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Ferris Foundation Annual Report 2012

7/16 | Past Projects, TowerPinkster

“A Professional Responsibility”

TowerPinkster is known throughout West Michigan for its bold, transforming designs and focus on sustainability. With offices in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, the architectural engineering firm provides innovative solutions for a variety of health care, education, commercial and government clients. Ferris State University turned to the firm for design of the East Campus Suites student housing complex on the Big Rapids campus, which went on to earn LEED Gold certification in 2011, and renovation of downtown Grand Rapids’ historic Old Federal Building, the new home of Ferris’ Kendall College of Art and Design, which won LEED Silver in 2012.

However, the team at TowerPinkster, led by president and CEO Arnie Mikon, still wanted to do something special to honor the values of diversity and collaboration that it shares with the university, and to support those studying design. At the close of the Old Federal Building renovation, TowerPinkster made a gift to Ferris that will fund a permanent scholarship endowment to benefit students in the Interior Design program at Kendall.

“TowerPinkster is committed to supporting the communities in which we work and live, and we believe that collaboration among people of different backgrounds, cultures and experiences results in designs that better reflect the communities we serve,” says Mikon.

The TowerPinkster Interior Design Endowed Scholarship will be awarded annually to at least one student and is intended to benefit students who are members of underrepresented groups within Kendall or who demonstrate financial need. Kendall Dean Max Shangle anticipates that the scholarship will not only support on-campus studies but help students build professional experience and connections.

“Kendall College of Art and Design’s Interior Design program offers an emphasis in contract furniture, which presents students with numerous opportunities — not only in the classroom, but through industry experiences and international travel, as well,” Dean Shangle explains. “The TowerPinkster Scholarship Endowment will provide tuition assistance that allows recipients to make the most of these opportunities. We are tremendously grateful for TowerPinkster’s support and appreciate their wonderful work in restoring the historic Old Federal Building.”

Kendall proudly showcased the restored Old Federal Building in a formal ceremony as a part of Grand Rapids’ ArtPrize festivities in September 2012, but TowerPinkster’s impact will extend well beyond the facility and all of the learning that it will support. The TowerPinkster legacy will include all of the opportunities its gift will make possible for Kendall students in the years to come.

“I believe we have a professional responsibility to support those pursuing careers in design — someone helped us along the way, and it’s our turn now,” says Mikon. “And we’re most certainly proud to support a scholarship fund for a program that is housed in a building we designed!”

Page 9 - 11 of Ferris Foundation Annual Report 2012. View full report here.