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Events planned to celebrate Founders Day

  • statue of Bill Seidman surrounded by small Grand Valley flags
  • students frost cookies

Posted on October 21, 2019

The campus community will celebrate the individuals who rallied support to establish a public higher education institution in West Michigan on Founders Day, October 25.

Founders Day is celebrated each year on October 25, the day the university was chartered by the State of Michigan in 1960.

Students, faculty and staff members and alumni celebrate Founders Day by remembering and supporting the university in honor of the nearly 300 individuals in the West Michigan community who helped meet the state's $1 million challenge to establish Grand Valley.

Organizers of Founders Day planned events throughout the week of October 21 to remember and honor the dedicated community members who saw the need for a public university in West Michigan. Events are detailed below. 

• Students will place flags representing each founder on the Allendale and Pew Grand Rapids campuses. 

• Rick Gillett, son of founder Dick Gillett, will participate in a panel discussion at noon on Saturday, October 26, at the Alumni House. The GVSU Through the Years luncheon is open to all alumni. RSVP online at

• A campuswide giving day will raise funds for first-generation students; visit to donate or for more information.

A list of Grand Valley's founders is online at