From the President
The last decade has been one of growth, energy and success for Grand View. From academics to facilities to athletics, the university has expanded at an almost unprecedented rate. That expansion has helped us provide opportunity to more students each year, at a level of quality and affordability that most schools our size would envy.
Approximately 2,300 students are thriving at Grand View today – fulltime undergraduates, graduate students, and adults who attend in the evening on our accelerated schedule. Many of them find that the cost of Grand View is comparable to a state university. After grants and scholarships, seventy-five percent of 2013 full-time, residential GV freshmen paid tuition, fees, and room & board that were comparable to or less than the published in-state prices at Iowa’s public universities.
The past decade has been marked by significant expansions in facilities as well as academic and athletic offerings. From the Charles S. Johnson Wellness Center to the Rasmussen Center, four new residential options that include suites and apartments, to the renovation of science facilities and the recent construction of Grand Central walkway and plaza, the footprint of the campus has nearly doubled. Our students are served – and live – in modern, inviting and efficient facilities.
Among the driving forces in our decade of physical expansion has been the enhancement of community. Students learn and grow best within a strong, cohesive community, something our Danish-immigrant founders knew well and wove throughout the philosophies that underlay Grand View to this day. We are also committed to the broader community and seek to contribute to our neighborhood, Des Moines and central Iowa.
As you will see, the next phase of our growth is pointed directly at facilities that are the heart of the Grand View community, that will be designed to create even more opportunities for students, faculty and staff to come together as community. And in the process, those facilities will further change the neighborhood and Des Moines.
The Student Center
(Click the images to enlarge)
The Grand View Student Center, which sits at 2811 E. 14th Street, across from the Rasmussen Center and at the edge of the residential portion of campus, is not only the physical center of campus but is also the community center. Constructed in the 1980s, it is no longer adequate to meet the needs of our growing student population and our expanding academic and co-curricular opportunities. Its renovation and expansion mark the culmination of our current campus master plan … and the next step into the future.
The new Student Center will be welcoming to all, especially newcomers … supportive of students’ lives outside the classroom … functional and efficient in meeting their needs …. and a comfortable and pleasing environment for entertainment and socializing. Nearly everything a student needs beyond the classroom and the administrative functions of the Humphrey Center will be found here, and the concentration of services and functions will draw the community and its visitors together.
The Front Door
The Welcome Center will be Grand View’s new front door, the site of first impressions when students, their families, and others visit campus. Here, admissions team members will greet future students on their way to campus tours and admissions events. This space will represent the dynamic and intimate spirit of Grand View.
Supporting students and helping them shape their ambitions into attainable goals is a key element of the Grand View experience. Faculty members guide students in building their future paths, but outside the classroom, the Student Success, Counseling, and Career Centers provide the complementary services that often make the difference in graduating successful students. Whether students live on campus or commute, Student Life staff provide an important range of support and services to make campus life easier, healthier and more fulfilling – from parking permits, to health services, multicultural programs, disability services, campus ministry and more. The Student Center’s space for informal interaction, for individual or group study, or curling up with a hot drink and a good book are also important elements of a supportive campus environment.
Easy access to practical services that make life easier will draw students to the new Student Center. The Dining Hall is a place not only for meals and social interaction, but also to create and strengthen relationships among all members of the community. The Bookstore is a key resource for texts and supplies, as well as the merchandise so important to declaring Viking identity and loyalty. Mail, photocopy services, convenience store items – and odd-hour availability of snacks – are a few of the other services that appeal to students.
Student Engagement and Entertainment
Student Clubs and Organizations offer opportunities for students to engage in new experiences and step into leadership roles. The Student Center is the perfect place for these organizations to call home, offering office space and adjacent lounge areas for informal gatherings and group work. Community Service projects will also find an excellent venue in the new center.
Performing Arts and Communication Programs
The Theatre Department and the Viking Theatre, renovated and expanded in 2013, will remain in the new Student Center. However, the Music Department will move to the Cowles Communication Center, with enhanced space for performances, practice rooms and offices. The Communication Department will move from Cowles to the new Student Center, putting The Grand Views student newspaper, the radio station and broadcast facilities in the center of student interaction.
Visibility and Service to the Des Moines Community
When the Rasmussen Center opened, the community response to the construction of an impressive, signature building on the west side of East 14th Street at Grandview Avenue was very positive. When the new Student Center takes its place on the east side of the street, connected to the Rasmussen Center by an architecturally striking skywalk, it will be clear that Grand View University has made another important statement in Des Moines. Such an impact will continue to support the university’s maturation as an anchor institution in our community.
The new Student Center also will be an attractive drawing point for greater Des Moines and beyond. In conjunction with the Rasmussen Center, it will form an impressive and attractive conference venue for groups throughout central Iowa.
The new Student Center will be a place where first impressions of Grand View are formed by prospective students and their families … a place where students create lasting memories of their college years. Those memories will be recalled and shared by alumni who return to reminisce about what an important place the Student Center was to them during their time on campus. Only the student center will be visited and experienced over and over by all students.