GV preps seniors for graduation

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

Constance Turnbull

On April 13, Grand Valley State University will hold its first GradFest exhibition of the semester on the Pew Campus.

GradFest is a traditional event that is held at the end of each semester that offers seniors an easier transition from student to alumni. The event celebrates student graduates and gives them advice on graduation while offering the opportunities to buy graduation caps and gowns.

The event is one of the most important occasions for the Alumni Association, as it will offer alumni a chance to meet the graduating students and welcome them into the association. Members from the Alumni Association will be present at the events to guide these students through graduation and to their new status as Laker alumni. The association will also offer gifts and other giveaways to those graduating.

Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Alexis Rangel has been working within the alumni department to ensure that the event runs smoothly. Her role is to bring together the various campus departments and off-campus vendors in one spot by securing vendors who offer graduation services for students.

“With the pressure of final exams and thoughts of post-grad life looming, graduation can be a nerve-racking time for many students,” Rangel said. “GradFest helps make graduation easy, fun and exciting for students by putting all graduation-related services in one spot. It’s a time to celebrate your accomplishments and prepare for graduation by picking up your cap, gown and Commencement tickets.”

This year’s GradFest will be a memorable occasion for all who attend, as the Allendale events are held in the GVSU Laker Store, which is located in the new Laker Marketplace. GradFest will be the first event held in this area, which will offer outgoing students an opportunity to go inside the new building before graduating.

“We are very excited to host the Allendale GradFest in the new GVSU Laker Store,” Rangel said. “It will be a great opportunity for graduating seniors to check out the new space and stock up on all of their alumni gear.”

Although GradFest is primarily sponsored by the Alumni Association, many other organizations contribute to its success, including the Office of Student Life, the Career Center, Dean of Students Office and the University Bookstore. Seniors will have the chance to meet representatives from each of these areas of student life, as well as various vendors, to talk about life after graduation.

Graduating senior Taylor Dewey heard about GradFest from students who have graduated.

“I am hoping to attend the Allendale GradFest this year to purchase my cap and gown,” she said. “I hope to not only get my Commencement tickets and necessities, but also meet other graduating seniors who are in the same position as myself.”

Dewey said she will advertise GradFest to all of her senior friends and urge them to attend at least one of the events.

“It is important for students to meet with other graduating students and hear about life after college,” she said. “I hope that everyone who walks in the spring 2015 Commencement will be a student who has attended GradFest – and not only for the cap and gown but to learn more about what it means to be a Laker alumni.”

Caps and gowns are offered cheaper at GradFest than anywhere else, and advance orders and measurements are not necessary. Bachelor garments cost $28,and masters gowns are available for $54. Other alumni apparel and diploma frames are also available for purchase.

GradFest is sponsored by Aramark and Liberty Mutual Insurance and will occur at the Pew Campus on April 13-14 from 10 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. in the DeVos Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall. On the Allendale Campus, the events will take place on April 15-16 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the GVSU Laker Store. Students attending should bring their student I.D.

To find out more about GradFest, visit

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