Ferris State University President David L. Eisler recently received special recognition by the Boy Scouts of America, Michigan Crossroads Council at the organization’s annual Building Character Celebration. Held at the Amway Grand in downtown Grand Rapids, Eisler was honored with a National Outstanding Eagle Scout Award. This prestigious recognition is granted to Eagle Scouts who have distinguished themselves in their life’s work and who continue to make a positive impact in the community.
“It is a tremendous honor to be nominated and selected to receive this award, and I am very humbled,” Eisler said. “The lessons I learned and the valuable experiences I had as a Scout have helped shape me into who I am today, and for that, I am very grateful.”
Eisler entered as a Cub Scout and finished as an Explorer. He earned the God and Country Award and the rank of Eagle Scout in 1964.
“It was my good fortune to have many memorable experiences in the Scouts, including the 1964 National Jamboree in Pennsylvania, the 1967 World Jamboree in Idaho, and a trip to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico,” Eisler added. “These experiences, coupled with what I learned about building my character and citizenship, provided the foundation from which I could succeed. I encourage other young men and women to get involved just as I did.”
Eisler has spent his entire 47-year career in higher education and has served as president of Ferris since July 2003, making him the senior public university president in Michigan. During his 19-year tenure at Ferris, he has amassed many points of pride, including successfully leading Now and Always, the University’s first-ever comprehensive campaign, which has surpassed its $115 million goal raising over $123 million, growing The Ferris Foundation endowment from $18 million to over $117 million, and establishing with his wife, Patsy, the Norris and Irene Johnson Scholarship Endowment to support orphans and foster care youth at Ferris.
Throughout his career, he has kept the success of students at the forefront of his efforts. He strongly believes that the higher education experience should prepare students for successful careers, create a pattern of intellectual rigor, develop a commitment to community engagement and provide the foundation for lifelong learning.
Accompanying him in earning this honor were Martin Burg, professor at Grand Valley State University, and Paul Kelly, owner of Foremost Graphics Group in Grand Rapids. The evening’s ceremony also included recognizing those who earned the rank of Eagle Scout and a keynote address from WOOD TV 8 Sports Director Jack Doles.