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Richard DeVos has another school named after him because he gave them millions

May 19, 2016

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Last week, Northwood University dedicated a new school of management. Not surprising, it was named after Amway co-founder, Richard DeVos.

Richard DeVos has donated millions to Northwood University over the years through the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation. In fact, the private school, which is dedicated to “developing the future leaders of a global, free-enterprise society,” also has other DeVos connections.

Dan DeVos graduated from Northwood with a BA in 1980 and since 1997 is on the Northwood Board of Trustees. The university gives out an Outstanding Business Leader award every year, since Northwood, “firmly believes that American business leaders deserve the highest forms of personal recognition for their contributions to this great nation and the world.” Richard DeVos won the award in 1983, Dan DeVos in 2007 and Dick DeVos won it in 2014.Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 7.33.58 AM

The second generation of DeVos family members have also contributed to Northwood through their family foundations. According to the most recent 990s that are available on Guidestar, the Dan and Marie DeVos Foundation gave $1,312,500 in both 2013 and 2012. The Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation contributed $200,000 in both 2013 and 2012.

The DeVos Family’s commitment to Northwood University comes as no surprise, especially when considering what the university claims as its core values. The school’s website proudly displays the values as follows:

We believe in:

  • the advantages of an entrepreneurial, free-enterprise society.
  • individual freedom and individual responsibility.
  • functioning from a foundation of ethics and integrity.
  • promoting and leveraging the global, diverse and multi-cultural nature of enterprise.Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 8.04.40 AM

Translated, what these values mean is that Northwood University, like the DeVos family, believes that capitalism should dictate how society functions, that government should get out of the way of “the market” (except when they need tax breaks, subsidies or want to privatize more of the public sector) and that freedom and responsibility really means our class has freedom and everyone else but us needs to be responsible. The notion that the DeVos family is ethical would make most reasonable people fall out of their chairs laughing, and “promoting and leveraging the global, diverse and multi-cultural nature of enterprise” just means that they welcome all cultures and races to be part of the capitalist system.

The dedication to the school named after Richard DeVos was reported on MLive last week, where the commercial media entity played their normal role of being nothing more than a cheerleader for the DeVos family. 

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