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Upcoming Events

June 13, 2012
Continuing Professional Education Seminar

June 20, 2012
Young Alumni Summer in Michigan Event

June 20, 2012
CLAS Golf Outing

June 22, 2012
Lansing Club Lugnuts Game

June 27, 2012
Traverse City Beach Bums Baseball

July 14, 2012
GVDC Event: Tigers at Camden Yards in Baltimore

July 21, 2012
Sleep Inn & Suites Alumni Golf Outing | Register

August 21, 2012
Freshman Move-In

September 15, 2012
KCON Reception – Save the Date!

September 21, 2012
Accounting Scholarship Golf Outing

Alumni Spotlight


Tim Keenan, ’80 will tell you “I didn’t think I could cut it in school.” But the graduation year behind his name and his ability to overcome some of his biggest fears will tell you otherwise.

At 20 years old, Keenan was drafted to leave his hometown of Grand Rapids to serve on the front lines of the Vietnam War. When he returned to the United States, he saw the world much differently. He carried the burden of battle and lived with post-traumatic stress disorder. After working odd jobs without much fulfillment, Keenan decided he wanted to further his education. At the age of 30, he enrolled in William James College, a division of Grand Valley State College at the time (formerly located in what is now Lake Michigan Hall).

“The professors at Grand Valley welcomed me and treated me with dignity,” said Keenan. “I learned so much about myself and to this day I carry those lessons with me, about how to treat people with respect.”

His lessons in respect guided his career path where he put his sociology degree to work and became one of the founders of a community corrections program. The program is now utilized in three counties in northern Michigan, including Grand Traverse County.

“I would help give non-violent offenders alternatives to jail and prison. I worked closely with the judges and created plans for the inmates. I know I helped so many people help themselves,” said Keenan.

Keenan has assisted countless inmates with the transition back into meaningful, functioning roles in society. He served the Community Corrections Division for more than 25 years before retiring and seeking out his next journey – a 172 day, 2,178.3 mile journey – to the summit of the Appalachian Trail.

Keenan had long suffered from war PTSD and a fear of being in the woods alone. In fact, the last time he had been back-packing was in Vietnam amidst gunfire and bombings. To hike the Appalachian Trail was his chance to confront his anxieties. His son dropped him off at the beginning of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia on March 28, 2009. He adopted the trail name “Naneek” (Keenan spelled backwards) and started on an almost six month journey. Most of his days were spent in complete solitude, which gave him ample opportunity to reflect.

“I thought about the simplicity of life. You don’t need a different pair of shoes for every day and you don’t need all these ties to wear. You need food, water and warmth.”

After a week on the trail, Keenan admits, he wanted to quit. He promised himself he would hike at least thirty days. He says it was the “trail angels” that helped keep his spirits up along the way.

“Several people offered a place to stay, home-cooked meals. People would leave coolers with food, soda, maps and weather reports,” said Keenan.

On September 18, 2009, after 172 days of clashing with rain, sleet, cold, heat, fatigue, bears, wild boars, and loneliness, Keenan reached the summit. He was completely overwhelmed.

“I looked through the fog and mist and saw the sign of the end that I had been thinking about for 6 months. I started crying. I was overcome with emotion and then I thought, now what?”

Full Story | More Alumni Spotlights

Alumni Benefits and Services

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Happy Anniversary

Career Resources

  Alumni News

GVSU Reveals New License Plate Design

It's the latest Laker accessory to hit the streets! Beginning August 1, 2012 you can sport the newly designed Grand Valley State University license plate.

The new plates will cost $35 each, and $25 of that goes directly to the university. It’s important to note that the blue “Circle-G,” shown on current license plates, is still the official institutional logo. The design change is being made to the license plate only.

If you are interested in ordering the new plate, visit any Michigan Secretary of State branch office or go online to www.michigan.gov/sos and search “Grand Valley State University.”

Story via News & Information Services

Grab Your Foursome for the Annual Alumni Golf Outing - July 21

Tee off with GVSU on July 21, 2012 for The Annual Sleep Inn & Suites Alumni Golf Outing. Get up to par on all the latest GVSU news and updates while chipping in a few birdies during the 18-hole scramble. Attendees will receive a swag bag, two alumni gifts, drink tickets and chances at raffle and silent auction prizes - Win a trip for two to Vegas!

All proceeds benefit the Grand Valley Fund which helps to support educational opportunities, skill development, and financial assistance.

