Davenport University

Davenport University
Davenport University
Davenportuniv logo.png
Established 1866
Type Private
President Richard Pappas
Academic staff 113
Students 12,471
Undergraduates 11,733
Postgraduates 738
Location Caledonia Township, Michigan, USA
Campus Suburban
69 acres (0.28 km2)
Colors Red and Black            
Athletics Panthers
Mascot Pounce
Affiliations NAIA
Website www.davenport.edu

Davenport University is a private, non-profit, multi-location university located at 14 campuses throughout Michigan and online. It was founded in 1866 by Conrad Swensburg and currently offers Master's Degrees, Bachelor's Degrees, Associate's Degrees, diplomas, and post-grad certification programs in business, technology, health professions, and graduate studies (MBA).

Davenport's W.A. Lettinga Main Campus is located outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The main campus includes student organizations, residence halls, and athletic programs.



The predecessor to the modern Davenport University was founded in 1866 by Carl G. Swensburg, a Union Army veteran who returned to Michigan from the Civil War.[1] The college, located in downtown Grand Rapids, opened with sixteen students as Grand Rapids Business College on January 25, 1866. The college offered courses in various office skills, such as bookkeeping, penmanship, business law and arithmetic.[1]

The college operated under various names and in several locations in Grand Rapids throughout its early history. By 1910 the college was on the verge of closing. Michael E. Davenport, a new teacher at the school, reinvigorated the remaining staff and eventually took over the school's leadership in an attempt to revive it.[1]

The school gained accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission -- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools in 1976 and grew rapidly during the mid to late 1900s and expanded with campus locations across Michigan.[2][1]


Davenport University's W.A. Lettinga Main Campus is located in Caledonia, Michigan, in suburban Grand Rapids. The campus contains one academic building, a field house/student activities center, two suite style residence halls, and one traditional style residence hall with a full cafeteria. An addition to the main academic building is currently planned to open for the fall 2010 semester (completed).

The Richard M. DeVos and Jay Van Andel Academic Center is the major academic building on the campus. The 140,000 sq ft (13,000 m2) building was complete in 2005 at the cost of $23 million.[3] It includes state-of-the-art classroom and technology space and was constructed to look like a large office building in concert with Davenport University's focus on business, technology, and health degrees.[3] The facility includes academic advising, career services, and university offices, the campus bookstore and spirit shop, a café and dining location, the Margaret D. Sneden Library Information Commons and Technology Center.[4]

The Robert W. Sneden Center is a new $8.5 million 41,000 sq ft (3,800 m2) academic and arts building located adjacent to the DeVos and Van Andel Academic Center.[5] The building features additional classroom and technology space, faculty office space, and a modern 220-seat auditorium.[5]

The Student Center opened in 2008 and became the fourth LEED certified building on the main DU campus.[6][7] The 87,000 sq ft (8,100 m2). facility houses meeting rooms, student social areas, Student Life Office, the Student Center Café- a third on-campus dining area, fitness center with indoor rock climbing wall and suspended a running track, and an indoor basketball and volleyball court.[8] The Field House is connected to the Student Center and is a 1,500-seat arena that serves as the home for DU Panthers men's & women's basketball and women’s volleyball teams.[8]

Residence halls

In recent years DU has undergone a transition from a commuter and online business school to include characteristics of a traditional university.[9] The schools has increased its athletic program, athletic facilities, and student life facilities. Davenport currently has three residence halls located on the main campus.[10]

Peter C. and Pat Cook Residence Hall or Cook Hall was the first residence hall constructed on campus; it is a four story apartment-living style residence hall named for long-time donors Peter and Pat Cook.[11] Fred and Lena Meijer Residence Hall is a five story residence hall on the DU campus,[11] and offers apartment-living style rooms for on campus students much like Cook Hall.[10] South Residence Hall is a four story residence halls that offers traditional dorm-style living.[12] South Hall is the residence hall for Freshman students living on campus, although a number of upperclassman also reside building. The hall also includes a large dining area.[12] Beginning in 2009 the university offers Living and Learning Community opportunities, all located within South Hall, for students majoring in Business, Health, or Technology.[13]

Regional campuses

Davenport University Livonia campus

In addition to the main campus, Davenport University offers classes at 13 other locations in Michigan. They include locations in: Alma, Battle Creek, Caro, Flint, Gaylord, Holland, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Livonia, Midland, Saginaw, Traverse City, and Warren.

