GV encourages lifelong learning by introducing ‘Read with Lakers’ series


Courtesy / GVSU

Kylie Elwell

Beginning in January 2021, the Read with Lakers series was introduced in an attempt to give alumni the opportunity to connect with one another through reading books. This opportunity encourages lifelong learning for Grand Valley State University Alumni. There is no cost to sign up and participate in the book reading program.

The first book, “Educated” by Tara Westover, was introduced to participants during the second week of January. Readers are given a two month time period to spend time reading and analyzing their books at their own pace. 

The University Alumni office faculty and staff had discussed this series for a few months before introducing it to the Laker community. The purpose of this series is to promote learning, engagement and fun between alumni members. 

“In the office of Alumni Relations, we strive to provide Grand Valley alumni with a sense of community and pride, as well as lifelong learning opportunities,” said Courtney Geurink, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations. “We do this by engaging alumni with student support activities, social and professional development events, communications, ways to give and academic resources.” 

The university has always had a strong drive to support learners and their learning journey, even after graduation. This new series has become another way for them to support that journey. The next books for May through July and September through November have not yet been chosen. They hope to involve the participants more in choosing a book for the upcoming months. 

“It is our hope and plan to have the Laker community help us select the book they would like to read next, through an online poll which will be conducted in late March,” Geurink said. “Thus, the variety of books that we choose to read will be vast. There are so many genres, we don’t want to limit ourselves to just one.” 

For the first read of the series, there are two related events that the Laker community are encouraged to join.

The first event is the webinar, “The Power of Education.” During this webinar, attendees will look at the value of education, the liberal arts model, access to education and its impact on first-generation students, and more. This event will take place on Feb. 16.

The next event will be focused on “Educated,” the first book being read in the series. This event will be a discussion of the book between readers. Participants will be put into breakout groups with a discussion leader to help them take a better look at the themes of the book and their reading experience. 

For more information regarding the series or the related events, individuals are encouraged to visit www.gvsu.edu/alumni/read or contact Alumni Relations with any questions they may have.