Compassion and comfort have long been the driving factors behind the philanthropic endeavors of Pete and Stephanie Kramer.
The Lansing natives have a lengthy history of supporting transformational projects in the community they still call home. Yet few of their initiatives of generosity will have as far-reaching and long-lasting impact as the couple’s donation to the McLaren Greater Lansing Foundation’s Campaign of Care. The contribution to the effort to bring the new McLaren Greater Lansing health care campus online was highlighted with the dedication of the Kramer Family Surgery Lounge in advance of the opening of the world-class facility in March 2022.
“We’ve done a lot of projects together. None are as special as this one,” Pete said. “It’s right in our hometown. It’s where we seek care. … We also wanted to help the members of our hometown community receive the best care possible and do so in a welcoming setting. We thought this was where the public interacts with the hospital, it’s right here getting surgery, and we wanted you to do some special things here that made it comfortable for people who are going through a really stressful time.”
Both Pete and Stephanie have lifelong ties to the Greater Lansing community. Pete attended Lansing Public Schools, graduating from J.W. Sexton High School before studying mechanical engineering at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Upon leaving the military at the rank of captain, he returned to Lansing to begin a career in construction, eventually opening his own construction firm, Kramer Management Group, in 2010.
Stephanie attended Lansing Catholic High School prior to graduating from Michigan State University and moving into teaching at Mona Shores Public Schools in Muskegon, which is when she and Pete began dating. She returned to MSU to obtain her master’s degree in athletic administration and worked in intramural sports at the university until making the decision to stay home and raise their three children.
The couple said the importance of giving back was instilled in them by their families. They have served on boards at St. Gerald Catholic Church and Lansing Catholic High School and have helped those who are struggling by supporting numerous area nonprofit agencies.
“Our roots in the Catholic Church as well as the spirit of service instilled in us through the military and in teaching young people have driven us to look for ways to continue making our community stronger while helping those most in need,” the Kramers said. “It is through those guiding principles
that made providing a leadership gift to the new McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital a chance for us to really make a difference.”
The Kramers’ ties to McLaren stretch back years. The majority of Kramer Management Group’s work over the last seven years has been in health care, and the company has managed many projects for McLaren totaling over $1 billion in capital investment by the hospital system.
“This one’s special to me because I feel like I’ve forged a friendship with the family over the last few years,” McLaren Greater Lansing President and CEO Kirk Ray said at the dedication of the Kramer Family Surgery Lounge. “If you walk around the entire campus, there’s no nicer area than where we’re standing right here. It probably has the best view, the best lighting — and, if you think about, your name is going to be here for thousands of patients.”
Lynn Griffor, vice president of philanthropy for the McLaren Greater Lansing Foundation, noted that the gift from the Kramers shows how generosity and giving helps shape a project the size and scope of the $600 million health care campus.
“I truly believe it turns a facility or an institution into a true community asset,” Griffor said. “Philanthropy is all those little touches and things you can’t budget for. When someone comes here, they’re expecting to get great care and leave better than they arrive; but it’s the artwork and the beautiful furniture and the signage — all the things that generosity like the Kramers’ gift will contribute towards..”
During the dedication, the Kramers expressed their gratitude to business partners, family and friends for the unyielding support in helping to bring the McLaren project to reality.
“This is a really special day for us. We’ve been blessed in a lot of different ways, and we just wanted the chance to give back and show our appreciation,” Pete said.
However, even more importantly, Pete said the donation to the facility serves as an example to the couple’s children that giving back is what being a part of a community is all about.
“This is a heck of a facility. We’re proud to be a part of it,” he said.