GV Alumni Office holds Alumni Reception event


Courtesy / GVSU

Zoë Murphy, Staff Writer

On Jan. 6, the Alumni and President’s offices held an Alumni Reception for former Grand Valley State University students in Orlando, Florida. The event was an opportunity for alumni to “mingle” with fellow GVSU graduates and meet President Philomena Mantella.

The Alumni Office dedicates its time to keeping former students connected with the GVSU community after graduation. There is an emphasis that all students, past, present or future are “Lakers for a Lifetime.”

“Our main focus is keeping alumni connected to Grand Valley and to each other, supporting our alumni through every stage of their life and career,” said Kyle Barnhart, the director for alumni engagement. 

The Orlando reception brought together alumni who still have a vested interest in GVSU’s current administration and students. This allows alumni to continue to engage with GVSU and to establish a further network of individuals who have left campus. 

“Orlando is the home of one of GVSU’s active groups of alumni,” said Jill Craig, the senior director for executive and external engagement. “These groups are made up of former students that are still very engaged in the affairs of the university.”  

Craig works in the offices of the President and University Development. In this role, she works to help President Mantella engage with the GVSU community through events.  

“We have some folks that work with me on that, and also strategy behind the Presidential engagement, executive engagement, who should be meeting with groups and how we engage with alumni, that sort of thing,” Craig said. 

At the Orlando Alumni Event, Jill Wolfe, director of GVSU’s Secchia Military & Veterans Resource Center, was named Chapter Advisor of the Year by Student Veterans of America. 

“This award involves over 1,500 campuses represented across the U.S., but Jill Wolfe was chosen out of all the universities and colleges,” Craig said. 

According to Craig, President Mantella was already traveling down to Orlando when the Alumni Event was to take place. This gave Mantella the opportunity to communicate face-to-face with former students and to present at this conference. The event had over 50 people in attendance. 

The GVSU Alumni office puts on many events for the community throughout the year similar to the Orlando Alumni Reception. On Jan. 19, GVSU grads will meet for the San Francisco Alumni Reception with President Mantella.