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Business Review Western MI
Business Review Western MI
Medical School
(2007-11-07)
(wgvu) - A good idea whose time has come'


Nov. 1, 2007

By Mark Sanchez
marks@mbusinessreview.com

After netting $35.7 million, Michigan State University expects to bring
in further donations to build a facility for the College of Human
Medicine in Grand Rapids.

The amount raised to date comes from more than 100 individual,
corporate and foundation gifts to build the $90 million Secchia Center,
the future home for the College of Human Medicine.

Nearly all the private contributions to the capital campaign, which MSU
is coordinating with Grand Action, came from Grand Rapids, including $10
million from businessman Peter Secchia, an MSU alum.

MSU has several requests outstanding and also has begun appealing to
alumni for support, Vice President of Development Chuck Webb said. The
university does not have a specific goal for the campaign.

We're going to keep raising as much as we possibly can, Webb
said.

MSU plans to begin building the seven-story, 180,000-square-foot
Secchia Center along Michigan Street, across from Spectrum Health and
the Van Andel Institute, in the spring.

Completion is targeted for 2010, when the College of Human Medicine
will relocate from East Lansing to Grand Rapids.
University trustees last week gave formal approval for the project to
proceed.

Seechia termed support for the medical school as unbelievable,
both financially and from the medical, academic and business
communities.

A good idea when it's time has come usually becomes a success.
This is a good idea whose time has come, Secchia said.

Secchia first raised the idea of a medical school in Grand Rapids in
2001 when he wrote a memo to then-MSU President Peter McPherson
outlining the concept.

MSU and business leaders see a research-based medical school as
providing the final piece toward making Grand Rapids a destination for
medical research and commercialization.

MSU has partnered on the Grand Rapids medical school with the VAI,
Spectrum and Saint Mary's Health Care, all of which have provided
major financial commitments.

You will be proud of what happens over the next 10 years, over the
next 50 years, college Dean Marsha Rappley said during a reception
last week to unveil updated renderings for the Secchia Center.

The Grand Rapids campus for the college is targeted to begin operations
in the fall of 2008, with 50 second-year students training in Grand
Rapids.

One hundred first-year students would start in Grand Rapids in 2010,
when the medical school will formally relocate from East Lansing with
completion of the Secchia Center.

MSU plans to admit 200 new medical students annually by 2014 once the
expansion into Grand Rapids is complete.
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