Monthly Archive for September, 2014

2014 Alumni Award Recipients Announced!

Each year the DU Alumni Association honors deserving Davenport University alumni for their professional accomplishments, contributions in the community and support of Davenport University’s mission, vision and values.  We are  pleased to honor the 2014 class of alumni award recipients at the Alumni Awards Celebration being held on Thursday, October 9, 2014 at the W.A. Lettinga Campus in Grand Rapids (map).  For more information and to register online, click here.

Davenport University Distinguished Alumni Award
F. Jack Meyering (Class of 1956)

Mr. Meyering founded Atlas Truck Rental & Leasing in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Jack grew Atlas to a fleet of over 3,000 vehicles, employing 500 staff members at 25 locations throughout Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.  When Jack sold the business in 1989, Atlas was the largest independently owned truck rental and leasing company in the United States.  Jack credits his success to the education he received from Davenport specifically within the fields of sales and marketing.  Mr. Meyering now spends time in Florida, Charlevoix and the greater Grand Rapids-area.

Davenport University Hy Berkowitz Professional Excellence Award
Bridgett Tubbs-Carlon (Class of 2001)

Bridgett is the founder and owner of several West Michigan AppleTree Learning Centers.  In May, 2014, Bridgett was recognized at the Grand Rapids Chamber’s EPIC Awards ceremony – earning the Woman-Owned Business of the Year award.  Bridgett and her husband, Doug, opened the first AppleTree on Monroe Avenue in 1998 so their infant daughter could be cared for in a safe, nurturing environment.  In 2007, Doug lost his battle with cancer, but she continued to pursue their dream by building additional state-of-the-art childcare and early education centers where children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old can grow, learn and thrive.  She and her corporate partners recently launched Gilden Woods Early Care and Preschool as a new partnership venture using AppleTree as its foundation.  There are currently 14 AppleTree and Gilden Woods schools operating in Michigan.

Davenport University Donald W. Maine College of Business Alumni Achievement Award
Brian Behler (Class of 2003)

Brian graduated from Davenport in 2003 with a degree in Management.  Brian currently holds the title of Assistant General Manager of the JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.  He is a rising star within the Hospitality Industry, and has been working in the profession since 1991.  Brian was selected to be on the JW Marriott Grand Rapids management team that opened the hotel in 2007, and later received the “Leader Associate Award” for pre-opening team performance, and considers himself to be an Ambassador in Grand Rapids and at the JW.  In 2005, Brian was named “Director of Sales of the Year” for the Intercontinental Hotels Group, and received the prestigious recognition from the Grand Rapids Business Journal as being profiled in the “Forty Under Forty” category for young business leaders.  Brian notes that the instructors and real-time professional input and influence they had on him within the classroom at DU were perfect to help accelerate his career.

Davenport University College of Health Professions Alumni Achievement Award
Yvonne Alles (Class of 2005)

Yvonne graduated from Davenport University in 1999 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Care Administration, then went on to complete her MBA in 2005 in Health Care Management.  After a 23-year career in medical staff administration at Spectrum Health, Yvonne now serves as Department Chair of Allied Health for the College of Health Professions at Davenport University.  As a life-long learner at Davenport, Yvonne also received a Professional Secretary Certification and an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certificate from Davenport before working on her Bachelor’s Degree.  Yvonne has been teaching at Davenport for almost 20 years and “seeks to demonstrate a passion and enthusiasm for thinking outside of books and to inspire DU students to be healthcare workers who may also serve as future teachers.”  Two of her three children are also Davenport grads, and her oldest son is an occasional adjunct faculty member.

Davenport University College of Technology Alumni Achievement Award
Michael DeJong (Class of 1988)

Michael recently retired as the Director of Information Technology and served as the Chief Information Officer at Bissell Homecare, Inc.  He was responsible for all aspects of information technology for the 1 billion dollar consumer appliance company which included a 15 million dollar budget, oversight of 30 I/T employees and 12 global sites.  Michael also held a multitude of high-level positions with the Sara Lee Corporation in West Michigan and also in Cincinnati and Chicago during his 20 years with the company.  Michael combines his I/T knowledge and acute business acumen to drive value in business.  He served as a member of the West Michigan CIO Council and as a Board Member of the Warren County United Way.

