Reflection: The Evolution of GVAB Apparel

gvab 25 logo
Alternative Breaks has been promoting active citizenship at Grand Valley State University for 25 years. Community has been our priority ever since we got started in 1991.

In celebration of Grand Valley Alternative Breaks’ 25th anniversary, we recently opened one of our legacy boxes and found a variety of AB apparel. We had such a good time looking at these treasures that we couldn’t resist sharing!

Though Alternative Breaks has been at Grand Valley State University since 1991 (when our parent organization, Break Away, was founded), the oldest piece of clothing marked with a date was from the 2007-2008 school year. Despite this, several pieces look as if they could be older.

We’ve had various slogans and taglines in the past, and many have been featured on GVAB apparel. Here are a few examples:

  • Take the step, make the difference.
  • Peace. Love. AB.
  • Education. Service. Reflection.
  • We are the change.
  • Take the trail less traveled.
  • Get on board with Alternative Breaks
  • GV Lakers. Alternative Breakers. World Changers.

Some, such as “We are the change,” “Take the trail less traveled,” and “Get on board with Alternative Breaks,” were used briefly. “Take the step, make the difference,” was a prominent GVAB slogan for at least 5 years. The phrase “Education, Service, Reflection” is still relevant because it describes the Triangle of Quality Community Service, which is a concept at AB’s core. “Peace, Love, AB” is a common expression for Alternative Breakers and is still used frequently. Lastly, the phrase “GV Lakers, Alternative Breakers, World Changers,” was developed in the fall of 2015 and is still being employed.


We also found a Great Lakes Alternative Breaks tote bag from 2011, which was the most recent time the conference was hosted at GVSU. Several student leaders from our program were able to attend GLAB this year, and look forward to once again getting more involved in the future.


Other GVAB items from the past include multiple tote bags, water bottles, business cards, magnets, rubber band bracelets, buttons, pens, and sunglasses.

We’ve greatly enjoyed celebrating the past and learning about GVAB’s rich history, but we’ve also been motivated to move forward and embrace the future. Every day we are working to improve and grow. We want to build stronger relationships with community partners, cultivate a diverse and dynamic culture, create more opportunities for education, service, and reflection, and, of course, continue to advocate for active citizenship throughout our communities.

As we celebrate the stories of our past, we look forward to the next chapter. There are wonderful opportunities on the horizon!

If you know of any apparel or merchandise that we did not include here, please reach out to us on social media or email We would love to hear the stories you have to share! Additionally, please reach out to us if you are interested in joining the GVSU Alternative Breaks Alumni Association on Facebook. We are currently working on reconnecting with our alumni in a variety of exciting ways, and we can’t wait to share them with you!

Peace. Love. AB.


2/28 UPDATE: Our incredible alumni shared photos and stories with us on Facebook about GVAB apparel that we don’t have . Check it out!

To look at our history from a different angle, here are a few of the logos GVAB has sported throughout the years:

3/24 Update: Check out these awesome t-shirt from 1997 and 1998!


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