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President’s Weekly Update - Week of Monday, Nov. 30

Student of the Year honors

We know we have outstanding students here at SVSU, and I’m happy when others agree with that assessment. The Great Lakes Affiliate of College and University Residence Hall (GLACURH) was the latest organization to honor our students’ exceptionalism. Mark Maliskey, an accounting major from Memphis, Michigan, was named Student of the Year by GLACURH, which covers institutions in four states and Ontario. He earned that honor for his outstanding leadership as a resident assistant and for his involvement in campus programs such as the Residence Housing Association and the Living Leadership Program. What a great honor. He’s one example of the many outstanding residence hall leaders here on campus.

Congratulations to volleyball

Congratulations to the SVSU volleyball team, which qualified for the 2016 NCAA Division II Tournament as the No. 7 seed in the Midwest Region this year. They advanced far this year before the No. 2 seed Rockhurst University ended the win streak. Our student-athletes put together an incredible season, and I’m very proud of their success.

Making the right pitch

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I had a great time watching SVSU host its inaugural student elevator pitch competition this week. That’s when students from universities across the state signed up to pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges. The winner of the $1,000 grand prize was one of our students, Joshua Zyrowski, an international business major from Saginaw. Josh pitched the idea of a magnetic travel mug that clings to metallic surfaces. That’s a pretty genius idea that might save a few of our car floor carpets from coffee stains. Congratulations to Josh and everyone who organized and participated in this contest.

Tune in to the ‘1940s Radio Show’

‘Tis the season to enjoy our theatre department’s annual holiday live radio show-style production. This year’s show, “1940s Radio Show — Christmas on the Home Front,” will relive the hope, determination and patriotic celebration of the holidays during World War II. Along with our wonderful student-actors, the production also will feature performances from our Cardinal Singers. Ric Roberts, SVSU professor of theatre, and David Rzeszutek, assistant professor of theatre, will co-direct. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 9-10 in the Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts. Make sure to purchase a ticket and support our student performers — all while celebrating the holidays.

#SVSU63Days

The holiday cheer also means it’s about time to cheer for our seniors graduating in December. I got an early start on those festivities this week during Alumni Relations’ first-ever senior toast, which was part of our #SVSU63Days program. More than 100 seniors gathered with me in Curtiss Hall Thursday to share in their celebration. We talked about the good times we’ve had together at SVSU as well as the limitless possibilities ahead for them. I know this won’t be the last time I will hear from — or about — many of them. This group of grads will make SVSU proud.

The road ahead

Our market research partners at Dartlet returned to campus this week to share the results of their months-long study. They provided valuable information as well as a strategic framework that will help us both ramp up student recruitment and strengthen our brand. This isn’t just a December project, though. We plan to spend the coming weeks, months and years employing these strategies — with the help of The Image Group, a branding and marketing firm — in the most efficient and effective ways possible. I hope you will continue to be part of this process too.