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GVSU receives Gold recognition from state veterans agency for 8th year

Enrollment of new veteran students on pace to increase 20 percent

For the eighth year in a row, Grand Valley achieved Gold Status for providing an inclusive and supportive environment for military-connected students from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA).

The recognition comes at a time when enrollment of new veteran students is on pace to increase by 20 percent this fall semester.

“Achieving Gold Status for the eighth consecutive year signifies how important veterans and their families are to the Laker family and how much they add to our community,” said Philomena V. Mantella, president of GVSU. “The experiences they bring enhance and enrich our campus. It is truly an honor for Grand Valley to serve those who have served our country.”

Programming and services offered by GVSU’s Peter Secchia Military and Veterans Resource Center are constantly evolving to serve new generations of veterans.

Two new programs for veterans are expected to launch this fall:

  • A new, 12-week online money management program for veterans and their families.
  • iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation, a program endorsed by the U.S. Army Surgeon General and Defense Centers of Excellence, that involves deep relaxation and meditative inquiry

“We know veterans have the drive and the ambition, we are making sure they have the mindset and the financial tools to be able to be successful here as well,” said Jill Hinton Wolfe, military and veterans resource manager at GVSU.

More than 350 veterans are enrolled at GVSU — among the highest of any college or university in the state — in addition to hundreds more Lakers who are from military families or are currently serving in the armed forces.

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 on the Medical Mile 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.

Learn more about the many ways Grand Valley supports veterans at


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