About Purple Community

About Van Andel Institute Purple Community

Van Andel Institute Purple Community is a grassroots fundraising program whose dedicated volunteers support VAI’s mission of improving the health and enhancing the lives of current and future generations.

Purple Community volunteers host dozens of events each year that raise critical funds to support groundbreaking research into diseases like cancer and Parkinson’s, and science education programs at the Institute.

Purple Community volunteers support VAI for a number of reasons. Some have been personally impacted by the diseases being studied by world-class scientists at the Institute or know a friend or family member who has been affected. Others support the K–12 and graduate science education programs at VAI that foster the next generation of scientific leaders.

There are plenty of ways to get involved with Purple Community, including:

No matter how you give, 100% of any funds raised through your efforts go directly toward research and science education.

To learn more about how you can get involved, email purplecommunity@vai.org.

About Van Andel Institute

Van Andel Institute (VAI) is an independent biomedical research and science education organization committed to improving the health and enhancing the lives of current and future generations. Established by Jay and Betty Van Andel in 1996 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, VAI has grown into a premiere research and educational institution that supports the work of more than 360 scientists, educators and staff.

Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), the research division of VAI, is dedicated to determining the epigenetic, genetic, molecular and cellular origins of cancer, Parkinson’s and other diseases and translating those findings into effective therapies. The Institute’s scientists work in on-site laboratories and participate in collaborative partnerships that span the globe.

Van Andel Education Institute (VAEI), the education division of VAI, is leading a national revolution in science education by uniquely empowering teachers to engage students to think and act like scientists. VAEI is dedicated to strengthening science education through programs that provide hands-on, inquiry-based learning opportunities across the entire educational spectrum — from elementary up to the professional level.  

Van Andel Institute Graduate School (VAIGS) develops future leaders in biomedical research through an intense problem-focused Ph.D. degree in cell and molecular genetics. By combining rigorous, inquiry-based coursework with extensive experience in laboratories led by the Institute’s expert faculty, VAIGS prepares students for productive careers in biomedical research and beyond.