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Insurer donates 45 acres to university

October 1, 2014
| By Pat Evans |
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Insurer donates 45 acres to university
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A national multi-line insurer has donated 45 acres of land in the area to a university to help it expand its athletic complex.

Panthers at home

Davenport University in Grand Rapids said today that the donation by Farmers Insurance Group will ensure the university can expand its Farmers Insurance Athletic Complex on 68th Street.

The expansion is due in part to the school’s need to accommodate its expanded track and field team and the new football team slated to arrive in 2016.

Rockford Construction in Grand Rapids will “commence work immediately” on the track and field facility, which should open next year.

The turf football field should be ready in the fall of 2016.

The expanded acreage will also accommodate additional parking for other athletic programs at the complex, including baseball, softball and tennis.

The complex now includes 68 acres, including a previous 17-acre donation from Farmers.


Richard Pappas, president at Davenport University, said the school is “deeply grateful for this generous gift of land.”

“Expanding the facilities that support our athletic programs is a key strategic component of the university’s growth plans at the W.A. Lettinga Campus, providing more opportunities for student athletes to pursue degrees,” Pappas said. "Farmers Insurance has been an outstanding collaborator for DU, and we are proud of our association with this industry leader and West Michigan neighbor.”

Steve Boshoven, president of Farmers Specialty Insurance, said the insurer has had “an outstanding relationship with Davenport University for some time.”

“Numerous Farmers’employees are seeking degrees from Davenport and benefitting from a tuition discount,” Boshoven said. “We also have worked closely with the university to develop a bachelor’s degree with an insurance focus. This land gift further extends our cooperation and the Farmers Insurance Athletic Complex, benefitting students and the entire community.”

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