Last night, I had the opportunity to attend the first ever #GVtweetUP event for my alma mater, Grand Valley State University. It was a small event largely targeted at the University’s social media advocates.
Any event that puts a class of red wine in my hand and encourages me to tweet while people are speaking is a win in my book!
In all seriousness, I was really honored to receive an invitation to the event since it was not a large group in the room. The two speakers for the evening were the Athletic Director, Tim Selgo, and the President, Tom Haas (more affectionately known around Grand Valley as THaas). There was a bunch of really great information shared from the two – I didn’t catch everything since I was trying to keep up with tweeting, of course! Attendees were encouraged to share what was happening over the course of the evening through social media, primarily Twitter, using the #GVtweetUP hashtag. Tim Selgo shared that as a Division II program, Grand Valley is raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and last year our approximately 550 student athletes raised $10,000! I was really impressed that around 60% of athletes maintained at least a 3.0 GPA last year; I think it’s great that GVSU athletes are showing dedication to their academics and their athletics.
President Haas talked a lot about the growth of Grand Valley – we have two new buildings that will be opening up this year. There will be the much-needed Mary Idema Pew Library opening in the Fall, with a sneak-peak sometime in April! As a donor to the library fundraising (and just a big fan of books/libraries in general), I’m really excited to get inside and check it out! To be clear, when I say a much-needed library, it’s not because there wasn’t one already, just that existing library is in desperate need for some renovation. I think the new library will be a great addition to campus! Opening for classes this May is also the new Seidman Center for the College of Business on the downtown campus!
He also said there are already over 17,000 applications for the incoming freshman class! I think that’s an impressive number for a University that started out as a small commuter school fifty years ago. There is also increasing effort with other area colleges to create increased opportunities for students. I loved to hear that 90% of GVSU’s alum are working in Michigan – way to keep the Laker talents in the Mitten!
It’s not a social media event without a good photo opp, right? THaas and Tim modeled their fancy new #Laker4aLifetime shirts after the event.
It’s nice to know that the President of your alma mater is also willing to pass around the dessert tray! I think he was disappointed we didn’t take him up on the offer.
It’s always nice to have a friend to chat with at events – I was excited when Amy tweeted yesterday that she would also be there! Fitting, since our friendship began during our time at GVSU. I’m thankful that it has lasted beyond graduation!
I feel like this is only the tip of the iceberg for what was shared at the #GVtweetup! All in all, it was a really great event and I very much enjoyed myself! The tweetup was an awesome way to engage the community using a popular media tool, and it was great to see people in the room tweeting, but also watching fellow Lakers around the country engage in the conversation as well. I continue to have more and more love for my alma mater, and events like this are proof as to why. Grand Valley is doing some really great things and I’m proud to be a Laker alum! I’m already looking forward to next year’s event!