Give a little back to GV

Here’s a statistic for you: the mean amount of money that all of Michigan’s 15 public universities receive is currently at $4,597 per student. Grand Valley State University, however, only receives about half of that at $2,365 per student.

But that’s nothing new to the university. During a 25-year period since 1986, GVSU has seen its per-student state appropriation drop 33.9 percent, the largest decrease in the state during that span of time. And despite that, the university has still found innovative and effective ways to grow.

With that in mind, it becomes apparent that if the university is to continue to grow and serve its student effectively, it will rely heavily on us, not so much as students but more so as alumni in the future.

Many universities pester their alumni in the hopes of convincing them to give something back, but few can make as strong a case as GVSU for how much they really need it, especially if state appropriation rates continue along current trends. The university is limited in how many required courses it can offer and how many new faculty members it can hire because it lacks the funds to build new classrooms and living space, things that GVSU could easily afford with a strong alumni base.

And it’s not about the size of the gift. Some alumni may feel that what they can offer wouldn’t do the university much good, every little gift really counts. GVSU currently has 80,000 members of its alumni base, and if each of them were to give but $20, it would raise more than $1.6 million that the university could redirect into scholarships and other student-centered initiatives. If you try to wait until you have a significant amount that you can afford to give, then you’ll never get around to giving.

It’s not about the university begging for money because they’ve found innovative ways to raise and save money in the past and will continue to do so in the future. It’s more about trying give future students an even better college experience than we had.

After all, someone a little older than us opened up their wallet and offered the university the funds to do the same for you. Return the favor.