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Upcoming Events

July 21, 2012
Alumni Golf Outing | Register

July 21, 2012
Detroit Zoo with Alumni and Friends 

August 21, 2012
Freshman Move-In | Volunteer!

July 31, 2012
Chicago Summer Send Off

August 1, 2012
Detroit Summer Send Off

September 8, 2012
Alumni & Friends Tailgater

September 13, 2012
KCON Reception | RSVP 

September 25, 2012
ArtPrize Reception

September 21, 2012
Accounting Scholarship Golf Outing

Alumni Spotlight


Life has been speeding up for Sarah Zelenka, ’09 since graduation. In 2009, she represented the U.S. in the Word Rowing Championships and has been setting and achieving goals one after another ever since. To achieve her goal as an Olympic rower, she first had to propel herself through some rough waters.

Zelenka joined the Grand Valley Rowing Team in her freshman year with no prior experience. One of the first setbacks that she encountered was the expense of rowing. Since crew is not considered a varsity sport which provides financial support for athletes, Zelenka had to pay for tuition, school supplies, and living costs out of her own pocket.

Despite this challenge, she immersed herself in sports and participated not only in the rowing club, but also in intramural basketball and badminton. Getting accustomed to a demanding schedule is what she says prepared her for a hectic life as an Olympic athlete.

“I am very confident in the education I received at GVSU,” she said. “The great experiences I was exposed to while studying at GVSU have made a great impact on me and will stay with me forever.”

Once she had secured a spot with the U.S. rowing team, Zelenka helped the team win gold medals in both the 2010 World Cup and 2011 World Championships. These triumphs took her all the way to the U.S. Olympic trials where she and partner Sara Hendershot from Connecticut took home the victory and the right to represent the U.S. in the 2012 Olympics.

“We ended up being about two boat lengths down on the other crew halfway through the race,” she said. “Sara [Hendershot] told me that we needed to make a big move if we were going to get back in the race. So we shifted the rate up and increased the boat speed. We overtook the other boat within 20 strokes of the finish line!”

With her ultimate goal – an Olympic gold medal – in sight Zelenka has more motivation than ever. Not even the rigorous training schedule can deter the passionate Laker.

“I train for three to four hours in the morning, eat, nap, train for two to three hours in the afternoon, eat, sleep… wake up and do it again,” she said. “But I can’t imagine something that would top this summer in London.”

Although the journey to the Olympics has not always been a smooth ride, her countless hours of morning training on the Grand River has helped pace herself and ultimately put her goals within reach.

“Follow your dreams,” she said. “Work hard and truly believe in yourself and everything will fall into place!”

Catch Zelenka and Hendershot in the race for the gold this summer on NBC and cheer on your fellow Laker!

Full Story

Alumni Benefits and Services

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Career Resources

  Alumni News

Help Freshmen Move In on August 21

A new wave of Lakers will soon be flooding the campus halls. Show these fresh faces a warm welcome by helping them move into their residences on August 21, 2012. Morning and afternoon shifts are available. T-shirts, beverages and meals will be provided to all volunteers.                                           More Information | Sign Up

Hit the Links to Support Students on July 21

Get some more green in your life this summer – 18 holes worth! Join alumni, family, and friends for this year’s Sleep Inn & Suites Alumni Golf Outing on July 21, 2012. Registration includes an 18 hole scramble, two drink tickets, a BBQ dinner, and chances to win a trip for two to Las Vegas or Hawaii! Golfers will also take home a Laker swag bag and two alumni gifts. Register by July 13, 2012.

Improve your handicap while improving Grand Valley! All proceeds benefit the Grand Valley Fund which helps to support educational opportunities, skill development, and financial assistance.

More Information | Volunteer | Photos 2011 | Facebook Event

Are You a Laker Graduate Showcasing in ArtPrize?

ArtPrize 2012 is just around the corner. If you or other fellow Lakers will be exhibiting, let us know so we can spread the word and send some well-earned traffic your way! Email alumni@gvsu.edu with project location and details so we can include your piece in a map of Laker artists around the city. Grand Valley will also host an ArtPrize reception on September 25 at Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall. Stay tuned for more information.

Grand Valley’s Pew Campus will be home to several works of art during the 18 day event. For a full list of entries being displayed, visit Grand Valley’s ArtPrize page.

Making a Difference

Thank You For Making Grand Valley Great!

We’ve been asking and you’ve been telling us why, as alumni, you give back to Grand Valley. Here are the top three reasons:

  • Because you wouldn’t be where you are today without your GVSU education.
  • To honor those who helped you along the way by giving scholarships, resources, and knowledge.
  • Because you love Grand Valley and are proud to be a Laker for a lifetime!

Thank you, alumni, for giving generously this past year. We value your gifts – they help us grow. We value your stories and memories – they help us learn. To share why you give, visit us on Facebook. Or, to get a jump start on you fiscal year 2013 gift now, give online.

