Monthly Archive for September, 2015

DU Receives Diversity Award

We are proud to announce that Davenport University has received the 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. This marks the fourth consecutive year Davenport has been honored with the HEED Award, which recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.  Davenport University will be featured along with 91 other recipients in INSIGHT Into Diversity’s November 2015 issue.

“We are honored to be recognized with this award for the fourth consecutive year. Davenport University prides itself on the exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives, Continue reading ‘DU Receives Diversity Award’

Spotlight on your Impact Fall 2015: Campus Emergency Fund

Over the past few months, we have shared stories of the students and alumni who achieved great success due to the gracious support of our community. Today we would like to share a unique way donors are impacting the success of our students, through the campus emergency funds. These funds were created to support students with temporary hardship outside of the reach of financial aid that create barriers to academic success.

At the beginning of this school year, one student at the W.A. Lettinga campus tragically lost their home and possessions in a house fire, including all of their school supplies. Through the campus emergency fund and the generosity of the individuals who support it, this student was able to quickly purchase everything needed to start the school year with as little disruption as possible.

With your support, this student and the many students who experience similar hardship are able to overcome these temporary setbacks and excel. Together we can ensure these funds remain available to serve the students who need them.  For more information or to assist students in need in your community by supporting a campus emergency fund contact Sarah Mitchell or visit our website to make a donation.

Alumni Success Story: Laura Oblinger ’00

We are proud to feature Laura Oblinger for our next Alumni Success Spotlight and also recognize her as the 2015 Donald W. Maine College of Business Alumni Award winner. As a proud DU grad, Laura is the first female executive director in the Traverse City Chamber of Commerce’s 100-year history. As the Chamber’s Executive Director, Laura has the oversight of all program and service work, including public policy and legislative affairs; Chamber organizational structure and procedures; communications strategies of membership and making sure its members needs are met; while keeping staff aligned and engaged with the strategy of long-range planning.

In her 12 years at the Chamber, through the collaboration with fellow staff members and critical volunteer committees, she has led processes that introduced new communication strategies that have helped members remain engaged.   Many of the Chamber’s existing events and programs have been enhanced to attract record crowds while introducing and launching new programs to meet the needs of members.

In 2014, under her leadership, the Chamber was named Chamber of the Year by the Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals. For three consecutive years, she was recognized in the Traverse City Business News as one of the top 40Under40 most influential professionals Continue reading ‘Alumni Success Story: Laura Oblinger ’00′

New 12-month MBA Program

Davenport University is excited to announce our 12-month MBA program!

Are you a forward thinker who is looking to take the next step professionally but discouraged about how long it may take to get there?  If so, our 12-month MBA is the perfect fit for you!
  • Predetermined schedule leading to completion in 12 months 
  • Classes are one evening per week, at our Peter C. Cook campus, located downtown Grand Rapids
  • Alumni scholarships and tuition discounts available
  • Online or in-seat
  • No GMAT/GRE required
For students who have a degree in Business, there are no additional pre-requisite courses.   If a 12-month MBA is not for you, Davenport offers many flexible options to complete your Graduate degree and advance your career; on-line, in-seat and competency based. 
Hurry, classes start October 28 and it’s not too late to enroll!  Call 1-800-686-1600 for further information or apply online at to get started. 

Alumni Success Story: Sam Abu-Ajwah ’11

Sam Abu-Ajwah is the 2015 Hy Berkowitz Professional Excellence Award Winner. We are proud to honor Sam with this award, as he exemplifies University values and has made outstanding contributions in his career to become a very successful DU grad. Sam received his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree in 1999 and soon after he left his home country of Amman Jordan to immigrate to the United States.

For many years, Sam worked for several system integrators as a Project, Systems and Controls Engineer, where he gained experience working on a host of automated assembly and test equipment projects. Between the years of 2007 and 2012, Sam worked in the solar industry where he gained experience in managing large-scale construction projects in addition to leading sizeable project teams. Through hard work and an appetite for learning, Sam quickly gained additional leadership skills and autonomy. In 2004, Sam received his citizenship and officially established himself as an engineering professional.

