Rushing Valley: A Viewbook Guide
Kenneth Burchfiel, ftHG
From the moment they arrive on campus, students realize that Rushing Valley is a college.
“There’s a sign that says ‘University’ right near the entrance,” one student said, “so you know they’re not trying to fool you..”
But Rushing Valley offers far more than a sign. Its staff includes more than three dozen teachers, giving students the chance to take classes and study for a major.
“It’s great to have teachers, because otherwise, you wouldn’t have much to do during class,” sophomore Bryan Wills said. “I mean, would you even have class?”
The Michigan campus takes great care to keep its students happy. It offers “dormitories,” or large buildings in which students can place books, talk with friends and even sleep. Says one student, “I just love my dorm. There’s a bed in it, and if I have to use the bathroom, I just have to walk down the hall.”
But what truly sets Rushing Valley apart, students say, are the “grades” the college offers. In an innovative move, Rushing Valley’s first dean decided that students who performed well in class would receive an “A,” and those who did poorly would get a “D” or an “F.” Not satisfied there, the dean decided to assign each student a “Grade Point Average,” which compiles said letters into a numerical score.
“The Grade Point Average was really what made me decide to attend Rushing Valley,” senior Patricia Silver said. “One semester, I didn’t know if I was doing well enough in class. I talked to one of my teachers, and she said that I had a “B” in that class. Boy, was I relieved!”
On weekends, the campus is one of only 3,500 in the nation to offer sporting events. Rushing Valley does not just let students take classes and sleep in dorms, but gives them the chance to participate in football, basketball and even soccer. When students lobbied for a means to watch school games, the campus even built a set of stands so that they could watch events from nearby.
Resources are where the school shines most, sophomore Devon Clay explained. When she needed a way to learn more about a subject, she was impressed to see a library on campus that housed books on subjects as diverse as Geography and Biology.
“I mean, where else could you find an entire shelf dedicated to European History?” she asked in a rhetorical manner. “They even had computers, meaning I could type my research paper right there and print it out.”
After four years of learning, students here attend a time-honored event: graduation. Departing seniors wear black capes and caps—a Rushing Valley tradition—and walk up on a stage to receive their diploma from the dean himself.
“I was so elated when I threw my cap into the air,” a graduate student reported. “And as the hat came back down, I thought to myself: boy, is this a unique institution.”
By all accounts, the graduate student is right. After all, Rushing Valley is not just any institution: it is a college.