In celebration of 40 years of film and video at Grand Valley State University, film and video production faculty and the Film/Video and Arts & Media Alumni Chapter of the Alumni Association hosted a reunion at the L. William Seidman Center on May 2 which gathered 170 alumni from around the country. The reunion also celebrated the retirement of Associate Professor Barbara Roos.
The event featured networking with GVSU alumni, testimonials of the film and video major, advocating of the Dirk Koning Memorial Scholarship and three special speakers, each representing an era of film & video production at GVSU: Marti Ayres White, class of 1976; Mike Allore, class of 1996; and Travis Blake, class of 2014.
“Going to university in 2011, I didn’t really know what it meant to be studying film,” said Blake, who is the most recent Film & Video Student of Distinction award winner. “I remember recognizing that I could actually develop an understanding and participating in discourse about film. I think that’s what I appreciated about going to Grand Valley. In one class, I was learning how to properly set up a c-stand…and I was able to pair that with in other classes with film theory.”
Ayres White also gave insight on the skills she learned through liberal education at GVSU.
“The four years I spent at William James College I was with a group of students and professors who were excited about learning, and were on fire to make a difference in the world. I am delighted to be reuniting with many of those people at this event,” said Ayres White. She was in the second graduating class of the William James College in 1976.