In 1995, Cru staff member Chuck Roeper initiated a five-day lecture series on the U-M campus called “The Veritas Forum.” Following the Veritas Forum, a few graduate students expressed their desire to start a ministry at U-M specifically for graduate students. During the Winter Semester of 1996, “Michigan Christian Grads” (MCGrads) began as a partnership between Cru and another international Christian mission agency at U-M, called The Navigators.
The first two years MCGrads existed primarily as a coed Bible Study and prayer group. The third year MCGrads participated in Rackham’s New Grad Student Orientation. As a result, MCGrads grew in number, activity and visibility on campus.
Over the years MCGrads continued to grow and expand its ministry. A number of men’s and women’s Bible Study groups started. The MCGrads website was designed and then redesigned a couple more times. The weekly MCGrads Group Email List started. Campus-wide and smaller departmental outreach events were sponsored. Additional events became regular features. A few years later The Navigator staff discontinued their ministry at U-M, so Cru continued the MCGrads ministry alone.
In 2009 MCGrads changed it’s name to GradCru, helping it to be more visible as a graduate student ministry of Cru at the University of Michigan.
Chuck and Dianne continue to provide coordination for GradCru. In 2009 Jane Girard (Yu-Chen Liu) joined them, first as an Intern and then in 2011 as full-time GradCru staff. Then in early 2015 Jane’s husband, Brandon, joined the GradCru team. And in the Fall 2015 Hayley Nasrallah joined the GradCru team (first as an Intern, now as part-time staff).
In February 2017 GradCru initiated and co-sponsored Dr. Ravi Zacharias and Abdu Murray speaking before a capacity audience of 3,500 students, faculty, and people from the community at U-M’s Hill Auditorium (and streamed worldwide).
Now it’s 2017-18. We hope you will join with us and continue to make GradCru history.