Toast with T Haas, GradFest events celebrate April graduates

GVL / Archive
GVSU President Thomas J. Haas and a GVSU student toast during a past grad fest event.

GVL Archives

GVL / Archive GVSU President Thomas J. Haas and a GVSU student toast during a past grad fest event.

Rachel Cross

Grand Valley State University will be honoring and recognizing graduates crossing the stage at the April 27 commencement ceremony with GradFest and a toast with President Thomas J. Haas.

The toast, tomorrow from 6-8 p.m., will be on the second floor of Eberhard Center, located at Pew Campus in downtown Grand Rapids, and is part of the university’s larger Laker for a Lifetime initative.

Jarrett Martus, telephone outreach program manager at GVSU, is responsible for parts of this Laker for a Lifetime initiative.

Martus said at the toast with Haas, students who are walking at commencement in April will have the opportunity to network with fellow students, university officials and GVSU alumni. He added that Haas and Student Senate President Jack Iott will contribute brief remarks, as well as a toast to the graduating students. Students will also be given commemorative champagne flutes, and there will be a cash bar and complimentary hors d’oeuvres.

“This toast is a celebration of students’ accomplishments at Grand Valley as they transition into a new relationship as alumni,” Martus said. “Our graduating students will not want to miss this inaugural toast with T.Haas. We hope this will be a great first time event that will continue as an event for our graduating students.”

GradFest events will be held on April 15 and 16 in the Kirkhof’s Pere Marquette Room and April 17 and 18 outside the Loosemore Auditorium, both from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sue Williemsen, administrative assistant at the Dean of Students office, said since October 2012, the Dean of Students office has been preparing for the occasion.

“There are a number of vendors such as Jostens, Career Services, Dean of Students, and Alumni Relations,” Williemsen said.

She said the first thing that students will do when they come to GradFest is to complete a survey online, and then the Dean of Students office will check them in.

Students can also purchase their caps and gowns at GradFest. A bachelor’s cap and gown runs $31.50 during the event, and after the event the price bumpbs up to $41.38. For students receiving a master’s master’s degree, caps and gowns will cost $56.76 and after GradFest, $63.07.

Williemsen added that she expects students’ wait time to be shorter this year because of the new online version of surveys through Career Services, as well as the scanners that will be used to scan students’ IDs.

For more information on the Haas toast, go to, where students can RSVP. To obtain further information on the grad fest go to,

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