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President’s Weekly Update - Week of Monday, Feb. 17

Editor’s note: This is the first installment of the Weekly Update under new president Don Bachand, who plans to continue these updates for at least the remainder of the school year.

Relay for Life Impresses

I attended the weekend’s opening ceremonies for Relay for Life and left quite impressed, despite the time the Criminal Justice Society had me “in jail.”  Our students were passionately pursuing an endeavor intended to improve others’ lives; they were well-organized and they were having fun.  I commend them for raising more than $40,000 for the American Cancer Society, and I look forward to working with them in their future philanthropic pursuits.

Founding Friend Laid to Rest

Today, our dear friend Eldon Graham, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering, was laid to rest. His contributions over the past 44 years are remarkable and he will be missed dearly.  Before SVSU existed, Eldon was among those calling for its creation. He left a successful career at The Dow Chemical Co. to join SVSU, where he personally oversaw the construction of Pioneer Hall and made personal connections with countless students. Last Monday, he attended the Board meeting where I was appointed president; he gave my wife Liana a big hug. So my first day as president begins on something of a sad note, but with special appreciation and admiration for Eldon and so many others like him who have demonstrated a deep and abiding commitment to SVSU over the years and decades.  More on that in a moment.

Legislative Breakfast

I look forward to seeing some of you at this Friday’s Board of Fellows legislative breakfast. SVSU has historically enjoyed the collective support of our region’s lawmakers, and we will need their continued support to advance SVSU and the Great Lakes Bay Region, as our futures are intertwined.

Provost Position Posted

The opening for the position of provost has been posted. I expect this search process to move rather quickly, as that’s one less job I’ll have.

Humble and Grateful

Finally, I would like to express my profound gratitude to all of you who have sent cards, notes, e-mails and text messages.  I appreciate your kind words and the thoughts behind them.  I would also like to thank President Gilbertson for his leadership over the past quarter century and for his friendship.  We face some important challenges, to be sure, but we also are in a strong position in many key areas. I am truly humbled by my appointment as president. SVSU is a wonderful institution, but we can be better still.  Our students will demand that of us.  I have high expectations for myself and will work very hard every day to meet them.  I ask the same of all of you.  I look forward to working together to move ahead without losing sight of where we have been.  Our late friend Eldon and many others are watching and counting on us.


Past Editions

Academic Year 2013-2014