Archive for the '150th Anniversary' Category

Following Grandpa’s Footsteps – Roger Luurtsema & Allison Luurtsema #TBT Story

“I chose Davenport because I wanted instruction that was practical and directly applicable to my career,” Roger Luurtsema explained.  Now, nearly 65 years later, his granddaughter Allison Luurtsema is following in his footsteps; eager to learn and grow at Davenport.

Roger was born to Peter and Lillian Luurtsema in their Grand Rapids home in 1932 and graduated from Ottawa Hills High School. He knew he wanted to go into sales because he had uncles he admired who were salesmen and because he had “the gift of gab” and a sense of humor.

He enrolled at Davenport after high school in 1950 and still recalls that many of his instructors left a lasting impression.  Like instructor Andy Anderson, who tricked a shy boy into overcoming his fear of public speaking in the Dale Carnegie class or the commercial law instructor who was a lawyer and also an artist and illustrated principles of law with cartoon style drawings.

“Our class was very close and had a lot of comradery. We were on the second floor of the Fulton and N. Division street building. The first floor had retail stores and a restaurant where we often socialized over coffee and donuts,” Luurtsema reflected.

He appreciated that his classes were always led by people who were successful in their professional fields.  Roger remembered Robert Sneden as a good teacher who was professional, sophisticated and businesslike and added that, “we were all in awe of Mr. Davenport.”

“I am happy with my choice of attending Davenport,” said Roger. “Throughout my forty-five year career in sales, the fundamental principals were the thing that carried me through and that show the quality of the training.”

Roger earned his diploma for completing his salesmanship course from the Davenport-McLachlan Institute in 1951. He married five years after graduating from college and moved to Ann Arbor, MI to start his long, successful career.

Roger worked at a few different companies before settling in at EcoLab where he spent more than 33 years as a salesperson with a territory spanning from Lansing to Detroit. He also found success in translating his education and experience into training other salespeople.

During this time period, Roger and his wife, Wilma, started a family. They have five children, fifteen grandchildren, seventeen great grandchildren and more on the way.

One of his granddaughters, Allison Luurtsema, started at DU in the fall of 2016. Allison grew up playing soccer with her father, Phil, who also spent many hours on the soccer field as a kid. “She has won all the awards you can win, including the top female athlete of her high school,” said her proud grandfather.

When it came time to look for colleges, Allison knew she wanted to play soccer and pursue nursing. One of her coaches recommended Davenport. As her family researched options, Roger showed her a promotional piece with his photo on it from his days at Davenport.

Roger’s experience sparked Allison’s interested in Davenport. “I think it is a great connection to have with my grandpa. Similar to my connection with my dad and soccer, I am able to follow in my grandpa’s footsteps at Davenport, building a family legacy.”

Allison’s first year as a Davenport University nursing student at the W.A. Lettinga Campus is off to a great start. Soon, she will have stories of her own about teachers, student life and classwork to share with her family.

Do you have a Davenport legacy story? Davenport University legacy families are families who have a multi-generational connection to the University. The University identifies legacy students as those who have had a family member or members graduate from DU. Submit your legacy story to alumni@davenport.edu!

 

Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows Visited Campus

Last week, Davenport University was honored to have Anil Singh-Molares, a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows (WWVF) visit campus. The WWVF program, operating for more than 40 years, brings prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders and other nonacademic professionals to campuses across the U.S. for substantive dialog with students and faculty members. “This is a tremendous honor for Davenport University,” stated Dr. Pamela Imperato, Dean for the Donald W. Maine College of Business at Davenport.  “Mr. Singh-Molares shared his unique perspectives on global business issues and entrepreneurship with our students, faculty and guests. We are excited for the opportunity this represents for our students that will further enhance their studies.”

Quick Facts about the visit: 

17 classes – visited or attended an event
Approximately 425-430 students have participated in a class or event
Events at Lettinga, Lansing and Holland campuses
29 faculty have participated

Throughout the week, students had opportunities to engage with Singh-Molares on topics of entrepreneurship, ethics and compassionate globalization within their classrooms and at events on the W. A. Lettinga, Lansing and Holland campuses.  In addition, he presented at three events held on the Davenport’s W.A. Lettinga Campus for all students, faculty and staff, alumni and members of the larger community.

Learn more about his Anil and the overview of his talks on the DU website.

