My compliments to our faculty, students and staff who participated in a multi-faceted, interdisciplinary community engagement endeavor, the B.A.T.S. project (business, art, theatre, sociology.) The showcase was Thursday night at The Dow Event Center where students presented on how to advance the revitalization underway in downtown Saginaw. (See ABC-12 story.) They devoted a semester to developing strategies for urban redevelopment, and worked with First Ward Community Center in Saginaw to bring young people to campus for art and theatre workshops. I am impressed with our students’ sense of civic engagement and desire for experiential learning. My thanks to the faculty who collaborated on the initiative: Dawn Hinton, professor of sociology; Michael Mosher, professor of art/communication & multimedia; Joseph Ofori-Dankwa, The Harvey Randall Wickes Chair in International Studies; and David Rzeszutek, associate professor of theatre.
While our B.A.T.S. team was downtown, I was among those raising funds to benefit the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra as part of the 100 Men Who Cook event. I enjoyed the maple-bacon cupcakes I prepared, so I hope others did, as well, but the larger point is that these community engagements are important. I know many of you donate your time, talent and treasure to support the organizations that enhance quality of life in our Great Lakes Bay Region. I can assure you it is appreciated. You may recognize some of my “competitors” from last night, Cliff Dorne, registrar, and Carlos Ramet, associate dean for the College of Arts and Behavioral Sciences. My thanks to everyone who supports our community in whatever manner best suits you.
We engage with our broader community, as well, as evidenced by our recent Passport to the World event. Our English Language Program hosted local elementary school students and provided them an opportunity to interact with our students and learn about other cultures last Friday. The elementary students toured the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum, created a sculpture, interacted with ELP students at activity tables, watched presentations and performances from SVSU international students, and reflected on the experience. My thanks to all involved in staging this event, and to the SVSU Foundation, which provided a Resource Grant to sponsor it.
I mentioned this last week, but as a reminder, if you are able to spare time, please visit one – or all – of the showcases planned today. First up: the College of Health and Human Services will have more than 100 students displaying their work from 9 a.m. to noon in the Movement Analysis Laboratory. The annual Science and Engineering Symposium is planned for 10 a.m. to noon in Pioneer Hall. In the afternoon, there is the inaugural SVSU Student Showcase hosted by the Undergraduate Research Program. That event is scheduled from 1 to 4:30 p.m. in Curtiss Hall. You will likely learn something, and I know our students would appreciate seeing you.
I would like to thank everyone – including a number of alumni – who spent time with several of us who were in Washington, D.C. this week for the Association of Governing Board’s 2016 National Conference on Trusteeship. We have a number of graduates making a difference in our nation’s capital. I also appreciate the four members of our Board of Control who showed their commitment to our university by attending. The trip also was an opportunity to meet with legislators, including Congressmen Dan Kildee and John Moolenaar; and alumnus John Hamilton, director of the National Archives (pictured).
My Twitter feed last night was filled with references to the “SV’s,” an awards show put on by members of our student-athlete advisory committee. We certainly have had much to celebrate this year – with more to come, I hope – and it appeared as though everyone had a good time. We have some home contests remaining, highlighted this weekend by softball, who are at home for a doubleheader today at 3:30 and 5:30 against Ashland. They’re back Saturday at 1 and 3 against Lake Erie, before closing the weekend on Sunday with games versus Tiffin at 12 and 2. The team is off to a solid 27-13 start, including 11-9 in the GLIAC. Go Cards!
Finally, in case you missed the news this week, I would like to extend a special word of appreciation to Jim Muladore, executive vice president for administration and business affairs, and his team, for their remarkable financial stewardship. Thanks to timely debt refinancing and a dedication to running a fiscally responsible organization by going above and beyond, we were able to see nearly $7 million in cost savings. I am often asked how SVSU is able to maintain the most affordable tuition rates in the state. It is because of decisions and hard-working leadership such as this.