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President’s Weekly Update - Week of Monday, May 11

Grand Commencement

College of Education students at May 2015 Commencement

I thoroughly enjoyed our weekend Commencement ceremonies; I hope you did too. My utmost thanks to everyone who played a role in making this most important event a success.  The Ryder Center was in fine condition, as were the campus grounds, and everyone seemed on top of his/her responsibilities. I can tell you that both surrounding the ceremonies and in general, our speaker (Hal Wilde, president emeritus of North Central College) was impressed by SVSU and its people.

Special Thanks

Basil Clark Commencement‌‌

I want to express my appreciation to all the faculty and staff who attended Commencement. This event is the crowning achievement for so many of our students and it means so much to them and their families, who have invested so much time and money here. It means a great deal to them to share the day with those who have worked with our students over the past few years.  Finally, a special word of thanks to Basil Clark, professor of English emeritus, who served as marshal and carried the ceremonial mace a final time. On behalf of SVSU, we appreciate all he has contributed over the past 40 years.

Summer Home

‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌Construction of Wickes Hall from the south. May 2015

I am getting settled into my summer home in Living Center Southwest. People are starting to find me, so it’s not the retreat that I had hoped it would be, but I can still see basketball courts out of my window and I will be working on my game for impromptu rounds of H-O-R-S-E. On a serious note, everyone involved in the relocation of staff from Wickes Hall has been up to the task. Items have been moved effectively; ITS staff has seen to our technology needs; people have been courteous and understanding. Meanwhile, renovation of Wickes Hall is in high gear. Mike Pazdro, project manager, has been the point person for all of this and has done an exceptional job. Thanks, Mike.

Good luck to Cardinal racers

Our Cardinal Formula Racing team is departing for Michigan International Speedway for the 2015 Formula Society of Automotive Engineers Collegiate Design Series, which takes place Thursday-Saturday. I’m hopeful of a strong showing. Brooks Byam, professor of mechanical engineering, always seems optimistic heading into these competitions, and he says “this is the most thoroughly-tested vehicle we’ve taken down there.” Last year, our students won the acceleration category, which essentially means we built the fastest college race car in the world – out of the top 120 colleges and universities internationally. Not too shabby. This is an excellent example of engaged learning that prepares our students to succeed in their careers. Best wishes to this year’s team.

Final GLIAC Standings

GLIAC Presidential trophy

As I’ve mentioned previously, I enjoy cheering on our student-athletes. There is one competition of particular importance to me: the GLIAC President’s Cup.  In case you haven’t heard, I’m the president.  SVSU finished 6th out of 16 member schools for the 2014-15 academic year.  It’s a respectable showing, especially in light of the number of sports we sponsor relative to some of the schools that placed ahead of us. As I’ve also mentioned before, our student-athletes perform well in the classroom, too, and for our strong performances in both arenas, my thanks to all our coaches and everyone in the Athletic Department, and let’s hope for even bigger and better things next year. Go Cards!

Community Connections

Mid Michigan Children's Museum volunteers

I received a nice thank you note from Angela Barris, the CEO of the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum. She was most appreciative of the fine work shown by several of our students who helped to develop “an exceptional learning experience” for 250 second-grade students visiting the museum. Two exhibits were used to teach science concepts in keeping with Michigan Common Core Standards. This is another premier example of community engagement. I add my thanks to all involved.