GVSU has record endowment, regional impact of $730 million

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The annual economic impact that Grand Valley State University has on the region is estimated at $730.1 million. Grand Valley issued its yearly tri-county economic impact report during its April 30 Board of Trustees meeting held at the Allendale Campus.

The economic impact report covers Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon counties and used 2012-2013 data. Grand Valley employs more than 3,200 people and enrolls more than 24,400 students who spend money and pay taxes in the region.

Some additional highlights of this year’s report are:
• New construction and renovations pumped more than $21.7 million into the local economy in 2013. A 151,000-square-foot Science Laboratory building is under construction on the Allendale Campus to support the science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and health professions fields.
• More than 10,700 permanent off-campus jobs in the region exist because of Grand Valley’s campuses in those communities.
• Grand Valley alumni now number more than 92,000 and nearly half are living or working West Michigan’s tri-county area.

The entire Economic Impact brochure is posted at www.gvsu.edu/accountability.

In other discussion/action by the Board of Trustees:
• The board learned the university’s endowment surpassed $100.2 million. The majority of the fund is dedicated to scholarships and academic programming. Endowment spending in 2014-2015 will be $4.1 million; 40 percent goes to scholarships helping more than 700 students. The university’s 10-year return is in the top 10 percent of the 835 colleges and universities participating in the National Association of Colleges and Universities Business Officers Survey.

• The board approved the purchase of property adjacent to the Bicycle Factory on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus. The 1.2 acre property, located at 524 Butterworth, was purchased for $950,000 and will be used for additional parking. The property has a 20,000-square-foot building in which the current owner operates a fabric coating business. While the owner can remain on the property for up to five years, the university will be allowed to park on the site.

• The board approved the authorization of two new public school academies, Cornerstone Jefferson-Douglass Academy (Detroit) and Covenant House Academy Muskegon (Muskegon). The board also approved termination of a charter contract with Escuela Avancemos, and approved a name change for Cornerstone Health School to Cornerstone Health and Technology School. Board member appointments or reappointments to GVSU-authorized public school academy boards were also approved.

• The board approved a change to the university’s administrative manual to state that one of the five student senators who serve on the University Academic Senate must be a graduate student. This will ensure proper demographic representation of the student body at Grand Valley.