More Information & RSVP | Volunteer | Photos 2011 | Facebook Event

Celebrate the Summer Soltice with Young Alumni - June 20

What’s better than spending a summer evening at the zoo? Spending it at the zoo with your alma mater! The Young Alumni Council invites you to the John Ball Zoo Park Pavillion on June 20, 2012 for an evening of live music, prizes, and local Michigan fare. Dress comfortably and don't forget your sunglasses for the longest day of the year!

Details | Facebook Event | RSVP by June 18, 2012.

Baseball Fun in the Traverse City Sun - June 27

Knock this summer out of the park with a patio picnic and baseball with friends! The GVSU Alumni Association and the GVSU Traverse City Regional Center invite you to the Traverse City Beach Bums Patio Party on June 27, 2012 at Wuerfel Park. Keep your plate full while watching "America’s Favorite Pastime" from the comfort of patio seats. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. and the game starts at 7:05 p.m. This event is family friendly.

Details | Facebook Event | RSVP by June 20, 2012

New Jobs Posted Every Week!

Your alma mater offers great ways for you to tap into new career opportunities! One way is through building relationships with vital employer partners looking to hire talented GVSU graduates. In just one week, 228 new jobs were posted of which 72% were full-time openings. Visit LakerJobs to find full-time entry level and experienced positions with companies who want to hire alumni like you!

Spring Issue of Grand Valley Magazine Now Online!

Congratulations to all the successful alumni featured in the spring issue of the Grand Valley Magazine, and thanks for keeping us in the loop about your career!

Don’t have a copy at home? Check out all the updates, news, and features stories online. If you’ve recently been promoted, married, or blessed with a little Laker of your own, email alumni@gvsu.edu.

Lubbers Stadium Makeover Continues, Home Opener September 8

Work continues on the renovation at the home of Laker Football.  This fall fans will be treated to a whole new experience at Lubbers Stadium with a lowered field, additional seating in the shape of a horseshoe around the playing surface and chair backs in four sections of the new seating.  Join the fun at the September 8, 2012 home opener and Tailgate Party featuring special musical guest alumna Kari Lynch, '10 and the Kari Lynch Band.

Don’t be left outside the gates.  Get your season tickets online or by calling (616) 331-3200. For more information, visit www.gvsutickets.com. Go Lakers!

Call for Distinguished Alumni Nominations!

Help the Alumni Association showcase Laker achievement! Nominate a successful alumni in your life by July 2, 2012 to let them know you appreciate their hard work. Award Criteria | Prior Recipients

Making a Difference

Help the New Wave of Lakers Move In on August 21

Now that we’ve successfully sent off the class of 2012, it’s time to welcome the incoming freshmen. Help the newest additions to the Grand Valley community move into their residences on August 21, 2012 with morning or afternoon shifts. Breakfast and lunch will be provided to all volunteers.

More information | Sign up

Put the 'Grand' in Grand Valley!

What can you get for $5 a week? A fancy latte or breakfast on the go? What if you saved just one week a month for Grand Valley State University? An annual gift of at least $50 can provide invaluable services such as free tutoring for our students or research time on a boat in Lake Michigan. Every gift counts in doing more for our students. Alumni like you are raising their hands every day and giving to make Grand Valley great. Visit www.gvsu.edu/giving by June 30, 2012 to make your alumni gift count this year!

Alumna Earns Michigan Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Bobbi Jo Kenyon, ’02 who was named Michigan’s Teacher of the Year! Kenyon has taught biology at Ottawa Hills High School for 14 years and is the first educator in Grand Rapids Public Schools to receive this award. Kenyon graduated from Grand Valley with a Master of Education.

Club & Chapter News

A New Alumni Club Leader for Raleigh!

The Alumni Association would like to introduce Matthew Wish, ’09 as the new Raleigh, North Carolina Alumni Club Leader. Events in the Raleigh area will soon be on the calendar and Matthew needs your input. Take this survey to let him know where and when you want to meet local Lakers. To get the latest info, check out the club's Facebook page.

Cheer on the Lansing Lugnuts - June 22

Lakers, Lugnuts, and Loons! Kickoff the start of summer with Lansing Club Leaders Cathy (Carson) Fitzpatrick, ’92 and Gail (Armstrong) Schafer, ’96 on June 22, 2012. Get your fill of Laker news and summer snacks at the Nuthouse Sports Grill. Then watch from box seats as the Lansing Lugnuts take on the Great Lakes Loons at the Cooley Law School Stadium. Stick around after the game to see the fireworks! This event is family friendly.

