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President Eisler’s Tenure is Being Celebrated With a $1 Million Gift Made by Michigan Financier and Developer Mickey Shapiro

To recognize President David Eisler’s longstanding leadership with Ferris State University, Mr. Mickey Shapiro has made a $1,000,000 gift to Ferris.  Mr. Shapiro noted that this gift was made to, “honor and celebrate Dr. Eisler’s passion for education.” This million-dollar endowment will empower and cultivate more leaders who will make an impact across the nation. The generous gift will support the Doctorate in Community College Leadership (DCCL) program.

Mr. Shapiro attended Ferris in 1965 where according to Mickey himself, he was given a chance to succeed.  Dr. Shapiro began his first quarter at Ferris with the lowest possible grade point average needed to be admitted.  At the end of his first quarter, he achieved a near 3.0 and then continued his trajectory upward of 3.5. He then transferred and graduated from Michigan State University. Mr. Shapiro went on to say, “I didn’t just like Dr. Eisler after our first meeting, but truly loved him, and I am so very proud to know him to this day.”  In 2017, Mr. Shapiro was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business and Industry degree from Ferris.

The gift will fund an endowed position for a national leader with significant senior executive community college leadership experience. It will also create a bridge between the national community college landscape and the program, ensuring the program’s ability to empower our students as community college leaders and advance community colleges nationwide toward excellence.

President Eisler remarked, “It is truly humbling that Mickey Shapiro would establish this distinguished professorship, the first in our university’s history. This gift will build upon the considerable success of our Doctorate in Community College Leadership and our commitment to building strong partnerships with community colleges and community college leaders across the country.”

The DCCL (Doctorate in Community College Leadership) program, designed to serve current college leaders and full-time employees, is recognized for its innovative approach to doctoral education, including the hybrid design; three-year completion model; case and problem-based course approaches; practitioner faculty; emphasis on practical, flexible, and embedded dissertations; custom admissions process that emphasizes students’ leadership goals; and continuous improvement systems designed for comprehensive evaluation and contemporaneous improvements.

Since its beginning in 2010, DCCL has enrolled a total of 16 cohorts: Cohorts 1-12 with a Michigan base; Harper College Cohort located in Palatine, Illinois; and three cohorts in Houston, Texas, at Lone Star College. 

The first DCCL cohort graduated in May 2013, and as of May 2021, over 225 have completed the program. Graduates and students represent 26 states and over 100 colleges across the country, reaching over 1.6 million college students. Their leadership has created a national recognition for the program’s emphasis on innovation and a strong commitment to non-traditional and first-generation students.

Mickey Shapiro Biography

Mickey Shapiro is one of Michigan’s top financiers and developers with ownership positions in numerous real estate entities throughout the United States.

Mickey is a co-principal of Lautrec Limited, a real estate management company located in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Lautrec owns and provides complete property management services for high-quality manufactured home and apartment communities throughout the United States and Canada. The portfolio consists of over 18,000 manufactured home community sites and over 7,000 apartment units.

In addition to the multi-family holdings, the Shapiro family is one of the largest private land owners in Oakland County, Michigan. His development company has built and developed over 6,000 lots/homes in various states and is in the process of developing/building several thousand more.

In 2002 Shapiro was appointed to serve on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council by President Bush. Since 2007, he has been a member of the USHMM Founders Society and in 2011 was appointed to the National Leadership Committee. He also served on the USHMM as a member of the Development and Finance Committees and is a member of the Wings of Light.

Shapiro has been actively involved with The USC Shoah Foundation for nearly 17 years. In 2010 he was appointed to the Inaugural Chair of the Council of the Shoah Foundation. Currently, he resides on the USC Shoah Foundation Board of Councilors’ Executive Committee.

In 2015 Shapiro created the Sara and Asa Shapiro Heart and Vascular Intensive Care Unit at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, a 15,500 square foot, world-class intensive care unit that he dedicated to his parents. He also established the Mickey Shapiro Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Surgery at Beaumont Hospital. Shapiro established the Mickey Shapiro Opportunity Scholarship Endowment at Ferris State to support provisionally admitted students who complete their trial year. He also provided funding to Ferris enabling the University to acquire a perpetual license for the Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive, making the University one of only three Michigan institutions with access to the Archives. Shapiro is actively involved with Ferris State, and in May 2017, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business and Industry. He continues to pursue numerous philanthropic endeavors, many in honor of his amazing and inspiring parents, Asa & Sara Shapiro.

President Eisler Biography

Dr. David Eisler has served as president of Ferris State University since July of 2003 and is the most senior public university president in Michigan.

Under his leadership, the University has embarked on an ambitious program of curricular innovation, classroom renovation, cooperative programs with high schools and community colleges, and providing opportunity for students who may not otherwise attend college.

Ferris was the first university selected to receive the Uncommon Greatness Award from the Center for Community Leadership of the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce.  He is a recipient of the Newsmaker of the Year in Education by the Grand Rapids Business Journal, is a member of the Ferris State University Welding Engineering Technology Hall of Fame, the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater, and Dance Hall of Fame, and is recipient of the Albertus Marquis Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award from Who’s Who International.

In 2018 Dr. Eisler was chosen to present the President to Presidents Lecture to his nearly 400 presidential colleagues of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).  Dr. Eisler serves as Vice President for the Midwestern Higher Education Compact and serves on the boards of the AASCU-Penson Center for Professional Development, the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC), the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Michigan Association of State Universities (MASU), Michigan Works! West Central, and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). He is past board chair for the GLIAC, MASU, the Michigan Nonprofit Association, and the WCHA, and past member of the AASCU Board of Directors and Talent 2025.