Dick Devos, philanthropist, president of Amway, and former owner of the Orlando Magic, is known for his involvement in community and education causes throughout Western Michigan. His foundation supports religious schools, arts festivals, community groups and churches as well. Devos is also an amateur pilot with an interest in aviation. As such, he supports the Western Michigan Aviation Academy.
The Western Michigan Aviation Academy works with High School Students to teach them about flying, engineering and other aspects of flight. The students can work towards their college degree while attenting the school. The Western Michigan Aviation Academy entered into an articulation agreement with Northwestern Michigan College in 2014.
Students who go through the Western Michigan Aviation Academy and then register with Northwestern Michigan College receive eight credits towards their degree. After earning an associate’s degree from NMC, they can transfer their credits to earn a bachelor’s degree in business with a focus on aviation.
WMAA does more than just focus on aviation. Any student who is interested in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields can enroll. Dick DeVos Academy provides them with an enrichment opportunity.
The academy started in 2012, and its first graduates left the academy in 2014. It can hold approximately 412 students at any given time, and the articulation agreement helps students coming out of high school decrease the amount of time they need to spend in college.
Dick DeVos continues his community involvement throughout Western Michigan and serves on the boards of many local governments. Dick once ran for governor of Michigan, although is campaign bid was not successful. He continues to serve as president of Amway, a home-marketing company that offers supplements and health products to people around the world.