Homecoming week is upon us, marking an important occasion for students to show their school spirit and for alumni to connect with their alma mater. You’ll find windows decorated on campus and any number of fun contests taking place among various student groups. I hope you support our students taking part in these activities, and I hope you find opportunity to participate in Homecoming activities yourself. Beyond what’s taking place on campus, our Athletics and Alumni Relations departments are once again partnering with 7-11 stores in Saginaw and Bay City for “Red Pride Friday” this week. Show your Cardinal colors from 7 to 9 a.m. and enjoy a complimentary beverage. I’ll choose coffee. A list of participating locations is available online. Our volleyball, men’s soccer and football teams all have home contests this weekend, too. Please support them, and please welcome any and all alumni you encounter on campus.
The next time I’m asked a question about student involvement, I’m going to hold up a poster of one of our freshmen, Pedro Marin. In just two short months, Pedro has joined the Student Affairs student staff where he designs publications and promotions. He also writes for the student newspaper, The Valley Vanguard, and he had a role in SVSU's recent theatre production of "The Grapes of Wrath." Pedro also became the first "first year student" member of the 63 Club, a program within Forever Red that raises money for student scholarships. All of these co-curricular pursuits have resulted in an impressive honor for Pedro: he was selected as the First Year Student of the Month by the National Association of College & University Residence Halls. With 597 chapters nationwide and abroad, this is quite a feather in SVSU’s cap. My congratulations to Pedro and all our students who contribute so much to our campus and community.
Our faculty are contributing a great deal, too, and I was pleased to see a few of them honored at the Faculty Association banquet last Friday. Amy Pierce, associate professor of communication, received the F.A. Service Award. Sara Beth Keough, associate professor of geography, took home the F.A. Scholarship Award, and the recently retired Ervin Sparapani earned the F.A. Mentor Award. In addition, 11 students received scholarships through their work with faculty. I’d like to express my appreciation to these colleagues for their efforts to advance service, scholarship and learning.
Our Fall Focus lecture series continues at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Malcolm Field Theatre with a talk from Graham Farmelo, the author of “Churchill's Bomb.” During the 11th annual James E. O'Neill, Jr. Memorial Lecture, Farmelo will discuss Churchill, the first political leader to be a nuclear visionary. The talk will explore Churchill's pioneering role in nuclear field politics and his collaborations with four U.S. presidents as well as his participation in a nuclear experiment when he was nearly 80. These visiting speakers also speak to student classes and often engage with our region. We’re fortunate to bring them to SVSU. I encourage you to attend these lectures as your schedule permits.