Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Strategic Initiatives David Pilgrim joins six Ferris State University alumni as the newest members of the Ferris Foundation Board of Directors.
The new directors had a recent informational session. Pilgrim, a member of the Ferris community since 1990, brought a unique perspective related to The Ferris Foundation’s impact on the university community and its programs.
“Serving as a member of The Ferris Foundation affords me the opportunity to make sure that the work of this group is guided, in ways big and small, by a commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity,” Pilgrim said.
The board of directors oversees faculty and staff merit grants, The Ferris Foundation Opportunity Endowed Scholarships and other perpetual gifts intended to support the university and its mission. Pilgrim said he looks forward to adding responsibilities as a director with his duties related to university goals, institutional strategy and development of the Jim Crow Museum, Archive and Research Center.
“If my memory is accurate, The Ferris Foundation awarded a merit grant to help build the first Jim Crow Museum traveling exhibit, which allowed us to share the lessons of the museum with a national audience,” Pilgrim said. “That was before the explosion of social media.”
The Ferris Board of Trustees appointed alumnae Jenifer Cutter, of Grand Rapids; Denise Graves, of Brighton; Dana King, of Oakland, California; and Chris Visner, of Grand Rapids; and alumni Matt Bissett, of South Lyon, and Russ Visner, of Grand Rapids, at its Friday, Dec. 17 meeting.
The Ferris Foundation for Excellence Benefit is the organization’s signature event. This year, the annual gala takes place on Friday, Nov. 4, in Grand Rapids.