GVSU Student Services Building named after Lubbers family

Lubber’s Student Services Building dedication and ribbon cutting.  Courtesy / gvsu.edu

Lubber’s Student Services Building dedication and ribbon cutting.  Courtesy / gvsu.edu

Rachel Matuszewski

Grand Valley State University’s Student Services building has received a new title this year. The dedication ceremony for the Arend and Nancy Lubbers Student Services Center took place Friday, August 24, at 2 p.m. on the Allendale Campus. Speakers at the ceremony included university President Thomas J. Haas, Vice President for Enrollment Development Lynn Blue, Student Senate President Rachel Jenkin and Don and Nancy Lubbers.

President Emeritus Arend D. “Don” Lubbers served as GVSU’s second president for 32 years, the longest tenure of any in the country. Lubbers and his wife Nancy worked side by side toward what their co-workers say was building the university. 

“[He was] the real thrust behind what started what is now known as Grand Valley State University and the culture we have here. He was always concerned about the student experience.” Blue said. 

After fundraising with his wife, Lubbers expanded the campus piece by piece. His contribution can be found in the Cook Carillon Tower, the Student Services Building, Cook-Dewitt Center, Henry Hall, Padnos Hall, Kirkof Center, Mary Idema Pew Library and Pew Campus. However, the work has not stopped there. 

“[A couple years ago] a few of us were led by Scott Richardson, and the president said we need to make a room that can be dedicated to the admissions function of greeting prospective students.” Blue said. 

This idea has created the Laker Experience Suite. It replaces the former presentation room on the third floor of the Admissions Office and outshines the preceding 40 seats with a new total of 112 seats. They can now accommodate the 30 to 50 prospective students who arrive in the fall with their high school class. Prospective students, admitted students deciding where to enroll and their families are invited to attend admission recruitment events in the new space. 

“It’s much more convenient for our prospective students because we have more availability and times to visit because we can simply accommodate more people in a presentation,” said Jody Chycinski, Director of Admissions.

The admissions office has already seen a significant fluctuation this June and July alone with the ability to accommodate 270 more students than the previous summer. 

“The Lubbers have been great role models and have supported GVSU since their very first day of being on campus, which is a pride and a dedication all of us should hold as Lakers,” Jenkin said. “I am very excited to know that this new space will be just the introduction to our amazing campus for so many future students, and I cannot wait to see the positive impact it brings for us.”