Academic profile

Focus on business, technology, and health professions. Serves learners seeking master's, bachelor's or associate's degrees, diplomas, and post-graduate certificates.

Student profile and life

There are currently approximately 13,500 enrolled students.

  • Average age: 31
  • 39% part time, 61% full time
  • 74% female, 26% male
  • 169 international students from 42 countries
  • Approximately 75% of full-time students receive aid.
  • Average of 16 students per class.


DU Panthers logo

The Davenport University athletic program is a member of the NAIA and the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference for most sports. In addition to NAIA sports, DU also offers additional sports that the NAIA does not currently sponsor championships for: men's lacrosse is a member of the MCLA Division II in the Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association;[14] women's lacrosse is a member of the National Women's Lacrosse League; men's rugby competes at the Division I level of USA Rugby's Midwest Rugby Union,[15]; men's ice hockey competes in the ACHA Division I in the Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League,[16] as well as a JV team at the ACHA DIII level.


  1. ^ a b c d "History of Davenport". Davenport University. http://www.davenport.edu/about-davenport/history-davenport. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Directory of HLC Institutions - Davenport University". Higher Learning Commission. 2011. http://www.ncahlc.org/component/com_directory/Action,ShowBasic/Itemid,93/instid,1782/. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Davenport University – W. A. Lettinga Campus". Rockford Construction. http://www.rockfordconstruction.com/projects/education/project-2. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  4. ^ http://www.davenport.edu/Home/OurCampus/LibraryInfoCommons/AboutLibraryInfoCommons/tabid/232/Default.aspx
  5. ^ a b King, Kyla (February 09, 2010). "Robert W. Sneden Center at Davenport University gets ceremonial ground-breaking today". MLive.com (The Grand Rapids Press). http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2010/02/robert_w_sneden_center_at_dave.html. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Davenport University – Student Center". Rockford Construction. http://www.rockfordconstruction.com/projects/education/davenport-university-student-center. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  7. ^ Baeza Bickel, Nardy (August 19, 2008). "Calvin, Grand Valley, Davenport debut major indoor athletic facilities". MLive.com (The Grand Rapids Press). http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2008/08/calvin_grand_valley_davenport.html. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Baeza Bickel, Nardy (October 30, 2008). "Davenport University opens $15.6 million fieldhouse, student center". MLive.com (The Grand Rapids Press). http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2008/10/davenport_university_opens_165.html. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  9. ^ Murray, Dave (March 31, 2010). "Davenport University holds investiture ceremony today for President Richard Pappas". MLive.com (The Grand Rapids Press). http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2010/03/davenport_university_holds_inv.html. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b Staff (April 28, 2009). "New residence hall dedicated at Davenport". MLive.com (Advance Newspapers). http://www.mlive.com/southeastadvance/index.ssf/2009/04/new_residence_hall_dedicated_a.html. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b "Cook & Meijer Halls". Davenport University. http://www.davenport.edu/housing-and-residence-life/residence-halls/cook-meijer-hall. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "South Residence Hall". Davenport University. http://www.davenport.edu/housing-and-residence-life/residence-halls/south-hall. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Living Learning Communities". Davenport University. http://www.davenport.edu/housing-and-residence-life/residence-halls/south-hall/llc. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  14. ^ Staff (May 1, 2010). "Davenport Edges Grove City in CCLA Quarterfinals". LaxPower.com. http://www.laxpower.com/laxnews/news.php?story=19936. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  15. ^ VanOchten, Brian (July 13, 2010). "Davenport rugby program promoted to Division 1 Eastern Conference". MLive.com (The Grand Rapids Press). http://www.mlive.com/smallcolleges/grandrapids/index.ssf/2010/07/davenport_lacrosse_program_pro.html. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  16. ^ "All-Michigan GLCHL League To Debut in 2010-2011". ACHA. November 13, 2009. http://achahockey.org/news2.php?news_id=214675&league_id=1059&lang=. Retrieved February 26, 2010. 

External links

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