Davenport University President Richard Pappas this morning shared his enthusiasm for Davenport University's Excellence in Business Gala on "The Andy Rent Morning Show" with guest host Tim Harris on 100.5 The River.

At the May 2 event, Wolverine World Wide, Inc., CEO and Chairman Blake Krueger is being honored with the 2014 Peter C. Cook Excellence in Business Award at Davenport University's Excellence in Business Gala. The benefit is at DeVos Place.

The gala, which benefits student scholarships at Davenport, has U.S. merchant mariner and author Capt. Richard Phillips as keynote speaker. Phillips was captain of the MV Maersk Alabama during its hijacking by Somali pirates in April 2009; and his heroics were chronicled in the Oscar-nominated 2013 film "Captain Phillips" starring Tom Hanks.

Blake Krueger (Photo: Wolverine World Wide, Inc.)

Krueger has been an officer of the company for more than 20 years, and formerly practiced law with Warner Norcross & Judd LLP. Wolverine World Wide manufactures and markets footwear, apparel and accessories, and the Rockford-based company had annual sales of $2.7 billion in 2013. The company’s portfolio includes Merrell, Sperry Top-Sider, Hush Puppies, Saucony, Wolverine, Keds, Stride Rite, Sebago, Cushe, Chaco, Bates, HYTEST and Soft Style; and it is also the licensee of brands including CAT, Harley-Davidson and Patagonia.

Phillips, a 58-year-old Winchester, Mass., resident, authored "A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs and Dangerous Days at Sea," about his experience and remarkable rescue by the U.S. Navy.

Capt. Richard Phillips (Photo: The Harry Walker Agency)

He and his crew of about 20 were hijacked aboard their container ship off the coast of east Africa for five days in April 2009; it was the first hijacking of a U.S. ship in more than two centuries. Columbia Pictures' movie "Captain Phillips" was largely based on Phillips' book.

The Peter C. Cook Excellence in Business Award was established in 1998 to honor the Davenport alumnus, and recognizes business and community leaders with an entrepreneurial and philanthropic spirit. Besides Cook, previous recipients of the award include Frederik "Fred" Meijer, Richard DeVos, Wilbur Lettinga, David Frey, John Spoelhof, Robert Hooker, Betsy DeVos, Donald Maine, John Canepa, Fred Keller, Peter Secchia, Doug DeVos, Steve Van Andel, James Hackett, David Van Andel, Carol Van Andel and Michael Jandernoa.