What is the Grand Forum?
Grand Forum provides the opportunity for individuals of diverse backgrounds to meet in an academic setting for the purpose of intellectual stimulation and social exchange. Led by university faculty and administrators, community leaders, Grand Forum members, independent scholars, and local professionals, topics are offered in such fields as the arts, business, current events, history, and science.
Grand Forum Membership
Who is the Grand Forum for?
The Grand Forum is an educational outreach program for adults 55 and older who are eager to learn, love to meet new people, and enjoy discussing impactful topics with their peers.
What does it cost?
There are two levels of membership for the Grand Forum. Depending on your preference you can choose an only virtual or all-access membership. The membership benefits are the following:
- All-Access $170/year/per person:
- Access to all Grand Forum events (in-person speaker series, VIP receptions and virtual events)
- Lunch provided at no additional cost at in-person speaker series
- Event-appropriate refreshments provided at no additional cost at VIP Receptions
- Where available, dedicated preferred Grand Forum seating at VIP reception events
- Virtual Only $70/year/per person:
- Access to all virtual Grand Forum events
What is expected of me?
Through presentations and discussions, held both on and off campus, the Grand Forum provides a broad spectrum of stimulating programs in a setting that encourages lively discussion. An interest in learning is an essential part of your membership.
What can I expect?
In addition to spending time with friends, you'll have plenty of opportunities to make new ones. As a member, you are invited to attend many Grand Valley receptions and special lectures throughout the year.
Members come from a variety of backgrounds and areas, such as Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Spring Lake, and Grand Haven. The diversity of the group leads to thought-provoking and challenging questions and comments after the presentation.
The programming structure for 2021-2022 will include the following:
- Three full-day in-person speaker series (Classic Grand Forum format)
- Three-Six virtual events
- Three VIP Receptions at non-Grand Forum GVSU events
Grand Forum Program Schedule
- March 23, 2022 - Seidman Center Program
Heather Tafel, Political Science Professor - Topic: Events leading up to the Russia-Ukraine War
Randy Thelen, President & CEO Right Place - Topic: Greater GR and the Thriving Community
- April 27, 2022 - Virtual Program
Jay Steffen, the Assistant Planning Director for the City of GR, and Matt Chapman with White Water -Topic: Rapid Release Project
- Mary 18, 2022 - Seidman Center Program
Gleaves Whitney, Executive Director, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation - Topic: The Ford Family & Leadership for Today's World
Chriss Lyon, Author Presentation - "The Most Dangerous Man Alive 1929"
“Grand Forum impressed me because it is a member-directed activity. I see Grand Forum members at many university activities and events. This is really a wonderful demonstration of embracing lifelong education.”
—Patricia Lipetzky, former dean of Continuing Education