Alumnus to receive honorary degree

May 5, 2016
Donald W. Maine. Photo courtesy of Davenport University.

Photo courtesy of Davenport University.

Donald W. Maine, a two-time alumnus of the MSU College of Education, will receive an honorary doctorate of humanities on May 6, 2016, at the university’s advanced degree commencement ceremony.

Maine, B. ’65 (Elementary Education) and M.A. ’71 (Reading Instruction), is most widely recognized for his 27 years of service and leadership to Davenport University. Beginning in 1977, Maine served as president of Davenport College for two decades, then served as chancellor of Davenport University until 2000. During his tenure, the institution grew from an associate degree-granting college to a fully accredited university that provides undergraduate, graduate and online degrees.

In addition to his years at Davenport, Maine held many positions with organizations in and around Grand Rapids, Mich. He served on the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce Board, the Van Andel Institute Board of Trustees, was a member and chairman of the Metropolitan Hospital and Corporation Boards and was co-chair of the Leadership Cabinet for the Michigan State University Campaign for the Secchia Center, among numerous other positions.

Maine—the author of “Maine Street: A Tribute to 27 West Michigan Entrepreneurs” published through Pearson Custom Publishing—is also a noted philanthropist. In her nomination letter, Marsha D. Rappley, dean of the College of Human Medicine for MSU, wrote that Maine has an “ability and willingness to raise money for projects that have enriched the lives of countless people in West Michigan. [All of his] contributions to humanity and his outstanding service as an alumnus of Michigan State University make him a laudable recipient of the MSU honorary degree.”

To MSU, Maine and his wife, Kathy, have established an estate gift in 2000: the Donald W. Maine Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Higher Education Administration will help fund a full-time doctoral candidate pursuing a degree in higher education administration.

Rappley was one of many to nominate Maine for an honorary degree. Other nomination letters came from faculty and alumni, and community members—including the Honorable Peter F. Secchia, a fellow MSU alumnus, for whom Maine helped raise funds for the Grand Rapids-based Secchia Center, the headquarters of the MSU College of Human Medicine.

“Through your ingenuity, philanthropy and civic engagement at not only Davenport University but also the MSU College of Human Medicine and the greater Grand Rapids community, you have worked to advance knowledge, transform lives and make the world a better place,” MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said in a congratulatory letter. “With your lifelong efforts, you have shown our graduates that with the foundational strength of a Michigan State University education, anything is possible.”

In 1999, Maine received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the university. He also holds an honorary Doctorate of Law from Davenport College.

Maine is one of four to receive an honorary degree during the spring 2016 commencement festivities.