University foundation produces gala downtown


Archie Manning. Photo via

A university foundation will mark its 25th anniversary by hosting a humanitarian and former NFL quarterback at its gala downtown on Friday night.

The Ferris Foundation will host its 18th-annual Ferris Foundation for Excellence Benefit at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, at 303 Monroe Ave. NW, at 5:30 p.m.

Proceeds from the event will support student scholarships and staff and faculty merit grants at Ferris State University.

The program

The gala will feature keynote speaker Archie Manning. Manning played QB for three NFL teams and is the father of Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Eli Manning.

Foundation Executive Director Carla Miller said Archie Manning is the right fit to represent the foundation’s mission.

“Humanitarian Archie Manning strongly encourages his audience to be active in the community and to always strive to make a difference,” Miller said. “Our university’s founder, Woodbridge N. Ferris, had that same philosophy, to make the world a better place.”

Kim Erickson, Ferris Foundation administrative assistant, said the foundation expects record attendance this year and has secured a record number of sponsorships. She said attendees can look forward to an entertaining, informative event.

"They will learn exciting news about the university, and it’s a chance to celebrate Ferris State University and its impact on the community,” Erickson said.

Tickets and schedule

Tickets for the black-tie-optional event are $250 per person and can be purchased online, by phone at (231) 591-2365 or at the door.

The gala begins with a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m., and dinner is at 7 p.m. The program begins at 8 p.m., and the keynote speech is at 8:30 p.m.

Ferris Foundation

The Ferris Foundation, a nonprofit, is the fundraising arm of Ferris State University.

The foundation was founded in 1991 and is the umbrella organization that receives and distributes all gifts to the Ferris, including annual and endowment gifts.

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