Welcome back! As the fall semester began this week, there was a sense of renewed spirit and anticipation for an exciting academic year ahead of us. This is truly one of the best times of the year, both for those who are longtime members of our Cardinal family and those new to the community. I appreciate everyone who has helped provide guidance and leadership for members of the new generation – freshmen and other new students, as well as first-time staff and faculty – as they navigate our campus. If you missed my Welcome Back address, the video recording is available online.
Classes are barely underway, and already our students are involved in community engagement work. Members of the Saginaw Spirit hockey team visited campus Monday to participate in NHL-level performance testing in advance of their upcoming season. Our faculty and students in exercise science, as well as our strength and conditioning staff were involved in the work that helps the team understand the players’ athletic potential. It also provides valuable experiential learning for our students.
First impressions go a long way. One of our freshmen described SVSU as his “dream school” in a TV interview this week. As mentioned previously, a social media post by one of our student's proud parents has received considerable news and social media attention. Hundreds of thousands of people have reacted to a photo showing the parents holding a bird's nest to illustrate their "empty nest" after they dropped off their son to live on campus. Our student, Cameron Piper, spoke to WNEM-TV5 and offered some amusing anecdotes and comments about what he values most about SVSU. I encourage you to check out the story online.
Our community-minded residence assistants volunteered earlier this week to help beautify the facilities at the Bay Area Women’s Shelter in Bay City. I was pleased to see their volunteerism was recognized by the nonprofit, which posted the following message on its Facebook page: “Thank you RA staff from SVSU ! ... who spent the morning with us moving furniture, cleaning, organizing and more. Thank you for making our shelter shine!!” I know many of you are providing outstanding support to important community organizations such as this one. I am proud of you all.
Our fall Athletics calendar got off to a tremendous start last week. The volleyball team went undefeated - 4-0 - in the Parkside Hampton Inn Invitational in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The student-athletes will attempt to keep the streak alive beginning this Friday when they travel to Miami Shores for the Barry University Tournament.
Our first home athletic contest of the year takes place tonight as the football team opens its season in Wickes Memorial Stadium … and during an evening game under the stadium lights! The Red Feather Classic game against Alderson Broaddus kicks off at 7 p.m.
Our football team will receive national exposure later this season, as one of our most anticipated games - the Axe Bowl versus Northwood - will be broadcast nationally Saturday, Nov. 3. What an honor. The game will be in Midland, so those planning to attend the game might consider recording the broadcast at home.
This week also marks the season openers for our men's and women's soccer teams. The men's team faces a tough test right away when it faces No. 1-ranked Charleston in West Virginia Thursday night. Then, on Friday, the women's team travels to play Ohio Dominican. Both teams will play their home openers in mid-September. I look forward to cheering those student-athletes on our fields.
The NCAA Division II Men’s National Poll was released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Wednesday, and I am pleased to report our team was ranked No. 11. Our cross country season kicks off Sept. 8.
There is a lot to look forward to this fall season, for all of our teams. Go Cards!
The academic year is off to a great start, but at least one last hint of summer remains ahead of us. Please enjoy the company of friends and family this Labor Day. If you travel, please be safe. I look forward to seeing you all next week.