GVSU receives Gold Status for seventh consecutive year from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency

A student veterans backpack is decorated with flags.
Image Credit: Sarah Anderson

Grand Valley has again achieved Gold Status, the highest ranking from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) in its annual ranking of veteran-friendly schools.

Gold Status is awarded to higher education institutions that provide an inclusive and supportive environment for military-connected students. GVSU has earned Gold Status each year since 2015.

Mathias Mapes-Pearson, president of Laker Vets, is one of about 400 student veterans attending Grand Valley. Mapes-Pearson is a senior majoring in management information systems. He served as a sergeant in the Marines from 2013-2018 where he was stationed in the U.S. and across the globe, including Africa, the Ukraine, Spain and Afghanistan.

“Grand Valley is a big proponent for student veterans,” said Mapes-Pearson. “The many resources and programs offered help student veterans make that crucial transition from military life to civilian life. And, it’s pretty unique to have a leader like President Philomena V. Mantella consistently take the time to meet with us to find out what resources we need.”

Laker Military Resource Center sign.
Image Credit: Sarah Anderson

Grand Valley is committed to helping service members and their families successfully transition from military service to graduation and beyond with several programs and initiatives. 

  • The GVSU Veteran Promise: GVSU is the first university in the country to guarantee enrollment to high school seniors who serve. 
  • Michigan Veteran Entrepreneurship-Lab: Gives veterans and military families the skills, knowledge and opportunities they need to develop and launch a business.
  • Peter Secchia Military and Veterans Program: Expands student support and programming and provides career support, including the transition from military to civilian careers.
  • Two dedicated veterans' lounges: The Laker Military Resource Center is located on the Allendale Campus and a second meeting space is located on the Health Campus in downtown Grand Rapids.
  • LEADS for Vets accelerated bachelor’s program: A fast-paced, online program designed specifically for career veterans who are looking to jump-start their second careers.
  • PAVE Peer Mentoring Program: Each “new” veteran is assigned an established student veteran who serves as an advisor and a listening ear. 

Grand Valley consistently receives national recognition for its commitment to veterans. 

In U.S. News & World Report's 2021 Best Colleges rankings, Grand Valley is listed as a Best for Veterans among Midwest universities. GVSU was also named a 2021-22 Military Friendly School; the Military Friendly® ranking recognizes higher education institutions that provide the best opportunities for veterans and their spouses.

Learn more about the many ways Grand Valley supports veterans at https://www.gvsu.edu/veterans