If you choose to use a third party client (Microsoft Outlook, Mac Mail, Thunderbird, etc.) to access your Gmail@Valpo account, you can setup an IMAP connection to the Gmail servers. Please note that there are some potential drawbacks to accessing your email this way.
Google has a help page that lists specific problems known about IMAP connections: http://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=78771.
To setup an IMAP connection, you will first need to enable IMAP within the Gmail interface.
You can choose which labels will by synced via IMAP as well. While in the Mail Settings, select the link for "Labels." Here you will see all of the labels that exist within your Gmail@Valpo account and you can select the ones that will be needed in your local client.
To setup your local client, you will need to input the Gmail IMAP server information when creating your account. These directions are located in the Google help pages at http://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=78799.
Please note that not all third party clients are supported by Gmail. The list of supported clients is available at http://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=75726&ctx=mail.