Louie the Laker invites university to 50th birthday party

Our 50th anniversary is very important for the GV community.

Eric Coulter

Our 50th anniversary is very important for the GV community.

Derek Wolff

The celebration for the 50th anniversary, nicknamed Louie’s 50th Birthday party, will be held from 3 p.m to 6 p.m. today on the west lawn of the Kirkhof Center by Lake Zumberge. The party will commemorate the first day of classes held at GVSU, which started on Sept. 26, 1963.

Free food from Classic Fare Catering and lawn games such as hillbilly golf and corn hole bags will be available while general socializing and celebrating are encouraged.

Mindy Earley, GVSU’s assistant director of Alumni Relations, said a multitude of attractive reasons should influence people, particularly new students, to come to the party.

“Students should come to enjoy free food, conversations about GVSU and the history of the university,” she said. “The event has been designed to be open, informal and social while inspiring conversations about what the 50th means to everyone.”

For FAA, the event not only commemorates the first day of classes but also marks the starting point of event planning. Earley said the goals of the FAA base of 75,000 alumni are to help current students and share their experience, advice and success stories.

Ultimately, Earley said, the current students that make up and embody GVSU are the main focus for the party.

“The Future Alumni Association is hoping (students) will enjoy the event and reflect on what it means to be a student during this grand year,” she said. “There is much to celebrate.”

Event manager Rachel Wion, a student working for the FAA, agreed that the event, while open to the public, is tailored to the current students and faculty attending GVSU.

“We’re throwing the party on Monday because of the date, since we’re celebrating the 50 years of Grand Valley’s existence and influence,” she said. “But we’re also celebrating the current students. They have a part in making and continuing Grand Valley’s history.”

GVSU’s Student Senate will also help the FAA present the party in a grand style. Members of Student Senate will encourage discussion among guests on a wide array of topics about GVSU’s 50-year history.

Student Senate president Jarrett Martus stressed that learning about the past would be helpful for current students to shape the future.

“I think coming to the celebration will be important for current students who’d like to learn a little more about Grand Valley’s history,” he said.

In the 50 years of GVSU’s rise from a small series of cluster colleges to the thriving university of 25,000 students and 75,000 alumni it is today, the celebration will mark an important milestone in GVSU’s history.

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