Published in Breaking News

Two Grand Rapids families donate $15 million to Michigan State University’s medical research center

BY MiBiz Staff Monday, May 09, 2016 10:11am

Michigan State University received two major donations totaling $15 million for the forthcoming $88.1 million Grand Rapids Research Center.

Richard and Helen DeVos donated $10 million to the project, while Peter and Joan Secchia gave $5 million.

“We are tremendously grateful for the ongoing generosity of the Secchia and DeVos families and their vision of a better, healthier world,” MSU President Lou Anna Simon said. “They have imagined and made a commitment to invest in the medical discoveries that are yet to come and believe this community will be a driving force in making them happen.”

Rising on the site of the former Grand Rapids Press building at Michigan Street and Monroe Avenue, Grand Rapids Research Center will house MSU scientists and faculty physicians from the College of Human Medicine, plus researchers from partnering institutions.

“The center will help to tap into this network on a deeper level and expand the medical research agenda. It will be a magnet to attract business in the life sciences and growth in biotechnology,” Peter Secchia said.

Peter Secchia, a 1963 graduate of MSU’s Eli Broad College of Business, and Joan Secchia, a 1964 graduate of the College of Education, also donated the lead gift years ago for the MSU College of Human Medicine’s headquarters in downtown Grand Rapids, which was named the Secchia Center.

Targeted for a late 2017 opening, the center will provide space for 44 research teams focused on autism, inflammation, transplantation, cancer, genetics, pediatric neurology, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, women’s health and reproductive medicine, among other critical health areas. MSU already has recruited more than a dozen research team leaders who will work in the center.

MSU is working to raise $40 million through a capital campaign to support development of the research center. MSU expects the balance of the cost to come from research funding.

“Michigan State’s research enterprise is ushering in a whole new era of medical discovery and there is no place we’d rather see that happen than Grand Rapids,” said Rich DeVos.

The DeVoses in the past have provided major gifts for the Secchia Center, Spectrum Health’s Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and Grand Valley State University’s Cook-DeVos Center for Health.

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