No greater honor

Courtesy / GVSU Honors College

Courtesy / GVSU Honors College

Lizzy Balboa

When freshmen Kelsey Keipert toured Grand Valley State University last year, she was enchanted by the sterile Niemeyer Living Center and the simple general education program of the Frederik Meijer Honors College.

Thus, she eliminated the University of Michigan and Michigan State University from consideration and enrolled for her fall semester in the still-growing college.

This August, Keipert joined the ranks of more than 400 other freshmen in a record-setting honors class.

“It amazes me, to tell you the truth, because people are looking at (other) schools and choosing Grand Valley,” said Honors College Director Jeffrey Chamberlain, noting places like Northwestern University and Oberlin College as prime competition for the college. “They told us in the survey, nearly 80 percent said Grand Valley was their first choice and a large proportion of those said the Honors College was a major reason. That bodes well for us in the sense that I think we can continue to attract people.”


Chamberlain said there were 389 freshmen in the 2012 class, and while the official numbers for this year have not yet been calculated, he anticipates a class of about 430 for 2013.

With the exception of a slight dip in 2010, the honors freshmen class has expanded each year. “We’ve been growing six or seven percent or more every year,” Chamberlain said, adding that the growth has resulted from an increase in qualified applicants as opposed to more inclusive acceptance policies.
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