Why I Give… as a first-generation graduate

The Davenport University Foundation strives to provide scholarship support to every student in need. Last year, 39% of students received Foundation scholarships. First-generation students represented 32% of those awarded.
We asked a few of our alumni who were the first in their families to graduate from college to explain the impact being a first-generation graduate has had on their family, lives and careers — and why supporting Davenport students through scholarships became an important part of their philanthropic endeavors.


“I am not only a first-generation student but also the only one of my eight siblings to have graduated college. The opportunities that Davenport offered me as I earned my two degrees gave me the career and the confidence to encourage my children to pursue their education. Both of my girls are graduates of the BSN program at Davenport. I know not all students receive the support they need, so by giving to support nursing students, I hope they get the chance to walk across the stage with their degrees and feel that their dreams have come true.”

Deann Giles MBA ’14
The Giles Children Annual Nursing Scholarship


“We are both very proud Davenport University alumni.  We are both the first in our families to go to college and graduate with a four-year degree. Our families were so supportive of us and encouraged us to follow our dreams for a better future. We met during our time at Davenport University, fell in love and married over 20 years ago. Establishing a scholarship that supports first-gen students has been a dream of ours for a long time; we wanted to be able to give back to the community and help future first-generation students accomplish their dreams in life as we did.”

Kevin R. Tryon ’98, Erin R. Tryon CIA ’98
The Kevin and Erin Tryon First Generation Endowed Scholarship


“Davenport changed my life for the better. During high school, college was not a serious consideration. I had no idea how to apply, obtain financial assistance, or where I would even go. Both of my older sisters had taken the military path, and I thought that would probably be mine as well. A recruiter from Davenport visited my high school accounting class. They had us set goals, and that was amazing to me. I had never thought to sit down and dream about what I wanted to achieve in life. I set goals that day and I haven’t stopped since, 30 years later. I now can say that I have met the goal of obtaining my CPA license, owning my own company and achieving so many other things I never thought possible. Giving to Davenport is important to my family because we know from experience the importance of not only attending college but attending a college that promotes usable skills that you can apply in your career and life as a whole. I hope to help change someone else’s life by assisting them in attending Davenport.”

Ann Vidro CPA ’96
Vidro Family Entrepreneurship Endowed Scholarship



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