The Life and Philanthropic Work of Dick DeVos

Dick DeVos is a well-known philanthropist who looks for and utilizes innovative solutions to end social problems. Dick has been committed for many years to helping others together with her wife, Betsy. Interestingly, a visit to the Potter’s House Christian School touched DeVos, who by then had school-going children. On observing how parents struggled to pay for their children’s tuition, Dick and his wife began supporting individual students in the school. This led to more commitments in helping low-income families in particular. These commitments resulted in more and more philanthropic activities.

Dick DeVos was born Richard Marvin DeVos, Jr in 0ctober 1955. His is an entrepreneur-businessperson who hails from Michigan. He is the son of Richard DeVos Sr, the co-founder of Amway. In 1993 to 2002, Dick served at a consumer goods distribution company as the Chief Executive Officer. DeVos graduated from the Forest Hills public school system. From an early age, Dick involved himself with Amway, a family business.

At Amway, Dick learned to speak in front of groups as well as giving product demonstrations. The company acted as a stepping-stone to Dick’s greater achievements.
At Northwood University, Dick graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor in Business Administration. He later attended the Executive Study Programs at the Wharton School and the Harvard Business School. He has earned numerous honorary doctorates from universities among them, Central Michigan University, Northwood University and Grove City College. Dick DeVos is the current President of the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation, which is a philanthropic foundation. The organization is a Grand Rapids-area foundation, which has since 1990 donated thousands of dollars to educational, religious, civic, community, artistic and free-market economic organizations. In 2010, DeVos founded the first aviation public charter high school in the nation called West Michigan Aviation Academy. The idea behind the school being a charter school was to make it available to everybody, as there is no tuition in charter schools.

Since 2009, Dick’s foundation has been supporting ArtPrize, which is a Grand Rapid area art competition. In 2010, DeVos committed $22.5 million to Kennedy Center Institute of Arts Management. Besides, his foundation has funded various organizations such as the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute, and Acton Institute to promote free-market economics. In 2008, Dick and her wife established The Dick & Betsy DeVos Scholarship to support students entering MA, MBA, or MS at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, especially those from developing nations.