Alumni News - Library

Alumni names etched on walls, engrained in education

by Abigayle Sloan, 07

Dozens of buildings have been built or renovated at Grand Valley since 2001 when Matthew Dhaseleer graduated with a degree from the Seidman College of Business.


photo by Bernadine Carey-Tucker Matthew Dhaseleer, 01, stands in front of the Mary Idema Pew Library.

There is one building that will always be a special place to him. Dhaseleers name will be placed on the alumni donor leadership wall inside the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons. More than etched in history, Dhaseleers financial gift will have a positive influence for generations to come.

Watching the footprint of my university grow within the West Michigan community is something I take great pride in, Dhaseleer said. As the impact of Grand Valley continues to grow, the value of my education grows with it, which is why I want to stay involved and work hard to ensure its continued growth.

When Dhaseleer learned about the universitys campaign to build the Mary Idema Pew Library back in 2010, he did not hesitate to support the project.

Having such a tremendous resource thats conveniently available to our entire student body  not just our student-athletes, or artists or any one group  is something I feel is important, he said. Supporting a building that can impact every cross section of our campus, our students, faculty members, families and even visitors was very important to me.

It is not only Dhaseleers financial contributions that are shaping the future of students; he is generous with his personal time. He is a pioneer member of the GVSU Young Alumni Council, which was established in 2008. The group was formed to establish stronger connections to Grand Valley and identify and advocate for the needs of young alumni.

Dhaseleer is also helping to advance the Laker For a Lifetime initiative, which teaches prospective and current students about the traditions and history of the university and the ideals upon which it was founded.

I truly enjoy watching the bustling activity around something new. Im looking forward to seeing the excitement on the faces of our students and faculty as they take advantage of the work and dedication of the many people who have come before them, he said.

While Dhaseleers name will join the likes of 1,400 others on the donor wall inside the library, he said he appreciates the greater impact his support will have on student learning at Grand Valley for years to come.

I hope my contribution helps to create a larger sense of community within our Grand Valley family, he said.

Company rises to fundraising challenge

Strong links to Grand Valley inspired a local company, Atomic Object, to conduct a private fundraising campaign to support the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons.

Carl Erickson, president and co-founder of Atomic Object, challenged his employees to raise funds for the new library and promised to match the total amount gifted. Erickson is a former Grand Valley faculty member.

He said nearly 50 percent of Atomic Objects employees are Grand Valley alumni and they were enthusiastic about giving to the university. The Grand Rapids company designs and builds software products.

I work with smart and creative people, Erickson said. I am happy to add a new word to describe them: generous.

The gift from Atomic Object helped fund construction of the Mary Idema Pew Library, where students will work in an interactive atmosphere.

In addition to Atomic Objects support of the library, the company also funds a scholarship in the School of Computing and Information Systems.