Meet President Mantella

Philomena V. Mantella began her tenure as the president of Grand Valley State University on July 1, 2019. Mantella is one of higher education’s leading entrepreneurs. She is a recognized leader in strategic thinking, market dynamics, and innovation in the way education is delivered. Her innovative drive comes from more than 30 years in higher education administration. 

Read President Mantella's full biography

Lakers Together Protecting Each Other

Grand Valley is preparing for a vibrant campus experience with face-to-face learning and living for Fall 2020. Our top concern is to provide a safe and healthy environment for our Laker community.

As we gear up for our return to campus, we are guided by our mission to provide a high-impact learning environment and high-engagement teaching.


For more information and to stay up to date, please visit

President Philomena V. Mantella has a bold vision to activate the full community to lead the change in the fast-changing world of education.  We will draw on everyone's abilities, talents, and creativity to reach higher together.   Grand Valley has a noble mission - one that requires all of us to be students as we digest the unprecedented changes of today's world. It requires us to move fluidly from learners to leaders and back to learners as Grand Valley asserts its excellence in the changing marketplace.   Grand Valley has the ability to break out of the crowd of public comprehensive universities by expanding its reach, differentiating learning outcomes, and aligning with the public good. People want access, excellence, and relevance from universities today. Grand Valley will deliver.

Virtual Laker Town Halls

The Laker family is holding strong in this unprecedented time of local, national, and global crisis. Members of our campus community joined President Mantella for one of the virtual sessions below to discuss the impact on Grand Valley today and in the future. 

More Information

GVSU in the News

President Mantella discusses her experience operating amidst COVID-19 as a first-year president, the strength of the Grand Valley community, and our responsibility to education and the future.

I took my big leap to accept a new job at the right institution. I ended my 20-year run at a university of great strength and momentum. (Read more here)

The article was published in EdSurge in April 2020.

Campus leaders at some colleges and universities are calling each one of their students to check in on their well-being while the coronavirus outbreak keeps campuses closed.

Leaders at Grand Valley State University in Michigan have launched “Project Reach Out” to call every one of the school’s 24,000-plus students. (Read more here)


The article was published in University Business in April 2020.

GVNext News

Mantella marks one year as president of GVSU

July 01, 2020

President Mantella energized the GVSU community to shape the university as a leader in education.

Volunteer networks expand tutoring services, assist with food distribution during COVID-19

June 26, 2020

Free tutoring services available to all K-12 Michigan students; food distribution continues weekly.

First Innovation Fund proposal will increase computing graduate assistants, grow talent epicenter

June 23, 2020

President Mantella said the proposal will grow a cadre of GVSU alumni in the tech industry.

GVSU boosts financial aid by 13%, plans for fall

June 22, 2020

President Mantella outlined preparations during the June 22 Board of Trustees meeting.

GVSU receives national recognition for excellence in fundraising and support for students

June 19, 2020

The university recently concluded a successful Laker Effect campaign, which raised $130 million.

Mantella, administrators explain planning process to return to campus in Fall 2020

June 18, 2020

Current students were assured of preparations for the upcoming fall semester at a town hall June 18.

View More GVNext News

“We must build a growth mindset that is consistent with our long view of stewardship and the urgency of today's conditions and we must activate our full community. We must, as GVSU has done so many times in its history, continue to flex, adapt, and lead the change. I would not have made a life-altering move if I didn't have every confidence that we, not me, but we, together, have the potential to set the path, set the pace and the conditions to excel.”

President Mantella

Twitter feed for @phillygvpres

Profile picture for @PhillyGVPres
Philomena Mantella
The motivation to be a lifelong learner is different for all of us. For alumnus Cordell Zachery, his inspiration comes from his family. Laker alumni, learn how #GVSU has committed to supporting your continued learning journey with L3:
Profile picture for @PhillyGVPres
Philomena Mantella
Lakers, we all have to do our part to protect each other by following CDC guidelines. Visit for more info on how we’re working to make the return to campus as safe as possible. #GVLakersTogether

Follow @phillygvpres on Twitter

What people say about President Mantella and GVSU

“This was a unanimous vote because the trustees saw a finalist with experience in key areas, from enrollment management and student life to an entrepreneurial approach to building lifelong learning opportunities. Dr. Mantella has the right combination of experience in higher education and will shape a strategic vision to lead Grand Valley in the years ahead.”

GVSU Board of Trustees Chair Mary Kramer

“She introduced herself to me and my entire tour group! She was very nice and welcoming!”

Kelsea McConnell, admissions tour guide