Black/African American Student Engagement & Resources

Black Excellence Orientation

The Black Excellence Orientation is a three-day orientation designed to support students who identify with the Black/African American culture  - to welcome you to campus, help you connect with fellow students, faculty and staff, and navigate the many campus and community resources available to you.  It takes place prior to Transitions: New Student Orientation. This program is intentionally designed to create culturally-responsive and educational spaces for our diverse communities. Programming is open to students regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, or other protected identity.

Black Excellence Orientation group photo
Black Excellence Orientation

Black Excellence 365, Black Male Scholars & NIARA

The Black Excellence 365 Program (designed for students who identify with the Black/African American culture) and Black Male Scholars Program (designed for students who identify as Black men) are designed to create an environment where students can achieve their full potential at GVSU while being their full, authentic selves. Throughout the Fall and Winter semesters, students have the opportunity to engage with faculty, staff, and student peers to create meaningful and authentic relationships that support their academic, cultural, and emotional well-being. Students are exposed to programming that enhances their university experience with the ultimate goal of improving academic success, retention, and successful completion.

The NIARA (knee-r-ruh) program is designed to increase a sense of community and belonging, centering the experiences of those that identify as women of color (WOC).  Our vision is to create opportunities for WOC to be seen and excel academically, socially, and culturally. This program was initiated by students for students.

Black Excellence 365 students at Laker Connections celebration
Black Male Scholars

Black Graduation

Black Graduation Celebration

The purpose of the Black Graduation Celebration is to provide a celebration that is representative of Black/African American and African tradition, heritage, culture, and legacy. We want to encourage students to set their sights on the completion of their chosen majors, and as a recruitment tool to motivate others to pursue advanced degrees at Grand Valley State University after seeing the success of their peers. 

Over the years, Black Graduation Celebration ceremonies have become an essential expression of a rite of passage at many colleges and universities throughout the nation and it is our hope that celebration will serve as a tool to encourage academic excellence and community responsibility.

Join any of our hundreds of student organizations, various programming teams, fraternity and sorority life, or participate in civic engagement and leadership opportunities!

Cultural Programming

Black History Month event

Black History Month Celebration is the celebration of the history, culture, traditions and contributions of African Americans. The celebration is recognized every February.

Page last modified May 22, 2024