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The Insider

Get to know your son or daughter's new home


Building Grand Valley State College over 50 years ago was a collaborative effort. To raise money to build the college, West Michigan citizens got involved, paying $1 for a brick, and brick by brick they raised $1 million for the brand new campus in Allendale, Michigan. When the first admitted students came to Grand Valley State College for their campus tour, it consisted of looking at a scale model of a building on a table in a farmhouse in the middle of cornfields. By the time Grand Valley first opened to students in 1963, there was one building—Lake Michigan Hall—but no dorms! There would be no housing on Grand Valley’s campus until 1966 when the James M. Copeland Living Center opened for students.

Today, thanks in part to the generosity of the Grand Valley community, the university has flourished and grown. On campus, students have many choices in their living arrangements, which range from traditional style living arrangements, suites, apartments, to living/learning communities. As a result of the gifts of more than 1,400 donors, including parents of Grand Valley students, the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons is on schedule to open in fall of 2013. Off campus, Allendale has become a hot spot for college students with new townhome complexes catering to student needs, new restaurants and a number of grocery stores. Only a free bus ride away from Grand Rapids, Grand Valley students are able to take classes and study on our Pew Campus or visit the city. With all these amenities and opportunities, your son or daughter will be able to make themselves at home at Grand Valley State University.



Family Weekend, October 5-7


Don’t miss your opportunity to attend this year’s International themed Family Weekend on October 5-7!

This year’s weekend will include some great new events:

Richard III – Shakespeare Festival
Friday at 7:30pm
Saturday at 2pm and 7pm
Sunday at 2pm

Taste of International Food Event
Saturday from 4pm to 7pm

International Tea Event (tasting, crafts, demonstration) Sunday, All Day

The weekend will also feature favorite traditions such as:

Family Weekend 5k Run / Walk
Saturday, On-site registration at 8:30am, race begins at 9:30am

Pancakes with Presidents Breakfast
Saturday from 9:30am to 11am

Family Weekend Brunch
Sunday from 9:30am to 12pm

Tips for parents

• Book your hotel now, and if staying in Grand Rapids, know that ArtPrize runs Sept. 21 - Oct. 9 in the city, so be aware that hotels are at a premium.

• Mention GVSU Family Weekend when booking your hotel - many area accommodations offer a special rate and blocks of rooms have been reserved.

• Wear comfy shoes and pack for Michigan weather.

• Visit the Family Weekend website for a full list of events as well as information on registration, tickets, times and locations.



Ask the expert: A piece of advice for parenting your freshman


“College freshmen are accustomed to their parents always being around, doing things for them; but part of college is learning how to do things independently. I suggest that parents take a step back and act as a sounding board for their son or daughter. If they are having difficulty with their classes, roommate, or anything, parents should listen and give suggestions to help their student figure things out on their own, help them be more proactive.”

-Lisa Kulesza: Mother of three Grand Valley students (pictured) and Family Association Advisory Committee member