Thank you to our community partners and connections:

  • M.E. Davenport Foundation
  • West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum
  • Cascade Engineering
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • JCI
  • Haworth – Sustainability Division
  • Gordon Water System
  • Huntington Bank
  • LCC
  • Grace Bible College
  • Kyper College
  • Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • At Holland Campus – 6 non-profits from United Way to LUAP

W.A. Lettinga Charter Scholarship Club Alumni Reunion

Alumni who received the full tuition W.A. Lettinga Charter Scholarship in 2006 gathered on Monday, October 10 to thank Mr. Wilbur Lettinga ’55 for his generous contribution.

Image may contain: 17 people , people smiling , indoor
Pictured L to R: Back Row: Jeremy Venlet, Nick Venlet, Katie Bravata, Megan Stiffler, Nick Kuncaitis, Rachel Payne, Beth Kosc, Vinny Baldiga, Sara Mooney; Second Row: Amy DeKievit, Devin Pierson, Samantha Mol, Emily Przekadzinski, Lisa Boeve; First Row: Bill Lettinga and Wilbur Lettinga

Alumni Award Recipients – 2016

On Friday, September 23, the Davenport University Alumni Association honored six outstanding alumni who have exemplified the vision and values of the university through their professional and community service. Congratulations to the 2016 award recipients!

L to R:

Outstanding Young Alumni Award – Jim VanDam, Class of 2012

Hy Berkowitz Outstanding Alumni Award – Tina Pietrangelo, Class of 2007

College of Business Alumni Award – Carlos Sanchez, Class of 2007

Hy Berkowitz Outstanding Alumni Award – Tina Pietrangelo, Class of 2007

College of Health Alumni Award – Monica Goodrich, Class of 1998

College of Technology Alumni Award – Michelle (Stonebrook) Seneca, Class of 2002

College of Health Alumni Award – Monica Goodrich, Class of 1998

Not pictured, Distinguished Alumni Award – Mike Ohlman, Class of 1988

View photos from the event on the alumni facebook page.

Homecoming 2016 – THANK YOU!

Davenport University celebrated Homecoming 2016 on September 24! It was an exciting day to have so many alumni and friends on campus for homecoming festivities and traditions. Thank you to everyone who cheered our football team to victory and supported other DU teams as well who played throughout the weekend!

Check out the Homecoming photos on the alumni facebook page!

Alumni Success Story: Carl Eschels ’39

In celebration of our 150th Anniversary, we sat down with Carl Eschels ‘39, one of the oldest living Davenport graduates. Walk down memory lane with Carl as he recalls all of his great experiences he had as a student of Davenport into his long career and retirement. Check out his story on page 45 of the latest issue of the DU Review.

6 DU facts that will make you proud to be a Panther Forever!

What makes you proud to be a Panther Forever? Tell us at alumni@davenport.edu for your chance to win a DU Mitten State shirt.

Attention Chicago Area Alumni

Are you an alumnus living in the Chicago area? We want to hear from you! The Alumni Association is here to serve DU alumni living and/or working in the Chicago area. Our goal is to connect alumni by hosting events and networking opportunities.

If you are interested in attending an event in Chicago or helping create a DU Chicago Alumni Chapter, please email Phil Wingo MBA ’16. Be sure to keep your information updated with us so that we can keep you informed of upcoming activities.

Contact the Alumni Office at alumni@davenport.edu if you are interested in creating an alumni chapter in your area. We are launching several new chapters over the next year and ramping up current chapters’ offerings, providing opportunities for graduates and current students to create strong professional and social connections.

You are invited to the Alumni Awards Ceremony

You are invited to the annual Alumni Awards Ceremony to honor six graduates who have exemplified the vision and values of the University through their professional and community service. Join the Alumni Association on Friday, September 23 at 6:30 p.m. to honor the following alumni:

Distinguished Alumni Award – Mike Ohlman, Class of 1988, Grand Rapids Fulton Street Campus
College of Business Alumni Award – Carlos Sanchez, Class of 2007, W.A. Lettinga Campus
Hy Berkowitz Outstanding Alumni Award – Tina Pietrangelo, Class of 2007, Holland Campus
College of Technology Alumni Award – Michelle (Stonebrook) Seneca, Class of 2002, Holland Campus
Outstanding Young Alumni Award – Jim VanDam, Class of 2012, W.A. Lettinga Campus
College of Health Alumni Award – Monica Goodrich, Class of 1998, Midland Campus (Great Lakes College)

Tickets are only $20 and include an opportunity to mingle with the honorees and enjoy a delicious dinner.