It is with great pleasure and pride that I share the news that we were selected to achieve the “Great College to Work For” recognition from the Chronicle of Higher Education. We are one of only 93 institutions chosen; the list includes community colleges, private universities and public universities. This award has been given for nine years, but this is the first time we have participated in the survey. We join the University of Michigan as the state’s only institutions to earn the distinction. We were honored in three categories: compensation and benefits; facilities, workspace and security; and teaching environment. While the recognition is nice, the most satisfying piece of this award is that it is based on your responses. This is reflective of what you think of our university. My thanks to everyone who worked on this and/or took the time to complete a survey, and my deepest appreciation to everyone who comes to work each day and makes this such a special place for our students and our colleagues.
We may not have to wait long for our next national award. I send my best wishes to recent graduate Kim Salwey and the members of our student-alumni group Forever Red as they travel to Atlanta next week for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Network Convention. In March, Kim won the Outstanding Student Leader award and SVSU’s Forever Red won the Outstanding Student Organization award from CASE District V, which encompasses Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. Each of the district winners are now eligible for the national award in their category. We are sending 13 SVSU representatives to the conference; it is a wonderful growth opportunity for them, and we hope they report good news from the awards ceremony Saturday, Aug. 6.
Congratulations to Matt Zivich, professor of art, whose 2015 painting, "Overboard," acrylic on canvas, was chosen as one of three top-awarded art works at the University of Michigan's juried 2016 Stamps School of Art & Design Annual Alumni Show. Approximately 170 works were submitted and 68 were selected for the exhibition, which opened this week and runs through Sunday, Aug. 7 at the Argus II gallery in Ann Arbor.
As mentioned above, this is a great place to work because so many people consistently demonstrate remarkable dedication to the students we serve. Judy Youngquist, senior ESL specialist, was one of these people. She recently retired after 17 years of service. Judy was admired by her colleagues, and respected by her students; she would go to great lengths to help our international students master the English language, which can be a challenging task. My best wishes to Judy in her retirement.
As some colleagues depart, others arrive. Sidney Childs began his duties as associate provost for Student Affairs this week. He will have a few weeks to work alongside Merry Jo Brandimore before she retires. Sidney comes to us from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, his alma mater, where he had served for the past 23 years, most recently as interim vice president for student affairs. Sidney has led programs to enhance student retention and persistence to graduation, and we will look to him to lead similar efforts here and maintain the excellent student service our students have come to expect. As opportunity permits, please introduce yourself and welcome him to SVSU.
We enjoyed a nice event this week as the restaurant Cardinal’s Nest opened for business, across the street from campus on Pierce Road. They hosted a fundraiser to support Alumni Legacy and Forever Red scholarships, and the event drew hundreds of faculty, staff, students and friends of SVSU. They may have even presented the recipe for one of their featured burgers, the Bachand. I look forward to trying it. My thanks to everyone who came to the event, and my best wishes to all our local businesses.
Finally, I received a request from our recently retired colleague Gene Hamilton to share something with you in this Weekly Update. He was quite touched by everyone who attended the dedication ceremony for Hamilton Gymnasium. In his words:
“I have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of sentiments and recognition for my retirement. To have the gymnasium bear the ‘Hamilton’ name is truly an honor, and to have a special plaque included to acknowledge the contributions and commitment of my late wife, Mary Pat, was highly unexpected. My family deeply appreciates the love and respect of the entire Cardinal family. I will not be far away, and I expect to make frequent visits to campus to volunteer and to see my many friends – including you – and I will always be a faithful Cardinal. With love and sincere gratitude" -- Gene Hamilton
May we all express similar sentiments when our days of service to SVSU are complete. Until such time, however, please keep up the good work and please enjoy your summer.