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University receives largest-ever gift

September 14, 2015
| By Pat Evans |
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Filling the real-world gaps
Davenport University has more than 9,000 students on campuses across the state and online, with more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs. Courtesy Davenport University

A local university has received the largest gift in its history.

Davenport University said this afternoon that it has received a $5.5-million gift to its endowment fund from the M.E. Davenport Foundation. The gift is over four years.

The family foundation has now given a total of $15.4 million to the university over the years.

“With this gift, we are seeking to reflect the shared origins and values of both the foundation and the university,” said Peggy Moceri, immediate past president of the foundation and a granddaughter of the foundation’s namesake, Michael Edward Davenport, founder of what is now Davenport University.

“The purpose of the endowment is to regenerate, in an enduring way, M.E. Davenport’s founding motto: ‘Make a Living, Make a Life, Make a Contribution.’”

Davenport has more than 9,000 students on campuses across the state and online, with more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.

Davenport said the “perpetual innovation fund, for which details continue to be developed,” will support academic and learning-related initiatives not subject to the regular university operating budget.

The gift also brings the university’s Investing in the Vision Campaign total to more than $18 million. The campaign has a goal of $25 million.

The university's Vision 2020 strategic plan was announced in July with plans to build on success of the previous five-year plan to accelerate student outcomes to compare competitively with Michigan’s leading public universities. A large goal of the plan is to become less dependent on tuition.

Next year, Davenport celebrates its 150th anniversary.

“This is an extraordinary gift from the foundation and a tremendous boost for our Investing in the Vision Campaign,” Davenport University President Richard Pappas said. “This investment by the foundation will have a lasting impact on the university’s ability to develop innovative new programs.”

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