MARQUETTE  -- Northern Michigan University will officially dedicate its art museum as the DeVos Art Museum in a ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Friday (April 15).  The facility is located at the corner of Seventh and Tracy Avenues.  The public is invited to attend.

            The event also includes the opening of the Senior Art Exhibit, which runs until May 6.

            The museum, formerly known as the NMU Art Museum, was located in Lee Hall until January when the renovation of the Art and Design Building was completed. The new museum features two art galleries, one for rotating exhibits – including student and community exhibits – and the other for exhibits from NMU’s large permanent collection.   

            The museum’s renaming is in honor of a $1 million gift by the Dan and Pamella DeVos and the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundations, both of Grand Rapids, during This Decisive Season: The Campaign for Northern Michigan University.  The gift was announced in February 2003.

            Dan and Pamella are scheduled to attend the dedication ceremony.  Dan was a member of NMU’s Board of Trustees from 1995-2003 and served as chair from January 2001 until his term expired in December 2003. 

            When announcing the gift, he said, “It was a great honor to have served on Northern’s governing board for eight years and to watch the university excel in so many areas.  My parents, my wife and I believe that Northern is as fine an educational institution as found anywhere in the country. We are happy to create this endowment, knowing that it will help to continue a Northern commitment to bring quality art to NMU students and the people of the Upper Peninsula.”

            Richard and Helen, founders of the Amway Corporation, were awarded NMU honorary degrees in 1998.  Richard served as the speaker at that year’s mid-year commencement ceremony. 

            “The NMU students, faculty, staff and alumni thank the DeVos family for its support,” said NMU President Les Wong. “The new museum, one of the best university art museums in the region, is an outstanding facility, one which the DeVos family members can be proud bears their name.”

Prepared By
Cindy Paavola
Director of Communications