Grand View College

Coordinates: 41°37′14″N 93°36′15″W / 41.620546°N 93.604279°W / 41.620546; -93.604279

Grand View University is a four-year, liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Founded in 1896, the college is located in Des Moines, Iowa and hosts 2,000 students in 38 undergraduate majors, seven certificate programs, two post-baccalaureate certificates, five pre-professional preparation programs, and three master's programs.

On November 6, 2008, Grand View changed its name from Grand View College to Grand View University in order to better reflect the institution's "key strategic initiatives," and as an effort to shed the perception that Grand View is still a two-year college.

Degrees and certifications

Grand View grants the Bachelor of Arts degree and offers 37 majors in accounting, art education, biology, biotechnology, business administration, church music, computer science, criminal justice, digital media production elementary education, English, graphic design, graphic journalism, health promotion, history, human services, information and technology management, journalism, liberal arts, management information systems, mass communication, math, music, music education, organizational studies, paralegal, political studies, psychology, religion, secondary education, service management, sociology – liberal arts, Spanish for careers and professionals, theatre arts, and visual arts. Grand View offers a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, as well as a RN to BSN program. The University also offers a Master of Science in Innovative Leadership with concentrations in nursing, education, or business. In addition, Grand View offers certificate programs in art therapy, entrepreneurship, human resource management, in house communication, real estate, Spanish, and sport management as well as post-baccalaureate certificates in accounting and management in accounting.

College for Professional and Adult Learning

Eleven degrees are offered. Classes are offered at the main campus in Des Moines, or at Camp Dodge in Johnston, Iowa, a western suburb of Des Moines.

CPAL classes are offered during the day, evenings, or alternate Saturdays, and are often accelerated classes, using half the number of weeks to cover the same amount of material than a typical Grand View class.

Center for Renewal

The Center for Renewal is a cooperative ministry of Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa, and the Southeastern Iowa Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.


Grand View is a member of the Midwest Collegiate Conference and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) with competition in nine sports for men and nine for women. Grand View joined the NAIA after it moved from junior college status in 1979.

Clubs and organizations
Campus traditions
"Bud the Bird"

Since the 1930s Grand View students have participated in a campus tradition using "Bud the Bird," a large eagle statue, as the object of desire in the school's own version of "capture the flag."

A large, iron bird statue that stood at the entrance of a local White Eagle gas station was stolen by students, early in the college's history. "Bud the Bird," as the students affectionately called him, was passed from group to group on campus and with each new group, a new finding a new hiding place was to keep the statue. Verbal rules stated that the group in possession of Bud had to bring him to campus events, making it possible for him to be stolen again.

Over time, Bud has been replaced by clones. The first Bud was a casualty of the World War II effort when college president Alfred C. Nielsen donated the bird to the war effort for scrap metal in the early 1940s. The first Bud was replaced by Bud Jr., a 33-inch 200-pound replica. Sometime in the late 1940s, Bud Jr. was buried on the west end of campus, not to be unearthed again until over 50 years later in 1994 when maintenance crews were digging for fiber optic cables. Bud Jr. is now permanently perched in "Bud's Place," a recently-renovated recreation space in the basement of the residence hall Nielsen Hall.

While Bud Jr. was hidden, students created new Buds in the 1950s and 1960s. In this time period, as many as ten replicas are believed to have been made. These replicas were made out of wood, metal, or glass, but all of the replicas carried on the trait of being large and heavy. In the 1950s, it also became a tradition to give Bud a funeral ceremony, including a casket and pallbearers. The students would carry the "deceased" to Birdland Marina, a small, city-owned marina located near campus that dumps into the Des Moines River. Students would pretend to throw the casket over a bridge and into the water below.

The competition over Bud became so intense in the 1960s, a brawl broke out between nursing students, on-campus residents, and commuter students.

Over the course of the 1970s and 1980s Bud the Bird's legacy was nearly forgotten. Bud's popularity returned with the discovery of the buried Bud Jr. in 1994 and the addition of the "Bud's Place" recreation room in the basement of the Nielsen dormitory. "Bud's Place" houses a permanent display of Bud's history.

Interesting places Bud has been hidden:

  • Former president Alfred Nielsen’s closet
  • Underneath coal in the basement of Old Main (now Humphrey Center)
  • Above a basketball hoop in the old gymnasium
  • On stage for a theater production
  • In a water drainage sewer
  • In the trunk of a professor’s car
"The Rock"

“The Rock,” located in front of the Humphrey Center is one of the most prominent traditions of Grand View. When re-sodding the lawn of what was then Old Main (now Humphrey Center), students in the 1900s placed the rock on the lawn directly in front of Old Main's entrance. The only significant change made to the landmark was in 1915 when it was moved to make room for a new sidewalk to the entrance.

Students traditionally paint the rock in the darkness of the night whenever students feel the urge to express themselves. "In times of celebration, sorrow, or protest, The Rock is deemed a medium of the students," the Grand View student handbook states.

The rock is sometimes used to announce campus events, and on at least one occasion, has been used to propose marriage.

Costs and financial aid

For 2010-11, the estimated cost for freshmen on campus is $27,024, which includes tuition, an activity fee, a technology fee, and room and board. Health services and Internet access were also included in the comprehensive fee.

For the 2007-2008 academic year more than 98% of full-time day students received financial assistance totaling nearly $23 million. The average financial assistance package for new first year students exceeded $21,000 with nearly $11,000 in grants and scholarships and the remainder in loans and workstudy.

