Birgit M. Klohs named commencement speaker for Davenport University

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Birgit M. Klohs, president and CEO of The Right Place, Inc., will serve
as Davenport University’s 2019 commencement speaker on Sunday, April 28,
at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As more than 900 students
receive their bachelor’s and graduate degrees in business, technology,
health and urban education from Davenport University, Klohs will receive
an honorary doctorate of business degree.

“It is an honor to have Birgit Klohs speak at this year’s commencement
ceremony,” said Dr. Richard Pappas, president of Davenport University.
“As a former Davenport University Peter C. Cook Excellence in Business
Award honoree and a recent inductee into the Michigan Women’s Hall of
Fame, Birgit is a model example for our students of how to create a
successful and community-minded career.”

This year’s Davenport University graduates range in age between 19 and
64. They hail not only from cities across Michigan but also from 21
states across the U.S. as well as internationally. Nearly 40 percent of
this year’s students are the first in their families to graduate from
college. Students will be earning degrees spanning from accounting to
cybersecurity to occupational therapy and nursing with nearly 30 percent
graduating with a master’s degree and another 60 percent earning their

Klohs has served as the president and CEO for The Right Place, Inc., a
regional economic development organization, for more than 30 years.
Under her leadership, it has created more than 44,000 new and retained
jobs while spurring over $4.8 billion in new investment throughout West
Michigan. As a leading economic development strategist, Klohs
collaborates with local, state and national organizations on critical
issues related to economic development.

Klohs’ career began as an industrial consultant with the Berrien County
Economic Development Corporation. She later served with the Michigan
Department of Commerce and then Grand Valley State University, where she
was assistant director of the Office of Economic Development. Klohs is a
graduate of Western Michigan University and the Economic Development
Institute. She also completed the economic development finance program
through the National Development Council as well as Harvard’s executive
management programs.

Graduates will walk at a ceremony held at the Van Andel Arena in
downtown Grand Rapids at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 28. More information
about the ceremony and a live streamed video can be accessed at

About Davenport University

Founded in 1866, Davenport is a private, non-profit university serving
about 7,500 students at campuses across Michigan and online. With
tuition among the lowest of all private universities in the state,
Davenport provides high academic quality, small class sizes,
conveniently located campuses, faculty with real-world experience and
more than 60 dynamic undergraduate and graduate programs addressing
in-demand careers in business, technology, health professions and urban
education. More information is available at


Media Contact
Davenport University
Amy Miller
[email protected]

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