Monthly Archive for December, 2015

Happy New Year from your Alumni Association!

Best wishes to you in 2016, Davenport University’s 150th year!

New DU Review Magazine

We hope you are enjoying your winter break!

Now that winter has arrived, today would be a perfect day to get cozy under a warm blanket and read the latest issue of the the DU Review Magazine.

Check out the digital version!






Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays to our DU Alumni and families!

A Holiday Event to Remember

Be Merry and Bright!

More than 120 alumni and friends gathered at the Frederik Meijer Gardens on Tuesday, December 15 for the Annual Alumni Celebration.  DU alumni mingled while exploring the Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World exhibit. Strolling carolers, rooftop reindeer and more than 40 international trees and displays topped off the evening of fun. The Alumni Holiday Celebration is a signature annual tradition, with attendance growing every year.  View photos from the event on our Facebook page.

Alumni Success Story: IT Director at Tiara Yachts – Michelle Stonebrook ‘02

Anchoring the IT Department at Tiara Yachts

Michelle Stonebook ’02, IT Director at Tiara Yachts, is a self-proclaimed technology enthusiast. As a young girl, Michelle loved learning how things worked, and she got hooked on computers as a teenager. After high school, Michelle wanted to pursue an IT degree, but she didn’t know any women in the field or working toward a degree, and she questioned her ability to succeed in IT. So, she started her education career at Pensacola Christian College after high school, earning her degree in elementary education. After college, she moved home to be closer to family and began her career at Tiara Yachts a little over 24 years ago.

“I started working at Tiara Yachts while I was looking for a teaching job,” stated Michelle. “However I fell in love with the company as well as the work I did with computers. Tiara had an amazing tuition reimbursement program, so I decided to return to school to obtain my degree in IT.”

Beginning with accelerated classes, Michelle took two classes per semester for five years while working full-time. Michelle’s drive and passion for IT landed her a role in Tiara Yachts’ IT department before she finished her degree. After graduating with dual bachelor degrees in Systems Analysis/Application Development and PC & Network Management, she moved up in the department.

“When I started at Tiara there was only one person in the IT department,” Michelle explained.  “Now we have six full-time staff members who manage all aspects of our organization’s hardware, software, data, and communications. Our team also develops and manages the ERP system and other business software, maintains information security, and assists employees with all other IT related issues in both the Holland and Florida locations.”

“Davenport prepared me for success,” Michelle said. “I am able to directly apply what I learned in the classroom to my job today. One of my favorite experiences at DU was working on a COBOL project in class. My professor asked us to complete a software project from inception through completion, as if we were contractors. This project taught me the pattern for the software development lifecycle – investigation, analysis, design, development, testing, implementation, training, and maintenance.  While we no longer develop in COBOL, to this day I continue to make use of these patterns and processes in our development projects at Tiara.”

Michelle admits to being an adrenaline junkie who has gone skydiving, hang gliding, and on a race car ride along. She enjoys boating, riding her Harley, and traveling. She lives two miles from the Grand Haven Pier and takes every opportunity she can for outdoor adventure and travel.

Michelle is an inspiration to many women who have an interest in technology. She inspired her niece Kristen, who graduated from DU with degrees in Web Design and Development and Computer Information Systems and now has a web development role in DU’s IT Department. That is why we are extremely proud to feature her as our alumni success story.

First Ever Founder’s Day Giving Challenge – 1/25/16

2016 will be a year of celebration as Davenport University commemorates its 150th anniversary. To honor this milestone, we’re holding our first-ever giving week and we need your help!

By reading the blog post, YOU are one of the first people to know about Davenport University’s first-ever giving week. Your help is critical to reaching our goal. The #DU150 Challenge will run 150 hours, starting at 8:00 am January 25th and ending on Sunday, January 31st. We have set a participation goal, which means that each and every gift counts towards our goal of 150 people. All money raised supports the Founder’s Endowed Scholarship.

Let us know if you are interested in being an ambassador with this effort. Your voice and influence will help Davenport University reach the widest possible audience. As an ambassador, we will provide you with Facebook posts, emails, and images you can share to promote your support of DU. Email Courtney for more information.

Anyone, anywhere can get involved in #DU150 and give back in a way that is meaningful to them. Ways to give include calling our office at (616) 233.3416, emailing or using our secure online giving platform by clicking here.

New Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program in 2017

DU’s College of Health Professions is developing a new Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at its W.A. Lettinga Campus. The program is working toward Candidacy Status from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). The first class of physical therapy students will begin in January 2017 and Dr. Sue Klappa (pictured to the right), Founding Chair, is searching for faculty members with a terminal degree (Ph.D. or Ed.D.) for teaching positions.

The DPT program is a post-baccalaureate entry-level program that will provide the education students need to become a practicing physical therapist. It will provide practice-based education that is knowledge-driven and prepares students to be exceptional practitioners. Davenport’s program is different from other programs in that it incorporates a graduate certificate in Health Care Management. There will be extensive hands-on experiences through practical on-campus training and through immersion in real-world practice settings off campus.

The field of physical therapy is fast growing with the Bureau of Labor Statistics expecting a 30-percent growth by 2018.

Applications are being accepted for the Winter 2017 Semester. For more information about DU’s new entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program, call the College of Health Professions at 616-871-6150 or DU Admissions at 800-686-1600.



DU’s Michigan Performance Excellence Visit

We are pleased to share DU’s Michigan Performance Excellence program application passed the initial screening by a team of trained examiners and qualified for a site visit, which occurred last week. As a first-time applicant, DU is extremely honored to be recognized with this opportunity. The feedback we will receive represents an important milestone along DU’s quality journey, which we hope will one day result in national Baldrige Award recognition, a national performance excellence award. The greater reward, of course, is the continued improvements to the quality of education and experience we provide to our students.

“We adopted the Baldrige criteria as our framework for performance improvement when we launched Vision 2015 and have carried it forward with Vision 2020. Our participation in the State Quality Award process, provides extensive feedback highlighting strengths and opportunities for improvement based on an independent assessment made by recognized experts,” stated Scott Epstein, Executive VP for Quality & Effectiveness. The Michigan Performance Excellence program is the State of Michigan quality award program that is a required first step on the pathway toward national Baldrige Award recognition.

We are very thankful for our alums who have paved the way for our success. As Davenport University grows, so does the value of your education. Please help us spread the word about the quality initiatives by promoting DU within your personal network.

Five ways for you to get involved!

Be part of an active alumni network!

Follow the DU Alumni Association on Facebook, Linkedin or our blog. Connecting on our social media outlets is one of the fastest ways to get the most updated information on what is happening with the DU alumni.

Sign up to receive Davenport University e-mail updates to connect with fellow alumni and stay informed about DU’s latest initiatives, events and professional development opportunities.

Attend a DU Alumni Association event. View our upcoming events on our website.

Volunteer your time and talents to speak to a class, join at a regional alumni council, or offer advice on an alumni panel. Are you a recent grad in West Michigan? Join our Young Alumni Council!

Invest in future of DU students by contributing to the general fund, scholarships or a specific department. Learn more about giving back to DU.


Contact Information

To get involved in alumni activities or to learn more about benefits and services, contact:

Jason Madden ‘08
Executive Director of Alumni Relations and Development

Erik Dane ‘07
Assistant Director of Alumni Relations and Events

Sara Mooney ‘09
Assistant Director of Alumni Communications and Development