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Ferris receives $1 million gift from The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation

BIG RAPIDS - The proposed Michigan College of Optometry and Center for Collaborative Health Education at Ferris State University has received $1 million in funding from The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation in Midland.

The gift will benefit the University's "Realize the Vision" building campaign, which will house an eye and vision care clinic, center for collaborative health education; laboratory, classroom and office spaces; and distance learning facilities. The 91,000 square-foot facility will support the Michigan College of Optometry's teaching, research and patient care missions.

"This is a gift that will change the lives of people across the state of Michigan," Ferris President David L. Eisler said. "Through the efforts of The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, we will be able to educate the next generation who will help provide the highest quality eye care to citizens throughout Michigan.

"The Dow Foundation has a wonderful history of support for Ferris State University. We both appreciate and are excited by this donation, which will help support our optometry program, faculty, staff, students and patients who will receive eye care in this facility," Eisler added.

Established in memory of her husband by Mrs. Dow in 1936, The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation supports organizational missions that strive to improve the educational, religious, economic and cultural opportunities of Michigan residents.

"We trustees are pleased to support this project as it will greatly help the people of Michigan," Margaret Ann (Ranny) Riecker, president of The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, said. "Ferris State University's Michigan College of Optometry has developed a reputation over its 30-year history of providing the finest optometric training in the United States producing more than half of the practicing optometrists in Michigan."

The Michigan College of Optometry was created in 1974 in response to a need for optometrists in Michigan. As the scope of optometric practice has grown more complex, the resource and learning environment needs of faculty and students have made necessary a move to an updated facility.

For more information or to make a gift to the "Realize the Vision" building campaign, visit