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Nov. 1, 2019

Secchia family donates to Grand Rapids Research Center

After pledging the first gift to launch the Michigan State University Grand Rapids Research Center fundraising effort, Peter and Joan Secchia announced a second gift of $5 million to complete the $30 million campaign for the $88 million building that opened in 2017.

“We are immensely grateful for the ongoing generosity of the Secchias and their vision for a better, healthier world,” said MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. “They made a commitment to invest in the medical discoveries that are yet to come and believe this community is a driving force in making them happen.”

In 2016, Richard and Helen DeVos with Peter and Joan Secchia announced a combined gift of $15 million to launch the capital campaign for the construction of the university’s Grand Rapids Research Center. Prior to that, the couples announced a $20 million combined gift to construct and name the Secchia Center, MSU College of Human Medicine’s headquarters in downtown Grand Rapids.

“Joan and I are committed to helping MSU and the College of Human Medicine and are happy to help them close the books on this building project,” said Secchia.

“Peter and Joan are extraordinary. They understand our mission of bringing hope and healing, and they have been tireless supporters,” said Norman J. Beauchamp Jr., MSU executive vice president for health sciences. “Today’s generous gift frees up capital and allows MSU a tremendous opportunity to further invest in recruiting the world’s top scientists to Grand Rapids.”

Peter Secchia is a 1963 graduate of MSU’s Eli Broad College of Business and the former U.S. Ambassador to Italy; Joan Secchia is a 1964 graduate of the College of Education. In addition to their gifts for the Secchia Center and MSU Grand Rapids Research Center in downtown Grand Rapids, the Secchia family has provided significant philanthropic support to Michigan State University. Most recently, they donated a grouping of sculptures to MSU as part of their Community Legends program. The sculptures are displayed at the Grand Rapids Research Center and honor three female scientists from Grand Rapids who discovered the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine.

By: Geri Kelley