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College of Human Medicine announces $5 million DeVos gift for Secchia Center

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Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine has announced a dollar-for-dollar pledge of up to $5 million from Richard and Helen DeVos toward the college's campaign for the new Secchia Center in downtown Grand Rapids.

The Secchia Center, a $90 million, state-of-the-art medical education building, is in final stages of construction and will become home to the College of Human Medicine when dedicated Sept. 10.

"I am personally grateful to Rich and Helen for their generosity to our college and support of medical education," said Marsha D. Rappley, dean of the college. "Rich's steadfast vision and ‘get it done' leadership were the catalysts for the creation of this unparalleled health sciences community in Grand Rapids.

"This gift from Rich and Helen DeVos is part of a growing legacy that is destined to improve the lives of others for generations to come."

A unique aspect of the college's presence in Grand Rapids is the project is funded through private dollars. To date, $39.1 million has been raised toward the $50 million goal. This includes the lead gift from MSU alumnus Ambassador Peter F. Secchia and his wife Joan, also an MSU alumnus, for whom the building is named.

"Nothing excites me more than to see a dream become a reality," said DeVos, co-founder of Amway and along with his wife a longtime community supporter. "Helen and I are proud to be among those who have already answered the call to bring about the new home of the MSU College of Human Medicine in Grand Rapids, but we have decided to do more, with the help of the community.

"We will match any new commitment to the Secchia Center dollar for dollar up to $5 million. Our goal is to see this wonderful facility opened in September with all of the private funds committed."

This fall, the college will welcome its inaugural class of 100 first-year students and 50 second-year students in Grand Rapids and 100 first-year students and 100 second-year students in East Lansing on the MSU campus.

In addition to the $50 million private fundraising goal, Spectrum Health has committed funding that will cover a major portion of the principal and interest payments on the debt-financed portion of the Secchia Center medical education building for 25 years, as well as support for research collaboration. In addition to Spectrum Health, MSU's other West Michigan partners include the Van Andel Institute, Saint Mary's Health Care, Grand Valley State University, Grand Action and The Right Place.

For more information on the Campaign for the Secchia Center, please contact Susan Lane at (616) 234-2614 or