Residence halls
  • Apartments - The student apartments opened in the fall of 2003, housing 111 students in four, five or six-person apartments. The apartments house sophomore, junior and senior students. Students have the privacy of their own space but share a common living area which includes a kitchen and two bathrooms. Students can choose to cook in the apartment or take advantage of the nearby cafeteria.
  • Jensen Hall - Houses up to 26 upper-class students in single rooms.
  • Knudsen Hall - Houses up to 136 freshman and sophomore residents. It was renovated in 2004 and boasts new modular furniture that can be arranged in 25 configurations. It is connected to the Wellness Center, giving students convenient access to athletic facilities. Double and single rooms are available, some with baths. The cafeteria is located in the basement of Knudsen Hall.
  • Nielsen Hall - Nielsen is named after former college president Ernest Nielsen and his wife, Frances. Houses up to 118 freshman and sophomore residents. Bud’s Place is a great hang out for playing ping pong, pool or shuffleboard, watching TV and movies, relaxing, or studying. This hall also offers both single and double rooms, some with baths. Modular furniture can be arranged into 25 configurations.
  • Langrock Suites - Located northeast of the Student Center, the Langrock Suites house 180 sophomore and freshmen students. Each suite has two bedrooms, equipped to house five students (configurations vary), as well as a living area and bathroom. All residents have access to a second floor laundry room. The suites do not have kitchens, so students living there will have an on-campus meal plan. The building is named after former Grand View President Karl Langrock, who served from 1972 to 1988 and made the decision to turn Grand View into a four-year college. Langrock died in 2009 at the age of 82.
Academic buildings
  • Cowles Communication Center - Located at 1331 Grandview Avenue, Cowles houses classrooms, faculty offices, two computer labs, a photography studio, a television studio, and radio broadcasting booths. The award-winning campus newspaper, The Grand Views, is headquartered here, as well as the campus TV station, GVTV, and radio stations KGVC-LP 94.1 and KDPS-FM 88.1.
  • Elings Science Hall - Located at the corner of East Ninth Street and Grandview Avenue, Elings Hall is a two-story classroom building containing general purpose classrooms, science laboratories, faculty offices, a greenhouse, and two of the three large lecture halls on campus. One part of the building was completed in 1957 and an addition was connected to the first wing in 1968. A renovation of the 1968 wing was made possible in 2005 from a donation from alumnus Virgil Elings.
  • Humphrey Center - Formerly Old Main, the Humphrey Center is the oldest building on campus, built in 1896. The offices of Admissions, Business, Financial Aid, Registrar, President, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Finance and Administration, and Vice President for Advancement are all located here. Humphrey is on the National Register of Historic Places, and was built in three different phases (1895, 1898, 1904). The facility underwent a complete renovation in 1998 and was named in recognition of alumnus Alice (Olson) Humphrey. The college's maintenance division is based out of a garage directly north of the building.
  • Charles S. Johnson Wellness Center - Located at 1500 Morton Avenue, opened in 2002. The 80,000-square-foot (7,400 m2) facility houses the division of nursing, health and physical education department, recreational and athletic facilities, a community clinic, classrooms and faculty offices. The fieldhouse contains weight lifting equipment, a 1/10 mile track, and a double basketball court. Sisam Arena was renovated in 2002, while the wellness center was being constructed, and put in new bleachers, backboards, wall padding and a small media platform. The lobby of the arena showcases trophy cases featuring the Grand View Athletic Hall of Fame. Sisam Arena was named after David Sisam, longtime coach and athletic director. In 2008, a new two-level addition was added on the southeast corner bringing a new weight room, wrestling room and athletics staff offices.
  • Krumm Business Center - Located at 1309 Grandview Avenue, and named after college benefactor and former Maytag CEO Daniel J. Krumm, this academic building houses general-purpose classrooms, a large lecture hall, computer lab, and faculty/staff offices. The college's information technology department is based out of Krumm.
  • Library - Located at the corner of Grandview Avenue and East 14th Street (U.S. Route 69), the two-story library was completed in 1968 with an addition added in 1992. The first floor contains a teaching classroom/computer lab, the reference collection, current periodicals and journals, the children’s and young adult collection, private study rooms, study tables, DVD and video viewing rooms, the information desk, and the bank of research computers. Holy Grounds, the campus coffee shop, is here as well. The Library’s collection of books and journals as well as study tables are located on the second floor, along with the Danish Immigrant Archives.
  • Rasmussen Center for Community Advancement Professions - The groundbreaking for the newest academic campus building was April 27, 2007. The 42,851-square-foot (3,981.0 m2), $8.5 million building is located at the corner of Grandview Avenue and East 14th Street (U.S. Route 69), north of the library. The building opened in fall 2008 and houses the departments of art, education, history, criminal justice, political studies, psychology and sociology, as well as general-purpose classrooms, art studios, computer labs, a writing center, faculty offices, and various student amenities. The building is named after Jim and Sandra Rasmussen, longtime supporters of Grand View who contributed $3 million to the building campaign.
  • Student Center - Located at the corner of Grandview Avenue and East 14th Street (U.S. Route 69), the Student Center was completed in 1981, with an addition added in 1986. The building contains academic and career success centers, a recreation area, deli, bookstore, the Viking Theatre, student services, and music classrooms.

Building Activity

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