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Campus community to celebrate founders of Grand Valley

  •  Birthday cupcake with 4 candles
  •  A photo of President Haas celebrating with two students.

Posted on October 19, 2017

On October 25, the Grand Valley community will celebrate the 282 individuals who came together nearly 60 years ago to start the vision for Grand Valley. 

Now in its fifth year, Founders Day began in 2012 with the unveiling of an iconic outdoor statue near the Mary Idema Pew Library of Bill Seidman, recognized as the founder of Grand Valley. An annual celebration has been held each year on October 25, commemorating the date Seidman organized a group effort to raise the $1 million required to receive legislative support to build a four-year college in the Grand Rapids area.

Cupcakes will be handed out from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Cook Carillon Tower on the Allendale Campus, and students will create a large, "GV" flag display in two locations: Zumberge Pond on the Allendale Campus and at the DeVos Center courtyard on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

In 1960, Grand Valley became Michigan’s 10th state-supported college. In 1963, Grand Valley State College enrolled its first 226 students, and has since become one of the nation’s most successful regional universities. The Founders Day tradition celebrates how vision and passion culminated in a tremendous philanthropic outpouring and the establishment of Grand Valley.

The annual celebration is organized by the Laker Traditions Team in Student Life.

Learn more about Grand Valley’s history at