Davenport University Outstanding Young Alumni Award
Sara Hop (Class of 2009)

Sara is a 2009 graduate of Davenport, where she completed her degree in International Business and Sports Management.  In 2008, as an intern at Van Andel Institute, Sara established the grassroots fundraising program called “Purple Community,” which empowers individuals to raise awareness and money for cancer and Parkinson’s disease research.  Over 120 “Purple Community” events took place in the last year, raising over $350,000 for Van Andel Institute.  Today, Sara serves as a Purple Community Coordinator III at Van Andel Institute, and is actively pursuing her Masters of Education degree with a focus in Higher Education at GVSU.  Sara also volunteers in the community, is an active member of Davenport’s Young Alumni Council and is frequently engaged with the DU Alumni Association.


The Homecoming tradition continues the week of October 6th!

Davenport’s 2014 Homecoming Week will be taking place from October 6-11 on the W.A. Lettinga Campus in Grand Rapids. While daily activities will take place for students, alumni and friends are invited to kick-off  a weekend worth of events on Thursday.

Thursday, October 9 | 2014 Alumni Awards Celebration

6 p.m. – Opening reception
6:30 p.m. – Awards program
7:30 p.m. – Strolling Dinner & Cocktails

Location: Davenport University Robert W. Sneden Center (map)

For more information and to register online, click here.


Friday, October 10 | 12th Annual Homecoming Tailgate

Alumni, friends and families are cordially invited to Davenport’s 12th Annual Homecoming Tailgate filled with food, fun and rugby! All activities will take place on the W.A. Lettinga campus near the Student Center (map).

4:30 p.m – Women’s Rugby vs. Calvin College
5:30 – 7:30 p.m. – Alumni Tailgate
7:30 p.m. – Men’s Rugby vs. Arkansas State University

Click here for more information.


Saturday, October 11 | Final weekend of ArtPrize

Stay the night in Grand Rapids on Friday and enjoy the final weekend of ArtPrize, an international art competition that takes over the city for almost three weeks.  Art from around the world will be displayed, and the event is free and open to the public.

Plan you visit to ArtPrize here!


Employer internship training seminars offered through DU

Intrigued by internships?  DU can be your resource for program start up, expansion and success best practices!

Learn from local experts and gain university perspective on the “do’s” and “do not’s” of getting leadership buy-in, recruiting, and managing interns to impact your bottom line.  No organization is too big or too small to contribute to and gain something from this conversation.  From alumni that are decision makers, or those who can see where interns could make a difference in their organizations, to seasoned Human Resources professionals, the Employer Internship Training Seminars can be a benefit to all.  If you are interested or know of employers that would benefit from learning about successful internship programs, please keep reading…

Statewide summer events a smashing success!

Young Alumni Whitecaps 

On Thursday, July 17, the DU Young Alumni Council hosted a night of baseball with the West Michigan Whitecaps. Guests enjoyed a pre-game “meet and greet” at Vitale’s Restaurant, and from there proceeded to Fifth Third Ballpark to watch the Whitecaps bring home a 3-1 win over the Peoria Chiefs.

Please see photos of the event here.


Lansing Lugnuts

On Friday, July 18, the Mid-Michigan Alumni Council hosted  a Lansing Lugnuts outing for alumni and friends in the Mid-Michigan area. Nearly 60 guests gathered to support their home team take on the Kane County Cougars.

Please see photos of the event here.


Great Lakes Loons

On Saturday, July 19, the Great Lakes Alumni Council hosted Davenport graduates from the “thumb” region of Michigan –  including alumni from the Saginaw, Midland, Bay City and Caro campuses.  Nearly 70 guests enjoyed watching the Loons bring home a 4-2 win from Lasorda’s Landing.

Please see photos of the event here.



