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Secchias donate $5 million to MSU for Grand Rapids Research Center COURTESY PHOTO

Secchias donate $5 million to MSU for Grand Rapids Research Center

BY Friday, November 01, 2019 06:05am

GRAND RAPIDS — A $5 million gift from Peter and Joan Secchia completes Michigan State University’s $30 million capital campaign for the downtown Grand Rapids Research Center.

The donation to MSU comes as the latest contribution from the Secchias, both of whom are Spartan alums.

“Joan and I are committed to helping MSU and the College of Human Medicine and are happy to help them close the books on this building project,” Peter Secchia, a 1963 graduate of MSU’s Eli Broad College of Business, said in a statement. Joan Secchia graduated in 1964 from the MSU College of Education.

Secchia decided to make the contribution after learning that the College of Human was short of funding to get the capital campaign for the research center “over the top.” He looked at his assets and “scraped together” $5 million to complete the capital campaign for the Grand Rapids Research Center, which anchors the eastern end of the Medical Mile, a clinical, education and research cluster.

“It’s given everybody a real new view of Grand Rapids,” Secchia told MiBiz. “When you put the research center together and the research buildings, and you add Grand Valley (State University), and you add Spectrum Health and you add Van Andel (Institute), and you add the others who want to participate, we have a gangbuster host for the Medical Mile. People will be coming here for years.”

The Secchias joined the late Richard and Helen DeVos in 2016 for a combined gift of $15 million to launch MSU’s capital campaign on behalf of the $88 million Grand Rapids Research Center that opened two years ago. The couples previously made a $20 million combined gift to construct and name the Secchia Center on Michigan Street, home of MSU’s College of Human Medicine.

“We are immensely grateful for the ongoing generosity of the Secchias and their vision for a better, healthier world,” MSU President Samuel Stanley Jr. said in a statement. “They made a commitment to invest in the medical discoveries that are yet to come and believe this community is a driving force in making them happen.”

The latest contribution will free up capital for MSU, giving the College of Human Medicine “a tremendous opportunity to further invest in recruiting the world’s top scientists to Grand Rapids,” said Norman Beauchamp, the university’s vice president for health sciences.

“Peter and Joan are extraordinary. They understand our mission of bringing hope and healing, and they have been tireless supporters,” Beauchamp said in a statement. 

The contribution from the Secchias comes a week after MSU announced a $19.5 million gift from Doug Meijer and the Meijer Foundation to design, construct and equip a radiopharmacy at the planned Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Building, as MiBiz was first to report. The facility is planned for a lot adjacent to the Grand Rapids Research Center.

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