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About Grand Valley
Grand Valley State University has established a reputation for creating unique learning opportunities that attract top students. Its liberal education focus emphasizes critical thinking, creative problem solving, and cultural understanding. Through personalized learning enhanced by active scholarship, we accomplish our mission of educating students to shape their lives, their professions, and their societies.
Grand Valley State University was chartered by the Michigan Legislature in 1960 in response to the need for a public, four-year college in the state's second largest metropolitan region. Since the first year, when there were 226 students and 14 faculty members, Grand Valley has become a comprehensive university with nearly 25,000 students and more than 1,500 faculty members. For more information on Grand Valley's first 50 years, visit www.gvsu.edu/anniversary/.
Grand Valley State University offers a wide array of liberal arts and sciences, as well as professional degree programs in which the focus is on teaching and learning enhanced by active scholarship. Students may choose from more than 200 programs, including 81 undergraduate majors and 31 graduate programs. A strong liberal education serves as the foundation for all of our programs, fostering critical thinking, creative problem solving, and cultural understanding. This combination of educational offerings helps Grand Valley to fulfill its mission of educating students to shape their lives, their professions, and their societies.
The average class size at Grand Valley is 27, which allows for more individualized interaction between professors and students. In addition, faculty members, who are actively engaged in their discipline and highly dedicated to teaching, teach all courses. As a result, students are not taught by teaching assistants. Instead they receive the benefit of responsive faculty members and the opportunity to develop mentoring relationships.
The university offers degrees from its campuses in Allendale, Grand Rapids, and Holland, and centers in Muskegon and Traverse City. Grand Valley continually sets new standards for excellence in how our facilities are used to promote academic achievement. Inspiring classroom and research facilities, modern living centers, and convenient student services make Grand Valley campuses ideal places to engage, learn, and live.
The largely residential Allendale Campus is 1,322 acres of beautifully wooded grounds. It incorporates a complete college experience with numerous student organizations, an array of nationally ranked NCAA athletics, and many year-round arts and entertainment events. About 5,800 students live on campus in university living centers and apartments.
The university provides public services, art, entertainment, sports, and cultural programs for the region. Grand Valley's School of Communications and Music and Dance Department offer regularly scheduled plays and concerts. The university athletic teams are consistent leaders in their conference. Grand Valley is licensed to operate the region's public television and radio stations, which are affiliated with PBS and NPR, respectively. The WGVU AM/FM radio and TV stations provide local and network broadcasts, and offer educational and hands-on instructional opportunities for Grand Valley students.
Grand Valley has an $89 million endowment, due in large part to the support and activity of the Grand Valley University Foundation. Gifts to the foundation from friends, alumni, faculty members, and staff members help ensure the continuation of Grand Valley as a vital public education resource in West Michigan.
Page last modified October 2, 2013