Doug Rottman’s Story

A Legacy of Science and Education

Offering a planned gift to Van Andel Institute shows commitment to research and education and leaves a long-lasting legacy.  For Doug Rottman, executive director of the Rottman Family Foundation, his family’s annual gift supports the Institute’s Science Academy, while also honoring his father’s work as a scientist.

Honoring a Beloved Father

“As a child, my exposure to science education was in school and during time spent with my dad,” said Rottman. “My parents helped acclimate me to a world where work is done to help others, often times through science, but also by supporting and volunteering at Van Andel Institute (VAI).”

Rottman’s late father, Fritz, served on VAI’s board of trustees and had a long career in scientific research as a professor of molecular biology at Michigan State University and at the National Institutes of Health, where he helped to unravel the genetic code in the 1960s.

Rottman expresses his upbringing through the efforts of the Rottman Family Charitable Foundation, where he works with his mom, Carol, and remains committed to supporting VAI in a variety of ways. 

“We investigate and evaluate potential for funding programs in science education that will impact future generations,” said Rottman. “One of the most exciting things happening in science education today involves the introduction of inquiry-based learning and professional development for teachers, and that’s originating at Van Andel Institute.”

Your Generosity Impacts Students across the Nation

Doug also serves as an advisor for the education institute’s growth initiatives, and continually supports donor outreach efforts to encourage others to give to VAI.

“When you can see growth as a direct result of your support, that is important to a donor,” said Rottman.  “We continue to support the Science Academy at VAI because of the impact they’re having on education across the nation as well as the programs they offer to students right here in Grand Rapids.”

You can inspire students across the nation, too, with your support of the Science Academy. 100% of every gift to Van Andel Education Institute supports science education initiatives that are equipping teachers and inspiring students to love science.


100% to Research, Discovery & Hope®

One hundred percent of your donation goes directly into Van Andel Institute’s research laboratories and science education programs.
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