During the holiday break, we received outstanding news from Lansing, as the bill was signed that includes construction authorization and a $9.8 million commitment from the state to fund our $25 million expansion plans for the College of Business & Management. This is a tremendous boost for our enterprising business students and faculty, and for the regional business community. This new facility will serve as a vital resource to advance economic prosperity in this region and state. I would like to thank our many colleagues who worked long and hard to secure this approval. Our entire regional legislative delegation, especially Sen. Ken Horn and Rep. Tim Kelly, also supported this project throughout the legislative process; if you see them, please thank them.
Our students do not return until next week, but Wednesday, we welcomed more than 500 high school students largely from the Great Lakes Bay Region, Flint and Thumb areas — along with a few prospective students from up north — for the HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) regional competition for future health professionals. Members of our staff and faculty served as judges in the competition, which represents a partnership between our institution and a number of local career and technology centers across the state. Thank you to everyone who helped to make this annual campus event such a success.
And consider this a preemptive “Thank you” to everyone who already has signed up to volunteer during the Cardinal College Day event planned for Jan. 20. Each academic major is expected to have at least one faculty representative at the gathering, and a number of staff members also are planning to help us put on the best show possible. Already, more than 150 prospective students have signed up to attend. With their families and friends in attendance, we are expecting about 500 visitors in total. I am confident each and every one of them will leave with a positive impression of SVSU.
One of our recent graphic design graduates, Dillon Call, created a 2018 calendar inspired by the works of Theodore Roethke, the late Pulitzer Prize-winning poet from Saginaw. You can purchase a calendar at the following website: https://foundation.svsu.edu/roethke-calendar. Proceeds will support the Theodore Roethke Endowment, which provides funding for the Roethke Poetry and Arts Festival we are hosting and organizing in March.
For those interested in attending the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Luncheon and March next week, please contact Diversity Programs by the end of today. Tickets are limited for the luncheon and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. The march begins Monday at 9:45 a.m. at the corner of Franklin and Hayden in downtown Saginaw. Participants will march less than a half-mile to the Dow Event Center, where the luncheon begins at 11 a.m. We have had a terrific SVSU showing for this event in recent years; my thanks to all who will be participating again this year.
With classes set to resume next week, our Athletics schedule will pick up momentum again. A number of home contests are on schedule over the course of the next week. The track and field team will host the SVSU Classic on Friday, starting at 2:30 p.m. On Saturday, the women’s and men’s basketball teams host Davenport at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively, in the Ryder Center.