GradFest helps ease transition from student to alum

GVL / Archive
Dan Dixon and Heather Dixon photograph Stephanie Labby at their Grad Fest Booth

GVL / Archive Dan Dixon and Heather Dixon photograph Stephanie Labby at their Grad Fest Booth

Ben Glick

As the fall semester soon draws to an end, graduation ceremonies and its stresses are found to be not too far off. Seniors may find their exit from studies at Grand Valley State University easier than expected with help of GradFest.

Vendors, products, services and activities will be present at GradFest, with the sole purpose of helping seniors prepare for their graduation.

“GradFest is an event held prior to commencement, celebrating students’ success and offering all graduation related services in one spot,” said Alexis Rangel, assistant director of Alumni Relations.

Students will also have the chance to meet with representatives from the career fair, financial aid and the Alumni Association to talk about life after graduation.

“We want to make students aware of all of the services that are available to them as an alum and make the transition into their next phase of life as easy as possible,” Rangel said.

Prices of graduation materials will increase after GradFest concludes, so students are encouraged to take advantage of the special discounts during the event.

However, the event is not just about business. Besides serving as a concentrated marketplace for everything a graduate may need, GradFest is also a time for graduates to reflect on their college careers.

Many students remember the fun and exciting atmosphere when they first came to campus, and we want to make sure that students leave on that same note,” Rangel said.

Refreshments will be served at the event, and students can have their photo taken by a professional photographer.

“The exhibitors have gathered to honor the accomplishments of the students and provide a fun and festive atmosphere,” Rangel said.

GradFest is hosted with the help of Alumni Relations, the Career Center, the Dean of Students, the Office of Student Life and the University Bookstore.

“GradFest is a great time for students to take a quick breather before exams and really celebrate all of their accomplishments,” Rangel said.

Prizes will be provided by Alumni Relations and given away to seniors in recognition for their time spent at the university.

It’s a great way to celebrate all of their hard work over the past few years,” Rangel said.

Besides the ritual of graduation itself, it’s what students do after their graduation that, Rangel hopes, will begin their lives on the right foot.

“I’m always amazed to hear what they will be doing after graduation,” Rangel said. “It’s exciting to hear that our newest alums will be representing GVSU all over the country and making an impact in their communities.”

GradFest will take place in the Grand River Room of the Kirkhof Center on Nov. 19 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and in the Loosemoore Auditorium of the DeVos Center on Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The event is free, but attendees must bring their student ID.

For more information about GradFest visit