Davenport University’s Excellence in Business Gala will feature CNN’s Anderson Cooper

Davenport University President Richard J. Pappas announced that the university will welcome CNN anchor Anderson Cooper back to its Excellence in Business Gala to be held May 17, 2024, at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. The veteran journalist first appeared as the featured guest at the gala in 2016. Meijer, Inc. President & CEO Rick Keyes will be honored as this year’s top business leader in West Michigan. The 25th annual gala is critical to Davenport’s mission to provide scholarships and make the university accessible to more students. 

The Excellence in Business Gala will feature a conversation between Pappas and Cooper, who anchors CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 and The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper. During his career, Cooper has covered major events in nearly 80 countries. He has played a pivotal role in CNN’s political and election coverage, anchoring from conventions and moderating presidential primary debates and town halls. Cooper is a regular correspondent for CBS’s 60 Minutes and has authored four books that have all topped the New York Times bestseller list.

Pappas said he is looking forward to sitting down and talking again to Cooper who was an insightful and entertaining guest when he appeared at the gala eight years ago.

“Anderson Cooper is a person who is living a remarkable life, and he is reflective and open to exploring a variety of topics with an audience,” Pappas said. “We had a great rapport when he joined us for our previous gala, and I know all who attend this year’s gala will be entertained as we learn from him.”

During the event, the university will honor Rick Keyes with the Peter C. Cook Excellence in Business Award. Keyes became president of Meijer in 2015 after rising through the company ranks, first as a pharmacist and later as executive vice president of Supply Chain and Manufacturing. 

“West Michigan benefits greatly from having Meijer headquartered in Grand Rapids, because we have the good fortune of learning from its leaders in our community,” Pappas said. “We want to recognize Keyes with the Cook award for his proven leadership at Meijer, his business acumen, his attention to Meijer team members and for the impact Meijer has on communities throughout the Midwest. We look forward to a wonderful evening.” 

Davenport University’s Excellence in Business Gala is the largest annual opportunity for people to support student scholarships. Seating and sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information about the event, visit here



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