Questions & Answers

Now & Always / The Campaign for Ferris State University


Why is Ferris State University launching its first-ever comprehensive campaign now?

We have been focused on preparing for a comprehensive campaign for some time. We have seen the impact that record-setting gifts have had on Ferris State University, so it is a natural next step to continue to rally unprecedented levels of participation and support from our alumni, faculty and staff, friends and other key stakeholders.

What is a comprehensive campaign?

A comprehensive campaign is broader and more strategic than a capital campaign. Its financial goals include gifts of all types – annual, endowed, in-kind and planned gifts – that are designated for a variety of purposes including facilities, academic program support, faculty enrichment, student scholarships, athletics and other restricted purposes based on donor intent.

A comprehensive campaign transitions the University from normal day-to-day fundraising to a more intentional, inclusive and orchestrated effort. It mobilizes all areas of the University and its closest supporters who value the relevance of a Ferris education to focus on the advancement of the institution by securing historic levels of support that will transform the institution for many years to come.

What will a comprehensive campaign allow Ferris to achieve?

Ferris State University’s Now & Always comprehensive campaign reinforces the University’s strong tradition of opportunity and excellence and its impact on thousands of attendees and graduates during its 133-year history. The campaign ensures that the core value of “opportunity” is constant now and always and upholds Ferris’ prominence in delivering high quality, innovative education. It supports important priorities moving forward, including a critical need to help Ferris students reduce their college debt through enhanced scholarship support.

What are the campaign funding priorities?

All campaign funding priorities align with the strategic initiatives of the University and bring strategic focus and results to initiatives that are currently underway or in their infancy. There are three strategic areas of focus in the Now & Always case for support:

Investing in Students
Emphasizes Ferris’ goal of providing future students with permanent, reliable and predictable support through endowed scholarships. The Ferris Futures Scholarship Challenge, which provides $3 million annually or $18 million total (through June 30, 2022) in matching funds for gifts toward new or existing endowments, provides an unprecedented opportunity for donors to double their support for Ferris students. Forty percent of Ferris students come from families whose income is less than $50,000 per year, making it quite difficult for them to afford a college education. Through scholarships, many Ferris students will have a chance to succeed – a chance they might not get elsewhere. The Ferris Futures Scholarship Challenge will comprise a significant portion of the campaign effort for colleges and programs across the University.

Program Expansion and Innovation
Underscores the importance of supporting our faculty and students by providing state-of-the-art programs and facilities and creating opportunities for Ferris to be a trendsetter for innovation in higher education. Funding support is sought for key initiatives across all Ferris colleges and athletics. Campaign priorities include:

A major expansion and renovation of the Swan Annex will support substantial enrollment growth in the College of Engineering Technology’s Welding and Manufacturing programs and create a Center for Welding Excellence and a Center for Advanced Manufacturing. Students will have the opportunity to learn on the latest equipment and stay abreast of rapidly changing developments in their fields.

A new Center for Athletics Performance will serve as a state-of-the-art training facility for Ferris’ nationally ranked teams in football, hockey, basketball, volleyball, golf and tennis. It will include a new, larger weight room and much-needed additional locker rooms, team meeting spaces and coaches’ offices. It also will allow for the reconfiguration of the women’s volleyball arena, which will enable the University to host NCAA tournaments.

The Ken Janke Sr. Golf Center will provide a state-of-the-art functional indoor facility for year-round golf instruction and practice and will house the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, a distinction that will ensure national prominence for the Ferris PGA Golf Management program.

Renovation of the Hagerman Pharmacy Building will provide an enhanced learning experience for Ferris Pharmacy students featuring the most current, hands-on, and simulated learning environments. Another critical area of focus for the College of Pharmacy is increased scholarships to recruit and retain the nation’s best students and endowment support for faculty-led innovations to healthcare delivery and improved healthcare for our communities.

A Center for Academic Literacies will support a more holistic approach to helping students who are struggling academically by creating a facility that provides one-stop access to resources and faculty and staff expertise in reading, writing, mathematics and optometric services.

The Institute for Mobile Health and Technology is a collaborative initiative between the Colleges of Health Professions, Pharmacy and Optometry which will improve health care delivery and serve the holistic health needs of local and regional communities, particularly in rural areas, and provide students with access to interprofessional education, research and practice. A major component of the institute is a mobile health clinic that will provide health screenings and community education across Northern Michigan.

A Criminal Justice Training Center in the College of business will integrate smart classroom technology, industry-inspired curriculum and adaptive technology, along with contract training for a variety of public agencies.

Enhanced Summer Undergraduate Research and Creativity Grants and Fellowships for students in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Education will provide them with real-world, hands-on experience that accelerates their progress toward degree completion and makes them top candidates for employment.

Increased Scholarship Support for Michigan College of Optometry doctoral students will help them complete their studies and create a distinct, competitive advantage for MCO in attracting and retaining the best doctoral candidates in the future.

Building Partnerships
Supports Ferris State University’s, Kendall College of Art and Design’s and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts’ active engagement throughout West Michigan with the arts, community development, design, diversity, economic development, education, entrepreneurship, healthcare, the Hispanic community and the manufacturing sector. Campaign priorities include:

A joint partnership with Grand Rapids neighborhood stakeholders to build a Center for the Community – Plaza Roosevelt – will serve as a community-driven facility with learning space for seminars, classes, and community workshops. Ferris’ intent is to provide healthcare outreach programs, including pharmacy, optometry and professional health services.

Enhanced opportunities to serve the Latino and Asian communities of West Michigan, particularly through such college-readiness summer programs as Advancemos and Promesa for middle and high school students and Ferris’ Latino Business and Economic Development Center serving up-and-coming community and business leaders through the Latino Talent Initiative and the Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative.

A new Learning Commons of redeveloped space at KCAD will feature open areas that facilitate interaction among students, faculty and the community to explore creative, interdisciplinary learning.

Program support for KCAD’s Pamella DeVos School of Fashion.

Funding to increase student scholarships and faculty development at KCAD.

Expanding Curatorial Support will bolster the creative heart of UICA by expanding its ability to bring exhibitions and programs that speak to broader and more diverse communities.