WMU News

Phoenix Properties marks WMU centennial with $100,000 gift

Feb. 25, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- The principals of Phoenix Properties LLC of Kalamazoo wanted to show their support for Western Michigan University and decided that an unrestricted gift of $100,000 would be a fitting amount to contribute during the celebration of WMU's 100th anniversary.

"Phoenix Properties' gift is both generous and thoughtful," says Bud Bender, WMU vice president for development. "As an unrestricted gift, there are no strings attached to the ways the funds can be used, and that coupled with the amount makes it a very appropriate 100th birthday present for WMU."

Phoenix Properties owns, develops and manages retail centers, professional office buildings and apartment communities, including luxury student housing. Phoenix currently manages some 3,000 apartment units in West Michigan, many near the main WMU campus. Principals of the firm, two of whom are WMU alumni, are Steven W. Cadwallader, a 1982 alumnus; David L. Holmes; Alan L. Sylvester; and Gregory A. Taylor, a 1987 alumnus.

"Western does so much for the community and region," says Holmes, "and we felt it was important for us to recognize that with a significant gift. Giving $100,000 seemed like a nice way to tie into the centennial celebration.

"Even though some of us aren't WMU alumni, we all have longtime associations with Western," notes Holmes, whose grandfather was Cornelius B. MacDonald, an administrator under presidents Dwight Waldo, Paul Sangren and James Miller. Among other roles, MacDonald was WMU's first chief financial officer, with the title comptroller, beginning in 1948.

Among the Phoenix Properties-managed student housing near the main campus are the Arboretum, Hunter's Ridge, University Club at Howard and soon-to-be-completed Hidden Hills.

Media note: For a color photograph of the four principals of Phoenix Properties LLC, contact Thom Myers at WMU at 269 387-8710 or <thomas.myers@wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thomas.myers@wmich.edu

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