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

"We must elevate the voices and experiences of our Black faculty, staff, and students.

We must listen carefully, valuing each member of our community.

We must fulfill our goals for inclusion and equity.

We must all deepen our understanding and knowledge through education.

We must then use this knowledge as the basis for understanding and addressing institutional and systemic racism and oppression to make meaningful change."

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.

GVSU in the News

President Mantella in the Mary Idema Pew Library on the Allendale Campus

President Philomena V. Mantella was the featured guest on The EdUp Experience, a national podcast that features higher education administrators and experts across the country. 

Mantella was asked about a variety of topics, including Grand Valley's growth, enrollment management, COVID-19 decision-making, and strategies for women in higher education to help maximize their potential and reach their career goals. 

Listen to the full podcast, "Understand the Learner and the Market in Higher Education." 


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

A message from President Philomena V. Mantella

September 25, 2020

President Mantella sent a message to the campus community about a racial Zoom incident.

Mantella reappoints two faculty members as Presidential Fellows

September 23, 2020

Presidential Fellows provide enhanced leadership development and greater engagement for faculty.

Mantella elevates learners as consultants to the university

September 23, 2020

The Learner Engagement Challenge connected high school and GVSU students to reimagine learning.

Virus Action Team update: GVSU dashboard offers transparency, aggressive COVID-19 testing continues

September 10, 2020

Senior Leadership decided to report all verified positive cases associated with the university.

Convocation speakers usher in new academic year with messages of resilience, opportunities

August 28, 2020

During her Convocation remarks, President Mantella urged students to find joy in their journeys.

Virtual Convocation celebration to be webcast August 28

August 26, 2020

President Philomena V. Mantella will address incoming students during a virtual Convoca

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
Profile picture for @PhillyGVPres
Philomena Mantella

Follow @phillygvpres on Twitter

What people say about President Mantella and GVSU

“Congratulations Dr. Philomena V. Mantella on being named the incoming President of GVSU! I look forward to working with you!”

U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga

“When I first met President Mantella, it was clear that she cares a lot about everyone here at Grand Valley. She really takes the time to get to know you, and I think that shows what a great leader she will be.”

Rachael Mooney, GVSU student