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Alumni News


Alumni Spotlight Story: Luke McLaughlin, '10

The only people more bold than the people who came up with the idea for The Discovery Channel’s hit series Naked and Afraid are probably those who choose to participate in the show. And then there is Luke McLaughlin, ’10, the guy who came back for more. McLaughlin survived 21 consecutive days in the Kalahari Basin of Nambia without even the clothes on his back. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, he signed up for 40 days in the Colombian wilderness for Naked and Afraid XL, a Discovery Channel Naked and Afraid spin off.

Luke McLaughlin, '10

Power of 10 Tour: Where will you see T. Haas?

Grand Valley State University President Thomas J. Haas ("T. Haas") is celebrating his 10 year mark at Grand Valley by visiting alumni across the United States. His Power of 10 Tour will give you a chance to hear about the latest happenings at the GVSU and ask questions about the future of the university. These alumni receptions cost $15 and includes a beverage and hors d' oeuvres. Business casual attire is suggested.

The remaining cities on the tour are: New York City (November 9), Houston (January 13), Atlanta (January 22), Washington DC (April 18), Denver (May 19), Phoenix (May 20), and Detroit (June 16). 

Power of 10 Seattle

Volunteer at GradFest! December 2 & 3

New Laker alumni will be joining the GVSU Alumni Association soon, and we need your help with the transition! Volunteers are needed for GradFest, a celebration for graduating students that combines all commencement necessities in one location. We need GradFest volunteers on Wednesday, December 2 at the Allendale campus and on Thursday, December 3 at the Pew Campus to help new graduates with this exciting time in their lives. 

Help welcome incoming alumni!

Homecoming 2015 recap

Smiles abounded during homecoming weekend, despite the gloomy weather. The Homecoming 5K Run/Walk and Pancake Breakfast experienced record participation. Thanks to GVSU generosity, 77 people were added to the bone marrow registry (Be The Match Registry) through Michigan Blood. This year's new homecoming addition, the beer garden, provided tasty, alumni-owned beers and ciders while giving people shelter from the rain. Thank you for all who made homecoming 2015 magical! Visit our Facebook page to see pictures from the weekend. 

Having fun at the Homecoming 5K!

SPNHA Alumni Chapter Happy Hour

Join fellow alums from the School of Nonprofit and Health Administration (SPNHA) at Long Road Distillers in Grand Rapids on December 9 for a happy hour/networking reception. The owners Kyle Van Strien, ‘12 and Jon O'Conner, ’04 both from the SPNHA program, will be there on hand to provide remarks.  The evening will include two drink tickets and hors d' oeuvres along with a brief program and a raffle for GV prizes.  

Reconnect with Lakers over drinks! 

Fowling with the GVSU Metro Detroit Alumni Club

Try something new this upcoming holiday season with the Metro Detroit Alumni Club: Fowling! A combination of horseshoes, football, and bowling, the family-friendly game is a perfect holiday outing! The event will run from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on December 4 at the Fowling Warehouse in Hamtramck. Pizza, two drink tickets, and games of Fowling are included in the $15 event fee. 

The Fowling Warehouse in Hamtramck

Rethink West Michigan - November 25

Thinking about returning to West Michigan? Explore career possibilities on November 25 (Thanksgiving Eve) courtesy of The Right Place and Hello West Michigan. This casual, professional networking event in Grand Rapids will give you the chance to talk with several area companies with career opportunities available today. The event is from 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. at the Eve at The BOB. Find out more about this event and RSVP here.  

Make the move back to West Michigan!

Physical Therapy Continuing Education Credits

GVSU's Department of Physical Therapy offers physical therapists opportunities for continuing education programs. On January 15-16, a two-day course called Throwing Biomechanics: Assessment and Training will be offered for physical therapists and athletic trainers dedicated to understanding, teaching, training, and rehabilitating the Overhead Athlete. The course content is specifically catered toward baseball pitching, however can be readily applied to all overhead athletes. For more information about the Continuing Education Credit events, click here.  

GVSU's physical therapy program

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Power of 10 Alumni Receptions
Volunteer at GradFest
December 2 & 3, 2015 
Fowling with GVSU Metro Detroit Alumni Club
December 4, 2015

More Events...

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Event Recaps

Swimming and Diving 1st Annual Alumni Meet: Recap & Photos
Denver Alumni Club yoga event: Recap & Photos 
Power of 10 Seattle: Recap & Photos
Power of 10 Los Angeles: Recap & Photos

Denver yoga event

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Support GV


Thank you for your generosity! 

As 2015 draws to a close we wanted to express our gratitude for the many alumni who have participated in our volunteer efforts throughout the year and for those that make giving back financially to Grand Valley a priority. Thank you for your support and for creating ongoing positive experiences for our current and future students!  If you have not yet made your gift, please visit us online at and select the GIVE option to make your year-end tax deductible gift today!

Your efforts make Lakers very happy! 

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GVSU 2015 Hall of Fame inductees

On October 23, six people were inducted into the GVSU Hall of Fame during the Hall of Fame banquet. The diverse cast features only two members from the same sport. Congratulations to all the inductees!

Cullen Finnerty (posthumously): Former Laker quarterback and all-time winningest quarterback in college football history. 
Chuck Martin: Former head coach of GV Football who led the Lakers to a 74-7 record during his tenure.
Nate Peck: Former cross-county and track runner who achieved All-American status 11 times.
Allyson Riley-McNight: Former volleyball player who was a three-time GLIAC Libero of the Year and helped the Lakers earn the 2005 Division II National Championship.
Erika Ryskamp-Wallace: Former basketball player who scored 1,409 points in her GVSU career. 
Katy Tafler: Former soccer player and all-time GVSU leader in goals.

Story by Grand Valley Lanthorn

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Campus News


Grand Valley completes sustainable rural recycling prototype

Through a partnership between Hastings Township and Grand Valley State University, a prototype of a portable rural recycling center powered by renewable energy has been completed. The prototype is a fully functional recycling center that can be taken to rural areas where curbside recycling pick up is not cost-efficient. The prototype can also travel to places where a central transfer station is too far away for some residents to make the trip. 

Story by GVNow

Beer tourism draws 42,000 visitors to Kent County

Grand Valley economists found the economic impact of beer tourism in Kent County is more than $12 million a year. GVSU faculty members surveyed tourists who traveled to Grand Rapids during the spring and summer of 2015 to visit microbreweries and festivals, specifically to drink beer.  "More than 42,000 people who don't live in the area are coming to Grand Rapids to drink beer," said Paul Isely, associate dean and professor of economics. The study concluded that beer tourism in Kent County contributes jobs, visitors, and more economic output to the thriving community.

Story by GVNow

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