Whitecaps’ Super Suite 

On Thursday, July 31, The Davenport University Alumni Association hosted alumni, friends and family at the “Super Suite,” the largest suite at Fifth Third Ballpark – home field for the West Michigan Whitecaps.  Fantastic food and great conversations ruled the evening on this beautiful summer night, and the 5-4 win over the Captains was a great ending to the evening.

Please see photos of the event here.


DU @ the Zoo

On Saturday, August 2, the Davenport University SE Michigan Alumni Council hosted over 450 DU alumni, friends and their families at the spectacular Detroit Zoo.  The day included fun and excitement under the Davenport tent, where food, arts & crafts, face painting, ice cream and scavenger hunt prize packs ruled the day.

When guests weren’t in the tent, they were out exploring one of the best zoos in the Midwest, as many of the animals were active and out and about, providing many viewing opportunities.  This event continues to be one of the Alumni Association’s most well-attended gatherings and remains a staple on many of the calendars of Livonia, Warren, Detroit College of Business and more distant campuses’ alumni during the mid-summer months.

Please see photos of the event here.


Dertroit College of Business & DU Golf Outing

On Friday, August 8, the DU Alumni Association and many friends and supporters from one of Davenport’s predecessor institutions, the Detroit College of Business (DCB), joined together to enjoy a day of golf at the Dearborn Hills Golf Course to support scholarships for SE Michigan Davenport University students.  The weather was perfect and a beautiful day of golf was followed by a delicious dinner and award ceremony!

Please see photos of the event here.


Davenport Scholarship Golf Classic

Monday, August 18 marked the 28th Annual Davenport Scholarship Golf Classic held at Egypt Valley Country Club in Ada, Michigan.  The weather was spectacular, and the day included lunch, 18 holes of golf, a post-golf reception and dinner, and a fantastic live auction at the Country Club.  Proceeds from the event support DU student scholarships, and in 27+ years, this event has raised over $1.3 million dollars.

Please see photos of the event here.


Flint-area Alumni Picnic

On Saturday, August 23rd, the DU Flint Alumni Council hosted the 1st Annual Flint Alumni Picnic at Elms Park in Swartz Creek, Michigan.  About 35 guests enjoyed endless hotdogs and  hamburgers as well as plenty of games and competitions that led to outstanding prizes for participants.

Please see photos of the event here.


Coming Soon: DU Alumni Association sponsors Detroit Tigers Alumni Night!

Be on the lookout in September for an exclusive offer from your DU Alumni Association to receive free tickets to a Detroit Tigers’ game in late September and enjoy the last week of the regular season with fellow Davenport alumni.  Tickets could be allotted via an email invite or through the Alumni Association’s Facebook page, so be on the lookout for your opportunity to snag a pair!  Tickets are in very high demand and are of limited quantity, so check your email and our Facebook page often!


Upcoming events

Alumni/Student Financial Planning and LinkedIn Information Night
Sponsored by the Mid-Michigan Alumni Council 

Date: September 22
Location: DU Lansing Campus (map)

More information and registration coming to soon.

5th Annual DU Hockey Alumni Golf Outing

Date: September 27
Time: 7:30 a.m. – Breakfast & Registration; 8:30 a.m. – Shotgun Start
Location: Quail Ridge Golf Course (map)

Register online here.

Saginaw Family Bowling Outing
Sponsored by the Great Lakes Alumni Council

Date: October 4
12 – 2 p.m.
Location: Stardust Lanes, Saginaw MI (map)

Register online here.

2014 Alumni Awards Celebration

Date: October 9
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Davenport University Robert W. Sneden Center

Register online here.

12th Annual Homecoming Tailgate

Date: October 10
Time: 5:30 p.m. – Tailgate; 7:30 p.m. Men’s Rugby vs. Arkansas State Univ.
Location: W.A. Lettinga Campus Student Center

Click here for more information.

Alumni night with the Detroit Red Wings

Date: March 6
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Joe Louis Arena (map)

More information and registration coming to soon.