shots in the arms.” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appointed alumna Elizabeth Hertel to lead the Department of Health and Human Services; her department is charged with making sure all Michiganders who want a vaccine can receive one. Ah, the Laker Effect.
We also announced the NextEd Accelerator, which houses programs designed to address issues around equity and opportunity. One such program is the university’s K-12 Connect program that has already served about 2,000 learners with nearly 8,000 hours of virtual tutoring. The impact we’re making is growing!
On these webpages, you’ll see story after story illustrating the creativity and tenacity that keep faculty members and students at the top of their games. Our students in the health professions are learning how to have heartbreaking but critical conversations with families; a mathematics professor connects with the community to bring students of applied mathematics into real problem-solving situations in what can only be described as a win-win for all involved. There’s everything from piano lessons to soccer to craft beer. There’s also a nod to the university’s 60th anniversary and some people who have added richness and life to GVSU.
Through it all, we march forward with Reach Higher 2025, crafting the next strategic plan using community-wide input. You can learn more and offer input on the Reach Higher 2025 site. Our initiative for the future of Grand Valley encompasses the best ideas and impulses of those who care about education and GVSU, a university with the entrepreneurial and community spirit to make that future brighter, more innovative, more equitable and more impactful.
As the university plans for what we hope is a more “regular” Fall semester, may you feel plenty of sunshine and the promise of what joy may lie ahead.
Thank you for being part of our community.