We had a great showing for last weekend’s Homecoming festivities, and the feedback I received from attendees was overwhelmingly positive, despite the rainy conditions. I enjoyed talking to several generations of Cardinals graduates – including a few from the 1970s who could not believe what our campus looks like today. I spoke with several alums whose children are currently enrolled and having a good experience. Our Alumni Relations colleagues did a fine job organizing events, and Rob Grose, a 1986 graduate and current Saginaw Township manager, was an outstanding grand marshal for the parade.
Our celebration of alumni didn’t end Saturday. Five Cardinals — Chelsea Berg, Shannon Cooper-Toma, Kelli Fitzpatrick, Tracy Foster and Jason Pockrandt — returned to campus as part of the Alumni Authors event Wednesday. Seven graduates and one soon-to-be graduate will be honored next Friday, Oct. 27 for the 2017 Alumni Celebration, hosted in the Curtiss Hall banquet rooms. Today is the deadline to purchase tickets.
I would like to thank everyone involved with the continuing development of the Bay Community Health Clinic. If that title does not ring a bell, that is because this primary care health clinic recently was re-branded from its previous name, University Clinic. On Thursday, I attended an open house that reintroduced the public to the clinic, which opened its doors in 2015 within the Bay County Health Department building in Bay City. Among the clinic's supporters was our university’s own Cardinal Solutions team, which led the re-branding effort aimed at better defining the clinic’s role supporting the community. Blake Johnson, professor of art, attended the event. Kathleen Schachman, Wickes Endowed Chair in Nursing, and her colleagues in the College of Health and Human Services, have developed a truly outstanding partnership that epitomizes what community engagement is supposed to be.
Last week, our university hosted two accreditation evaluation teams. A team from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) visited to assess our engineering programs. Also, a team from the Committee on Accreditation for the Council on Social Work Education visited our campus to assess our new master of social work program. Both visits were very positive, based on the exit interviews. We are optimistic this positive sentiment will be reflected in the accreditation reports. Thank you to all of the faculty and staff who worked so hard to prepare for these important site visits.
Pedro Marin is having a good month. The marketing junior from Grand Blanc was a member of this year’s Homecoming Court. Not long after receiving that excellent news, he learned he was accepted into the NASPA Undergraduate Fellowship Program for the Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education. He joins about 200 students nation-wide this year. The program offers opportunities for scholarships, on-campus mentorship and professional development events to students from underrepresented and historically disenfranchised populations. The fellowship’s alumni includes our own Sidney Childs, associate provost for Student Affairs and dean of students, who will serve as Pedro’s on-campus mentor over the next year. Pedro plans to pursue a career in a higher education role similar to the post Sidney occupies today. What an outstanding opportunity for both Pedro and Sidney, and what an honor that our institution will serve as a setting for this important leadership development initiative.
Our campus is filled with student leaders, as a matter of fact. The National Society for Leadership and Success, the nation's largest leadership honor society, recently bestowed the Founder’s List distinction upon the organization’s SVSU chapter. Our students earned this achievement by completing eight out of 10 “pillars” established by the national organization. Of the 491 eligible chapters within the national organization, 34 percent earned the Founder's List award this year. Our chapter distinguished itself in other ways, too. Our members became “inducted members” at a higher rate than the national average. To advance from member to inducted member, students must complete a number of tasks including attending the organization’s events and guest speaker series. Our campus chapter also was selected to participate in a pilot program from the national society that offers additional leadership development for inducted members.
Every day, I move closer to my goal of raising $6,000 for the American Cancer Society’s Real Men Wear Pink campaign. As part of this effort, many of you will notice a giant, pink inflatable chair outside the M.J. Brandimore House on Thursday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feel free to stop by, take photos of yourself sitting on the chair, and share the images to help raise awareness about this important cause. And, for those who wish to donate to this cause, you can contribute via my campaign webpage.
Our campus prides itself on the students, staff, faculty and friends who engage their communities in positive ways. Here is another great example of our community engagement efforts: Deborah Huntley, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, and Peter Rose-Barry, our Finkbeiner Endowed Professor of Ethics, are both active in the United Way of Saginaw County Saginaw’s Most Stylish campaign. This initiative involves raising money for local literacy and education programs. To contribute to this worthy cause, please visit this webpage: http://www.unitedwaysaginaw.org/stylish.
I recommend visiting the new Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum exhibition, “Floating World,” by artist Karen LaMonte. This body of work stems from a 7-month fellowship LaMonte received in 2006 to study the kimono as an investigation into Japanese use of clothing as social language. The resulting sculptures — in rusted metal, bronze, ceramic and cast glass — examine concepts of beauty as seen through a different cultural lens. The exhibition is on display at the museum now through Dec. 16.
A number of our fall sports teams are hitting the home stretch of the schedule. In fact, the men’s and women’s golf teams wrapped up their fall season play recently. During the Motor City Invitational at the TPC Michigan course in Dearborn, the men’s team placed fifth after rebounding from a challenging opening day. Gunnar Stein contributed to that comeback, finishing tied for 11th place. Meanwhile, at the Battle in Belmont competition hosted by Davenport University, the women’s team placed fifth overall. Sabrina Coffman finished as the tournament’s runner-up, just four strokes off the lead.
In related news, congratulations to the men’s and women’s golf teams’ coach, Joe Vogl, who recently was honored with a 4-year appointment to the NCAA Division II Men’s Golf Committee. He will serve as the representative for the Central and Midwest Regions.
There are no home sporting events until next Friday, but I will certainly be cheering from afar. I wish all of our student-athletes the best of luck on the road. Go Cards!