Tuesday, 15 May 2012

First impressions...

The welcoming arch at Grand Valley State University

This is my second day here at GVSU and the first thing I really can't get over is the sheer scale of the Allendale Campus. It's a massive 1,250 acres! Fortunately the University accommodation I am renting here provides a bike for me to get around on, so I have been able to get out and explore the site - taking due heed of Tornado signs which are posted on all of the buildings:
 No tornados forecast, thus far, happily!

The campus has its own golf course, Performing Arts Centre and Arboretum (pictured below). Sculpture is also prevalent on campus. The Marching Band shown here is just one of hundreds of examples of artwork dotted around. This particular one was created by Stuart Padnos, a local scrap metal entrepreneur and self-taught artist. Stuart was also the man who started the Padnos International Center at GVSU - the very office that organised the Staff Exchange programme I am currently participating in. It was sad to learn, then, that Stuart passed away just last month at the age of 90:

The Marching Band by Stuart Padnos 1922-2012

GVSU's Arboretum. A tree is planted here for
every ton of paper used by the University

Yesterday I met with the Associate Dean of Technology & Information Services and the Head of Operations and User Services. They gave me an overview of their department along with some good pointers for the research project which I am doing while I am out here, including a few areas to look at which I had not thought of previously.

Today I will be visiting the public libraries here in Grand Rapids and am due to meet Marcia Warner, President of the Public Library Association in America. Exciting times!

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