In 2007 GVSU student leaders decided to demonstrate their leadership in helping out fellow students with the rising cost of college tuition. Together the student leadership decided that it would be fitting to establish a scholarship and leave a lasting legacy by initiating a scholarship. They believed it demonstrated their continued commitment to affordable learning by investing in their peers.
Specifically, the student leaders wanted to benefit students who they considered were the “typical Grand Valley student.” That profile includes students who along with their academic commitment also commit to public service on and off campus. This is in keeping with the mission, values, and goals of the University that were adopted as part of its strategic plan on February 14, 2003, which includes the following statement regarding “Service:”
We at Grand Valley State University value the collaboration of faculty, staff, and students with external partners in addressing mutual interests and regional needs. The university offers the communities it serves resources and inspiration in their own lifelong pursuit of knowledge. Faculty and staff are encouraged to contribute their expertise and service to the university, their disciplines’ professional organizations, and the community. Students are encouraged to be active citizens, to become active service providers, and to take part in various service learning and volunteer opportunities in the community and abroad.
In addition, the student leaders believed that more scholarship were available to freshman and sophomores and that when students reached the junior and senior level there was less available to assist students pay for their education. To that end a scholarship was established to benefit junior and senior level students who demonstrate leadership in community service either through their on or off campus activities.