Father, daughter are new Lakers together

man and women standing together, posing
Ryan and Mailyn Miller, from Grand Haven, are both attending Grand Valley full time. 
Image Credit: Rachael Mooney

Among the 6,000 students Grand Valley welcomed at the start of the semester are a father and daughter who began their Laker experiences together.

Ryan and Mailyn Miller, from Grand Haven, are both attending Grand Valley full time. Ryan is a communications major and a business minor, who works full-time at DeWys Manufacturing, a West Michigan-based metal solutions company. Mailyn is working toward a degree in psychology and plans to become a psychiatrist. 

“I felt like it was a good time for me to go back to college and finish my education,” Ryan said. “It’s something I started before the kids were born, but when you have kids, there are priorities.”

He said Mailyn has helped ease his transition back into the classroom, including helping him with algebra homework.

“It does help having somebody nearby who is fresh out of high school and who has been through this,” Ryan said.

Although Mailyn lives on campus and Ryan commutes from Grand Haven, they both appreciate the campus community.

“Everyone is really nice, really accepting and I really like all the sustainability efforts on campus,” Mailyn said. Ryan said: “Everyone is very welcoming. All the professors are really nice and helpful.”

Mailyn said she has an answer when friends ask her if it’s weird to go to school with her dad.

“I’m really proud of him and I think it’s really cool that we get to go to school together,” she said.

The Millers also said there is a new understanding between them.

"It’s a positive experience for me on a number of levels,” Ryan said. “I do feel that there is a stronger bond between Mailyn and me because of the workload we both have. Knowing we are in the same place just brings us a little bit closer.”

-- written by student writer Olivia Conaty