When Davenport University's predecessor school was founded in 1866, Andrew Johnson was president and the Reconstruction Era had begun. America consisted of 36 states; Michigan had been one of them for only 30 years. No one had yet talked on a telephone, driven an automobile, or even read by the light of an electric lamp.
It was into this environment that 16 students entered a single classroom, on an upper floor of a downtown Grand Rapids building, to learn bookkeeping and other office skills at the Grand Rapids Business College.
Exchanging pens and inkwells for tablets and smart phones, students 150 years later enroll at what is now Davenport University for the same reason as their predecessors: to pursue the best training for fulfilling careers and futures.
Educating Across Three Centuries tells the story of a unique and enduring educational mission, following Davenport's growth from a sole proprietorship to a family business to a fully accredited higher education institution combining thousands of students at multiple campuses with a global online presence. It is also the story of a unique and enduring educational mission that has kept its relevance through profound changes in society, the economy, and education itself.