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Ferris Foundation Benefit Helps Support Student Scholarships, Faculty Enrichment

pictureBIG RAPIDS – The focus will be on Ferris State University – offering education statewide, online and around the world – during the 12th annual Ferris Foundation Benefit for Excellence Friday, Nov. 5, at the JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids.

Highlighting the program will be special entertainment that captures Ferris’ distinctive qualities and how The Ferris Foundation builds student lives and educational effectiveness through scholarships and Merit Grants to encourage great teaching.

“Ferris State University’s mission has centered on providing opportunities for students to pursue a college education,” Ferris Foundation Chair Dick Shaw said. “Through its partnerships and its career-oriented, broad-based education, Ferris State continues to be a leader in shaping Michigan’s future.”

Michigan’s fastest-growing university, Ferris State is educating tomorrow’s leaders in cutting-edge degree programs such as Architecture and Sustainability, Energy Systems Engineering, and Molecular Diagnostics, Shaw added. Ferris State also boasts the only school of Optometry in the state of Michigan, and continues to be a leader in training students in business, education and the health sciences, including pharmacy.

During 2010, The Ferris Foundation granted 12 Foundation for Excellence student scholarships and nine Exceptional Merit Grants. Proposals supported by the Exceptional Merit Grant program include support for Automotive Service Technology associate professor Russ Leonard’s biodiesel research through the biodiesel lab, and Accountancy, Finance and Information Systems professor Greg Gogolin’s continuing work in Digital Forensics, among others.

“Creating a biodiesel lab on campus provides students with the opportunity to learn about emerging sustainability technologies,” Leonard says. “By providing an environment where students can develop, test and evaluate biodiesel fuels, they will be putting theory into practice, which will position Ferris to be in the forefront of biodiesel technology in Michigan and the United States.”

The Foundation for Excellence Benefit commences at 5:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception and campus orientation. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. followed by an 8 p.m. program. Tickets are $250 per person. Sponsorships are available.

Proceeds from the Foundation for Excellence Benefit promote excellence among Ferris students, faculty and staff through the Foundation for Excellence Scholarship program, Exceptional Merit Grants program and other university endowments.

Individuals attending the Foundation for Excellence Benefit are asked to RSVP no later than Oct. 30 by contacting Kim Erickson at The Ferris Foundation office at (231) 591-2365.