Club & Chapter News

Detroit Zoo Alumni and Friends Event - July 21

Pack up the family and join the Metro Detroit Alumni Club on July 21 for a family friendly picnic at the Detroit Zoo. Gather in the private Arctic Overlook Picnic Site tent for a light lunch followed by a healthy dose of Laker memories. Then let loose in the zoo for a wild afternoon.

Facebook Event | RSVP by July 17.

KCON Alumni Fall Open House & Reception - September 13

Mark your calendars for September 13, 2012 to join with fellow alumni and KCON faculty to recognize faculty and staff as they move to retirement. Professors Nicki Grinstead, Marilyn VanderWerf, '99 and administrative assistant Ruth Ann Stone will be recognized and new faculty will be introduced. 

The reception will be held in the Center for Health Sciences lobby from 5-7 p.m. (remarks at 6 pm). Light refreshments and wine will be served. RSVP | Questions? 616-331-3558 or bondl@gvsu.edu.

Send Off High School Seniors - Welcome Laker Freshmen!

Help the Grand Valley State University Alumni Relations office welcome the incoming freshmen students before they even set foot on campus – It’s a Laker style summer send off! Be a representative for GVSU and talk to these high school seniors and their families about what it’s like to be a Laker for a lifetime!

Summer Send Off events are taking place in Chicago on July 31 and Detroit on August 1.

A Look Back: June's Alumni Events

Young Alumni Summer in MI Event - Nearly 150 attendees made this event the largest in Young Alumni Council history! To celebrate summer in Michigan, the newest Lakers enjoyed local fare from The Silver Spork food truck paired with Michigan wines and craft beers.

The Young Alumni Club is looking for more ways to keep in touch. Send suggestions to alumni@gvsu.edu.

Photo Gallery | Young Alumni Page

Lansing Lugnuts Alumni Event - Lakers gathered to cheer on the Lugnuts on Friday June 22. Cathy (Carson) Fitzpatrick, ‘92 and Gail (Armstrong) Schafer, ’96 provided updates on the progress of the library and Seidman building construction and encouraged the group to stay connected with each other and Grand Valley. After dinner, the group watched the Lansing Lugnuts take on the Great Lakes Loons at Cooley Law School Stadium.

The Lansing club is already planning its next event at Uncle John's Cider Mill in St. Johns in the fall. Updates coming soon!

Photo Gallery | Lansing Club Page

Football Alumni Golf Outing - Laker Football Alumni and honoree President Emeritus Don Lubbers kicked off the reunion weekend at the Crush in the B.O.B. on June 22. Nearly 125 were in attendance and filled the evening with stories, old and new. The festivities continued on Saturday when more than 100 golfers gathered at the Meadows Golf course. At the post-golf event provided by Outback Steakhouse, President Lubbers was given a photo album in honor of his service.

Mark your calendars, football alumni! The September 8 home opener will feature the rededication of Lubbers Stadium.

Tailgater Details | Photo Gallery | Football Alumni Page

Traverse City Alumni Event - Thirty Lakers turned out for a warm summer evening at Wuerfel Park on June 27. In addition to cheering on the Traverse City Beach Bums, guests enjoyed a meal of ballpark favorites and heard all the latest in Grand Valley news from Alumni Relations Director Chris Barbee, ’88 and area alumna Jaquelyn Abeyta, '09.

Photo Gallery | Traverse City Regional Center

Campus News

Governor Approves $30 Million for GVSU Science Building

Just as the last beam is put in place for the new Mary Idema Pew Library, a new project will begin. Starting in 2013, construction will begin on a new science building which will include labs, classrooms, and offices. Governor Rick Snyder signed the capital outlay bill on June 25 which approves $30 million from the state. The university reveived an A+ rating from the state. The remaining $25 million will come from the sale of bonds which means no additional tuition dollars will be needed. Students and staff are projected to move in in the fall of 2015. Full Story

School May be Out, but Jobs are In

Looking for a career in education? More than 91 full-time teaching, counseling and coaching positions are now available in K-12 schools throughout Michigan and beyond. Visit www.gvsu.edu/lakerjobs for a full listing of available positions and to apply today! Questions? Contact careers@gvsu.edu or call 616-331-3311.

Advance Your Career in the Growing Clinical Research Field

Grand Valley State University and Michigan State University have joined forces to answer the growing need for clinical research professionals. The new Clinical Research Trials Management Graduate Certificate Program is completely on-line and consists of 12 credits. For more information, email Martina Reinhold or call 616-331-5989.

Improve Your K-12 Curriculum With KIDS Consortium

Attention all K-12 teachers and educators! Grand Valley State University, Kent ISD, and Michigan Community Service Commission are excited to bring the KIDS Consortium Panning and Implementing Workshop to The United Way Volunteer Center in Grand Rapids on July 23 and 24.

The two-day workshop includes strategies on how to help students take responsibility for their education and how to incorporate community service into the teaching curriculum. Best of all, attendees will receive all these strategies at no cost.

Limited spots available, so don't delay! For further questions and how to get involved, contact Jaymes Payne at (616) 331-6804 or at pynejay@gvsu.edu

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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