Betty DeVos was born Elisabeth Dee Prince to Edgar Prince, the founder of the Family Research Council as well as the founder of Prince Corporation and automobile parts supplier. She attended Calvin College where she earned two bachelor’s degrees; one in business and one in political science. Her degrees led to her involvement in politics on campus and later on, politics on the national stage: she served as chairman of the Michigan Republican Party for six years; and, she also worked for Gerald Ford 1976 presidential campaign.
In the 1980’s she married Dick DeVos of the Amway DeVos family. Dick, an heir and successful business also dabbled in politics. He thrust the DeVos family into the political limelight when he run for Governor in 2006.
As a businesswoman, Mrs. DeVos serves as the chairman of the Windquest Group; a group founded by the DeVos’ in 1989. The Group invests in technology, manufacturing, and clean energy; businesses that open job opportunities for others. As a philanthropist, Betty Devos has served on boards of numerous non-profit organizations that advocate for educational programs, as well as companies that are focused on developing business opportunities. However, her strongest philanthropic efforts focus on her role as an advocate for children educational issues. As a mother and grandmother, DeVos and her husband founded the Dick and Betty DeVos Family Foundation The Foundation is focused on interests that are dear to DeVos family: education, and cultivating leadership in other areas that include community, arts, and justice. Read her interview with Philantrophy Table.
DeVos is motivated by her faith to serve children. When she was a mother of young children, Betty DeVos visited a Christian School that had been long-serving low-income residents. The visit and subsequent visits helped motivate her to improve education opportunities for all children. This interest led to her husband’s interest in serving the families and children on the State Board of Education in her home state of Michigan. After their success locally, the DeVos set their sights on helping children at the national level.
The millions of dollars that the DeVos family has given away in the form of scholarships represents her interest in supporting educational programs. The programs supported include the Dick and Betsy DeVos Scholars for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Scholarship which awards scholarships to college students at Northwood University. In 2015 alone, the DeVos’ Foundation supported organizations dedicated to education with gifts totalling over 10 million dollars. She also shows her support to education program by supporting college programs devoted to launching young people into successful careers. Visit Betsy’s profile page on facebook.com.
Despite her continued philanthropic efforts, Mrs. DeVos still finds the time to mentor children at the school where she first kindled her interest in the importance of childhood education.