Davenport University was initially established in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1886 as the Grand Rapids Business College - just following the end of the Civil War. Founder Conrad G. Swensburg was a veteran of the Union Army who wanted to bring business education to the developing industrial communities of Michigan. The school struggled for many years until teacher Michael E. Davenport assumed control of the institution in 1910 and brought it to a new level of educational renown. During this period, the school was known as the Davenport-McLachlan Institute. Under the leadership of president Donald W. Maine expanded the school's role to offer bachelor's and master's degree programs. The Institute was reorganized at the start of the new millennium to its current name as Davenport University.
According to its stated mission, "Davenport University prepares people and organizations to excel in the knowledge-driven environment of the 21st century." This mission includes a vision "to be renowned as quality institution of higher education that understands the market better than any other institution. We strive to apply that understanding to our programs and teaching, preparing Davenport and its graduates to exceed employer expectations, transform communities and change lives by believing that every person can achieve his or her dream."
Those living in student housing or an off campus apartment at Davenport University have access to the school's distinguished academic programs and fields of study. Students may pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees through the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Health Professions and the College of Technology.
Student living and university living at Davenport University revolve around a variety of traditional campus student activities and organizations. The Davenport Panthers compete in the NAIA in men's and women's sports like ice hockey, basketball, golf, tennis, soccer, baseball and lacrosse.
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