Dick DeVos Aims to Transform the Education System through Philanthropy

Dick DeVos, the American based business person and entrepreneur, was born in October 1955 at Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the son of Helen June and Richard DeVos, the co-founder of Amway. In 2012, his father was ranked as the 67th richest person in the U.S.

 

Dick attended Northwood University where he pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He joined Harvard Business School to further his studies but did not graduate. Dick holds an Honorary Doctorates from the Grove City College and Northwood University. He started his professional life at Amway Corporation and held several positions before being promoted to be the Vice President of the company. In 2006, Dick was a gubernatorial candidate in Michigan.

 

The DeVos family is active in philanthropy. Dick and Betsy DeVos have contributed approximately $139 million to charities in their lifetime. In 2015, the couple contributed $11.6 million to charitable causes. This was double the$5.3 campaign contribution that they issued over the past five years. According to the history, the extended DeVos family has contributed more than $1.33 billion to charities in their lifetime.

 

Dick and Betsy channel their donations to education causes. In 2015, 26 percent of their total donations that year, which amounted to $3 million, was directed to education. In addition, their foundation gave out $357,000, which was 3 percent of their total donations that year, to organizations that support education reforms.

 

According to Dick DeVos, the current education system in the United States is not tailored to fulfil the American dream. Some of the main benefactors of the DeVos education funds are Potter’s House and Grand Rapids Christian Schools. Dick and Betsy are patrons at the West Michigan Aviation Academy. The couple gave out the school’s first plane and gives annual donations to the institution. Besides that, their connections to high profile people convert the school’s annual fundraising into a gala that attracts prominent speakers like Apollo astronauts and the former American President, George Bush.

 

Arts & Culture is the couple’s other major focus of contribution. In 2015, they donated more than $2.4 million, which was 21 percent of their total yearly contribution to this facet. In the previous year, the couple donated $22 million to the University of Maryland to establish the DeVos Institute of Arts Management. The rest of the donations are channelled to leadership & development, civic & community, public policy, Health & human services, and churches. The DeVos gives donations without strings attached. The couple involves their children in making decisions on their charity causes.

 

Dick is married to Betsy DeVos, the current United States Education Secretary Nominee and former President of the Michigan Republican Party. The couple has children and in addition grandson.

 

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