Incoming President of GVSU to be Peters’ Guest for State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today announced that Dr. Philomena Mantella, who was unanimously elected last month by the Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Board of Trustees to be the institution’s next president, will be his guest at President Trump’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday, February 5. Dr. Mantella will be GVSU’s fifth president in its history and its first female president.

“I’m excited to work with Dr. Mantella to build on all the amazing things being done at Grand Valley. I commend Grand Valley for already preparing students to enter the 21st century workforce and helping Michigan businesses have access to a pipeline of trained workers,” said Senator Peters. “Across the state, I’ve heard from small businesses about the challenges of closing the skills gap. I hope the President will outline ways we can close this gap and fill good-paying jobs in Michigan.”

“It is my great honor to attend the State of the Union Address as Senator Peters’ guest. I look forward to partnering with him to promote even more pathways to prosperity as Grand Valley continues to grow,” said Dr. Philomena Mantella, President-elect of Grand Valley State University. “Over the past few weeks, I’ve been able to see firsthand some of the many opportunities Grand Valley students have to pursue their dreams in this state. The learning experience at Grand Valley is one that is truly making its mark on Michigan’s economy, and I will work tirelessly to further foster the entrepreneurial spirit that makes this institution so special.”

Dr. Mantella is currently the senior vice president and chief executive officer of the Lifelong Learning Network at Northeastern University, a private research university in Boston. She has a Ph.D. in college and university administration from Michigan State University and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in social work from Syracuse University. She has been married for 40 years and has three sons and four grandchildren. She was unanimously chosen by the GVSU Board of Trustees on January 22 and will begin her tenure in July.

Strengthening Michigan’s workforce is one of Peters’ top priorities. He has strongly supported career and technical education (CTE) as potential career paths for students and has led efforts to improve high school counselor education and awareness of CTE. He has also championed bipartisan efforts to expand access to higher education opportunities through dual and concurrent enrollment and early/middle college programs.