Details | Facebook Event | RSVP by June 14, 2012

The Tigers Play in Baltimore - July 14

Join GVDC Club Leaders David Slentz, ’06 and Kirah Rawls, ’09 on July 14, 2012 as the Tigers take on the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. Beat the heat with some pre-game refreshments in a private room at Pickles Pub at 5:00 p.m. Then walk a few short blocks to watch the first pitch at 7:05 p.m. 

Details | Facebook Event | RSVP by July 6, 2012

For more information about any alumni event,
email alumni@gvsu.edu or call 800-558-0541.

A Look Back: May Event Recaps

Laker Alumni Football Reunion - More than 25 former Laker football football players gathered at the Delux Lounge in Detroit on May 10 to get updates on the upcoming season and the progress on renovations at Lubbers Stadium. GVSU Athletic Director Tim Selgo, Head Football Coach Matt Mitchell and Football Alumni Association President Bill Hudson, ’78 were on hand to talk with attendees. Photo Gallery

NYC Alumni Event - Fresh faces and familiar smiles came together at Yankee Stadium for the NYC Alumni Club Event on May 15. Grads from the 1970s as well as some first time attendees gathered to reminisce about all things Grand Valley.
Photo Gallery

Bridging 31 Lakeshore Reception - Nearly 90 alumni, family, and friends gathered in Spring Lake on May 16. The special lakeshore reception featured remarks by President Haas, Athletic Director Tim Selgo, and alumnus JP Huntington, ’02. Attendees also toured the GVSU research vessel the DJ Angus while sharing memories of their days on campus. Photo Gallery

Chicago Bowling and Networking - Lucky Strike Lanes was bursting at the seams on May 24. Club Leaders Brian Dutkiewicz, '02 and Rachel Vanderwiel, ‘09, and Lisa Davis, ’06 hosted more than 65 bowling Chicago alumni. Attendees indulged in fried mac ‘n’ cheese and some healthy competition while getting updated on university projects. Photo Gallery

Life 101 Young Alumni Event - More than 85 alumni were all ears at the much anticipated Life 101 event on May 30. Watch Video Presentations. Alumni presenters taught several sessions about life after graduation, including eating and living green, budgeting 101, and getting involved in the community. Several area businesses and organizations, including Spectrum Health and BLEND hosted tables and gave out information. The next young alumni event is on June 20 - Summer in Michigan | RSVP

Campus News

Inaugural CLAS on the Green golf outing - June 20

Grab your clubs for a cause! The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will host the first ever CLAS on the Green golf outing on June 20, 2012. Bring your foursome or play solo for a sunny afternoon at the Meadows Golf Club with faculty, staff, and alumni. Tee time is 1:00 p.m. Stick around for the cookout at 6:00 p.m. All proceeds will go towards The CLAS Scholarship Fund. Contact stephenp@gvsu.edu with any questions. Register

GVSU Head Baseball Coach Steve Lyon Announces Retirement

GVSU Head Baseball Coach Steve Lyon has stepped down after 14 years of leading the Laker Baseball program.  Since he was hired in 1998, Lyon led the team to 10 straight  NCAA Midwest Regionals, eight NCAA Midwest Regional title games, five NCAA Midwest Regional titles, and five NCAA World Series appearances.  Lyon’s final squad won its seventh GLIAC Championship in nine years and compiled a 43-16 record before bowing out in the NCAA Midwest Regional Tournament on May 19. Full Story

Longtime Assistant Coach Detillion Named Head Baseball Coach

Jamie Detillion, a member of the Laker Baseball coaching staff for the past 10 years, becomes the 8th head coach of the baseball program. Detillion was named head coach on June 5. Full Story

Women’s Track & Field Repeats at NCAA National Championship

The Grand Valley State Women’s Track and Field Team brought home its second consecutive NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championship on May 26.  The Lakers led in the standings from wire to wire amassing 90 team points, which is the the most any women's team has scored in the championships since 2006.  Seventeen student-athletes traveled to the championship meet and 12 came home with at least one All-American honor.  For a complete rundown on individual national championships and post season honors visit: www.gvsulakers.com

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Alumni Relations Office
1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI 49401
Phone: (616) 331-3590 or 1-800-558-0541 | Fax: (616) 331-3596