It was at the tenth year of his professional journey when things started clicking and the full picture started forming. At that point, he was heavily involved in engineering and engineering management, and just starting to get into the financial management of projects and the organization’s P&L.  That is when he officially made the transition into project and financial management, but at the same time realized that he was still missing something – Continue reading ‘Alumni Success Story: Sam Abu-Ajwah ’11′

DU announces largest gift in history from M.E. Davenport Foundation

Gift of $5.5 million to endowment fund to support innovations in academics and learning

Davenport University announced it has received a gift to its endowment fund of $5.5 million over the next four years from the M.E. Davenport Foundation. It is the single largest gift in the University’s history and brings historical giving to Davenport University by the independent, family foundation to more than $15.4 million. “This is an extraordinary gift from the foundation and a tremendous boost for our ‘Investing in the Vision’ Campaign,” said Dr. Richard Pappas, President of Davenport University. “We have now received commitments for more than $18 million toward our $25 million goal. This investment by the Foundation will have a lasting impact on the University’s ability to develop innovative new programs.”

“Throughout its existence the M.E. Davenport has supported Davenport University as well as other community initiatives. 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. “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.”

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. Besides its impact on the University’s current fundraising campaign, the gift also supports work toward the University’s recently announced Vision 2020 long-range plan, in which innovation plays a large part. The timing also anticipates year-long celebrations in 2016 of Davenport University’s 150th Anniversary.

Alumni Success Story: David Zokoe ’11

To help get us in the spirit of the Alumni Awards Celebration on October 2nd, our next few alumni success stories will feature 2015 award winners. First up, we are proud to spotlight the Outstanding Young Alumni award winner, David Zokoe, Class of 2011. Dave’s passion for people underlines his career, family, faith and hobbies.  That passion for people led Dave on a multi-year journey through GVSU, a restaurant venture, and finally to Davenport University where he graduated, with honor, in 2011.

Less than six months after graduating from the DU’s Donald W. Maine College of Business, David was promoted to the position of Corporate Account Manager in the Grand Rapids area for Consumers Energy. In this position, David manages relationships with fifty of the largest, most energy intensive business in the Ionia, Wyoming, and Kentwood areas. He is responsible for customer satisfaction, customer retention, energy optimization goals and sales of value-add products.  Together, Dave’s customers represent $60M in annual revenue.

Outside of his corporate job, David and his wife, Alex, also have a growing entrepreneurial business. Their company buys and sells Continue reading ‘Alumni Success Story: David Zokoe ’11′

Online Career Fair hosted by Hello West Michigan

Recently graduated and looking for a job? Don’t miss the Hello West Michigan Online Career Fair on Wednesday, September 16!

Connect with recruiters from companies who have current job openings at the Hello West Michigan Online Career Fair. This virtual event allows you to chat one-on-one with company representatives in West Michigan from the comfort of your home or office with a computer, tablet, or smartphone. If you are originally from West Michigan and want to return, or just heard that it is a great place to live, register for this online fair, happening September 16 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

To register and view which companies will be participating, visit their website!

Alumni Success Story: Mike Nelsen ’87

Being a differentiator in and out of the classroom!

From the call center manager at JCPenney to becoming the Chief Development Officer of CommerceHub, Mike Nelsen is recognized as one of the retail industry‘s top experts on drop-ship fulfillment. Mike started to work at an early age and quickly become motivated by his paychecks. He knew he had to attend college and could have gone anywhere. He quickly was drawn to Davenport because of the flexible scheduling and proximity of the school to his work and home. Mike was able to start taking classes at 7:00 a.m. and work second shift. He loved how the professors were still involved in the industry, making the classroom work very hands-on and practical. “I can remember on my first day of class, I had a professor say, “Open the book…Now close the book…That is about the extent we are going to use the book. The class was based on real-life examples and information that I could directly apply to my work,” stated Mike.

After graduating in four years going to school and working full-time, Mike earned his BBA in Business in 1987. He quickly was promoted and recruited to help launch as employee number 2. Mike said, “They knew they wanted to sell things on the internet and they knew that I knew how to do it.” Mike built fulfillment operations from the ground up, including one of the industry’s first drop-ship networks of 300+ suppliers that powered $100+ million in 1999.  After, Continue reading ‘Alumni Success Story: Mike Nelsen ’87′