Davenport University this week rolled out the public phase of a $35 million capital campaign.
The Grand Rapids-based Davenport has netted pledges totaling $22.9 million from grants and donors for the Elevate fundraising campaign to support first-generation students, K-12 urban educators, and the Latino community.
The effort “aligns with the goals of Davenport’s vision, Vision 2025, that is pushing our university to set the bar in higher education by removing situational, social, and financial barriers so that all students have the opportunity to become the leaders Michigan’s economy and communities need to elevate and thrive,” said Davenport President Richard Pappas.
“Our ability to solve these issues and expand access for students will enable our university to nurture and grow the diverse talent needed to address Michigan’s growing talent gap,” Pappas said.
The Elevate campaign will support several Davenport initiatives, including recruiting and preparing teachers at the undergraduate level through the College of Urban Education to address a talent gap in STEM education in urban schools districts nationally.
The campaign will also support programs and activities for first-generation students to overcome academic, emotional and financial obstacles so they “thrive in their first year in college and ultimately reach graduation,” according to a campaign announcement.
Other initiatives backed by the Elevate campaign include:
- Casa Latina to support the Latino/a/x community through dual-language degrees in high-demand careers in business, health care, education, technology, and the sciences. The university this fall hired Carlos Sanchez as executive director of a new Latino program that seeks to recruit more Latino staff, faculty and students, as MiBiz previously reported.
- Expanding academic programming to develop future professionals in high-demand careers in mental health and more onsite support and mental health services for students at Davenport’s campuses.
- Extending online class offerings to include Livestream, on-demand, flex, and blended options so students can “learn in the format most beneficial to their needs.”
- Additional scholarships to allow more Davenport students to graduate with degrees and with the lowest debt possible.
Support for the Elevate campaign includes contributions from the Jandernoa Foundation to support urban educators; the Eileen DeVries Family Foundation supporting scholarships for first-generation students; Keith and Kathy Klingenberg to create the Klingenberg Mental Health Fund; Steve and Tana Wessell, in honor of Ty Wessell, to fund the Casa Latina Launch; and the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation for a scholarship match fund for first-generation students, urban educators and the launch of Casa Latina.
Davenport University has about 5,500 students at campuses in Grand Rapids, Holland, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Midland, Traverse City, Detroit, Warren, plus online offerings.