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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

July 5, 2012

Second Harvest CEO to address summer commencement ceremony

David M. Davenport

David M. Davenport

David M. Davenport, the chief executive officer of Second Harvest Community Food Bank will address Northwest Missouri State University graduates and their families during the University’s summer commencement ceremony Thursday, Aug. 2.

“We are so pleased to have David joining us for our summer commencement ceremony,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. “The work he and Second Harvest does is so important to our region. Community service and international competence are among our values at Northwest as we prepare students to be model citizens in their communities after they graduate. I know David’s message will be an inspiration to our commencement audience.”

A native of Baltimore and graduate of Texas A&M University, Davenport assumed his role at Second Harvest in March 2011. Since his arrival, Second Harvest has expanded distribution of emergency food and programs, serving more than 13,000 children, seniors and individuals per week throughout the organization’s 19-county service territory. Earlier this year, Second Harvest launched its innovative “Close the Gap” program that quickly became a model for similar nutrition assistance programs in Missouri and across the Midwest. This fall, Second Harvest will open Fresh Start, a one-of-a-kind nonprofit grocery store experience, combining purchase food opportunities with the emergency food services of a traditional pantry.

Prior to joining Second Harvest, Davenport enjoyed a successful 11-year career with the YMCA, serving communities in Texas as well as internationally in Japan, Mexico and Brazil. David began his hunger-relief work in 2004 when he became the executive director of End Hunger Network in Houston. He later became chief executive officer of the Capital Area Food Bank in Austin, Texas, growing a $26 million organization to a budget size of more than $50 million and nearly doubling distribution in his first two years of service. 

Last year, David earned the prestigious title of Certified Fund Raising Executive after securing more than $120 million in charitable contributions during his career and meeting the requirements of ethical management and donor stewardship needed to obtain the international recognition. Additionally, he serves on the board of directors for the Missouri Food Bank Association as well as the Former Students’ Advisory Board for the Department of Political Science at Texas A&M. A bi-lateral lung transplant survivor, David also is a staunch advocate for organ donation.

Northwest's summer commencement ceremony is set for 7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 2, in Bearcat Arena. More than 250 students from Northwest's three colleges and graduate school are expected to receive bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, education specialist degrees or certifications. The general public may watch the ceremony live via an online video stream at

Graduates along with their families and friends also are invited to interact with Northwest’s social media before, during and after the commencement ceremonies. Users may share their graduation memories on Twitter by using the hashtag #nw12, or submit graduation photos to Northwest’s Flickr feed. Photos can be taken with a mobile phone and sent to Submitted photos will appear immediately on Northwest’s Flickr page at

Candidates for graduation may pick up caps and gowns at the Student Services Center on the first floor of the Administration Building from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, July 30, through Thursday, Aug. 2, or after 4:30 p.m. Aug. 2 at the Student Rec Center.

Complete details about commencement at Northwest are posted on the Senior Spot Web site,

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468