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Impact Stories

Now & Always - The Campaign for Ferris State University


The priorities of the Now & Always Campaign for Ferris State University are certainly important. What is even more important, however, are the people -- the students, faculty, staff, community members and donors who are touched by this effort.

$2 Million Gift to Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia

Museum Receives Powerful Collection by Noted Photographer David Levinthal

$2M Gift to Jim Crow Museum

The gift, from an anonymous donor, includes 135 large-format Polaroids, primarily from Levinthal’s legendary Blackface series, but complemented with works from his Barbie and Mein Kampf series.

With this donation, it is believed that the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, which is internationally-known for its collection of racist memorabilia, now possesses one of the largest collections of Levinthal’s Blackface originals in the world.

After being contacted by the donor’s representative, David Pilgrim, vice president for Diversity and Inclusion at Ferris and founder and curator of the Jim Crow Museum, immediately knew the magnitude of the impact this gift would bring to the Museum and all who visit.

“Levinthal used his camera to document the ugly representations of African Americans in the toys, games, and dolls played with by this nation’s children. These images both reflected and shaped attitudes toward black people. His prints will be invaluable teaching tools for the Jim Crow Museum.”

“This wonderful gift to the Jim Crow Museum and Ferris is one of the most significant gifts that we have ever received,” said Ferris President David Eisler. “This gift reflects Dr. Pilgrim’s internationally-recognized leadership and commitment to educating the public on examining expressions of racism and promoting social justice.”

Phil '75 & Jocelyn Hagerman Leading the Way for the College of Pharmacy

Phil '75 & Jocelyn Hagerman

Ferris State University was pleased to receive a $5 million gift from Phil and Jocelyn Hagerman and the Hagerman Foundation, to the university’s College of Pharmacy. Hagerman is chair and chief executive officer of Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc., based in Flint, Mich. The Hagerman gift represents the largest outright gift ever made to Ferris.

"This gift is a symbol of our commitment to education and Ferris. The University has played an important role in my personal success, in my family’s success and in the growth of our company, Diplomat. Ferris is a top choice for pharmacists because of its history and its legacy. Ferris State University is a tremendous place for me and my wife, Jocelyn, to give this legacy and know that it’s going to have long-term impact and make a difference."

Imani Meeks '18: Mickey Shapiro Opportunity Endowed Scholarship Recipient

Imani Meeks '18

"I love Ferris State University and have made it a point to take advantage of as many opportunities as I can. I'm a member of the Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business fraternity, the National Organization for Women, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Black Student Union. I also volunteer as the assistant cheerleading coach, at the Big Event and the annual Christmas food drive. I am so grateful to Mr. Shapiro for his generosity and financial support of my college education. Receiving the Mickey Shapiro Opportunity Endowed Scholarship allows me to concentrate on what is important to me: my education in the classroom and involvement in student activities. Words can't express my gratitude for being selected as a recipient of the scholarship."

Mickey Shapiro: Opportunity Scholarship Donor

Mickey Shapiro

"There aren't too many places that give people a chance. Ferris State University is one of those places. I know from experience. I struggled in high school and was accepted at Ferris into a summer probationary program in 1965. It was small. They noticed whether or not you were there. They taught you how to study. Because of that start, I was able to go on to graduate from college and start my own successful real-estate development company.

"Through the years, I’ve never forgotten what Ferris did for me. I understand that school isn’t easy for everyone; I established the Mickey Shapiro Opportunity Scholarship to recognize those people who have to work extra hard to succeed. Through this scholarship, I am supporting promising students who struggle and giving back to the school that first gave me a chance."