Toast with T. Haas celebrates graduates

GVL / Emily Frye 
Student Senate President Andrew Plague (left), President T. Haas (center), and Mike Tappy (right)

GVL / Emily Frye Student Senate President Andrew Plague (left), President T. Haas (center), and Mike Tappy (right)

Hannah Lentz

Over 260 students RSVP’ed for Toast with T. Haas this year, double the number of students who attended last year’s event.

Toast with T. Haas is a celebratory champagne toast open to all students graduating in December of 2014. The event started last year and is a time for graduating students to look back at their time at Grand Valley State University and learn about ways to stay connected to the university after graduation.

“This event is designed to celebrate the accomplishments of students that have culminated in graduation,” said Liz Collver of University Development. “Additionally, I want students to leave the event feeling inspired by the community of Laker alumni they are about to join. Hopefully, many leave thinking about how they can stay connected as Lakers for a lifetime in the years to come.”

Occurring bi-annually, there is one toast for students partaking in the December commencement and one for students taking part in the April ceremony. The fall graduation toast was held in the Eberhard Center on the Pew Campus on Dec. 1 and included statements from Student Senate President Andrew Plague, Grand Valley Alumni Association President Mike Tappy and university President Thomas Haas.

Preceding the toast, a video was shown recapping and remembering the years that the graduates had experienced during their time at the university. During the video, organizations across campus and alumni organizations across the country wished students good luck in their endeavors following graduation.

During his speech, Tappy focused on the idea of remaining connected to the university after graduation, something that he has done since his graduation from GVSU in 1978.

“What I didn’t know when I graduated was how much you remain a Laker after you graduate,” Tappy said. “When we say that you are a ‘Laker for a Lifetime’ we really do mean it.”

Haas also had a statement for graduating seniors at this event, focusing on the achievements of upcoming graduates.

“You’ve been successful in the classroom and in aspects such as internships and other experiences, and you’ve matured and made relationships that will last for a lifetime,” Haas said. “A ‘Laker’ is an individual who understands that they are going to be successful because they have been successful at Grand Valley, and I am proud of every one of you.”

Following the toast, desserts were provided to students as well as a chance for networking and communication with fellow graduates and university personnel.

“As college students, we are always looking toward the end of something, whether it be the end of a semester or the end of a year,” Plague said. “This event is the end of something, but it is also the beginning of something for you as well.”

Seniors graduating in April of 2015 will have the opportunity to attend this event on April 15, and registration will open in early March. Students must RSVP to attend the event and must also have a form of identification on them when attending the event.

[email protected]