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Michigan Matters: Marygrove's Dramatic Transformation

Southfield (CBS Detroit) - The evolution of Marygrove continues as the former college is being transformed with its focus on early education and wrap round community services to help young people as Marygrove Conservancy, Kresge Foundation, PNC Bank and others pitch in to help.

Ric DeVore, Celina Byrd, Carol Cain, Wendy Lewis Jackson and Tom Lewand at Marygrove where the corporate, business and educational community is working together to help the community.

Tom Lewand, CEO of Marygrove Conservancy, Richard DeVore, Regional President for Detroit and Southeastern Michigan at PNC, and Wendy Lewis Jackson, Managing Director for the Detroit Program at The Kresge Foundation, appear with Carol Cain, Senior Producer/Host, on CBS 62's "Michigan Matters" airing 8 am Sunday, to share latest developments of this unique undertaking.

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Richard DeVore, Regional President for Detroit and Southeastern Michigan at PNC

PNC Bank and Kresge also announced $57.5 million in additional financing to support the conversion of the Liberal Arts and Immaculata buildings on the Marygrove Conservancy campus into K-12 facilities for the School at Marygrove, a significant phase of the evolving P-20 educational continuum.


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Marygrove Liberal Arts Building and the new Early Education Center.

"This project will serve hundreds of school-aged children and their families and will play a significant role in revitalizing and providing critical resources to the Livernois-McNichols community," said DeVore.

PNC is also bringing one of its mobile branches, a 30-foot branch on wheels,  to the campus every other week to provide financial products and services and to help with financial literacy.

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Tom Lewand, CEO of Marygrove Conservancy

Lewand explained the Conservancy is a nonprofit started in 2018 to manage operations and steward the 53-acre campus.  The campus is being designed in collaboration with the surrounding Livernois-McNichols community as an educational, economic and civic anchor in its revitalization.

PNC Mobile Branch Wide Shot
PNC Mobile Branch (Courtesy of Robert Darmanin)

Lewand said it will include prenatal to Pre-K in the Marygrove Early Education Center operated by Starfish Family Services, K-12 in the School at Marygrove under Detroit Public Schools Community District in collaboration with the University of Michigan School of Education, and there will be wrap-around services and engagement programs.

The goal is to serve 1,000 Detroit children and their families from the surrounding community.

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Wendy Lewis Jackson, Managing Director for the Detroit Program at The Kresge Foundation

Jackson, who has been involved with Marygrove since 2016 when the college was experiencing severe financial distress and reached out to Kresge for help, talked about its 'cradle to career' mission of helping young people get a better start through early education and wrap around services at the campus.

Kresge Foundation was founded in 1924 to build and strengthen pathways to opportunity for low-income people in America's cities and to remove systemic barriers to equality and justice.  Kresge invests more than $160 million annually to help foster economic and social change.

She added of Marygrove, "this project is a testament to partnerships between institutions and the surrounding community."

Watch Michigan Matters, Sunday at 8am on CBS 62

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