Laker Effect campaign raises record $130M for scholarships, student support, academic programs and facilities

students walking on Allendale Campus
Students walk on the Allendale Campus in this fall 2019 photo. University leaders announced a record conclusion to the Laker Effect campaign, which raised $130 million for students.
Image credit - Sarah Anderson
construction on the health campus
Construction continues on the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health, next to the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences. The campaign helped expand facilities like this.
Image credit - Valerie Wojciechowski
Finkelstein Hall
Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall opened for nursing and health profession students in 2018 as the second building on the Health Campus, which provides students with access to other health institutions along Grand Rapids' Medical Mile.
Image credit - Sarah Anderson

Grand Valley leaders announced a record conclusion to the Laker Effect campaign, which raised $130 million for students, the most successful campaign in the university’s history.

The announcement was made June 2 by President Philomena V. Mantella and Grand Valley University Foundation co-chairs Jim and Donna Brooks. 

Mantella thanked the 35,000 donors, also a record number, who contributed to the campaign.

“Grand Valley has a very solid financial base, which has allowed us to provide the support our students need, while accelerating a course for the urgent and transformative changes ahead in higher education," Mantella said. "We have our donors to thank for much of our financial foundation.”

Donors included alumni, community members, faculty and staff members, students and their families.

Jim Brooks said funds raised during the Laker Effect campaign have already increased scholarships, expanded the university’s academic programs and facilities like the Health Campus near Grand Rapids' Medical Mile, and increased support programs for students.

“As the largest institution of higher learning in West Michigan, Grand Valley has the responsibility to help our communities adapt," Brooks said. "We have seen the university rise to the challenge so far, and we are confident communities will continue to do that with our help.” 

Karen Loth, vice president for University Development, thanked the GVU Foundation leadership of co-chairs Jim and Donna Brooks and vice-chairs Dan and Pamella DeVos. Loth said donors’ generous gifts have contributed to increasing the talent pool of graduates.

“Thanks to donors, the funds raised during this campaign are hard at work helping students and building the talent for our communities, our state and our nation," Loth said.

More information about the Laker Effect Campaign is online at


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