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April 2, 2020


Andrew J. Bethune '87

Dear Friends,

Thank you! In this challenging time I am reminded of the importance of gratitude. The positive responses to the online newsletter we sent last week were heartwarming, reassuring and encouraging. This positive energy from all of you is surely being felt by our campus community and is deeply appreciated.

I am pleased to share with you more student and faculty perspectives, along with elements of our campus life that are so important to all of us. From Athletics to the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum, I hope you enjoy this remote ‘walk’ around campus.

We look forward to connecting with you and invite you to share any comments or questions at our email: foundation@svsu.edu.

Andy Bethune's signature
Andrew J. Bethune '87
Executive Director, SVSU Foundation

Embracing Online Education  

Teaching remotely

Peter Rose-Barry
Finkbeiner Endowed Professor of Ethics
Department of Philanthropy

What is your greatest “aha” moment so far?

Two such moments, maybe. First, our students are actually up for this. They are pretty savvy when it comes to operating in virtual space so the leap for them isn’t too terrible, even if I despair a bit for some of my colleagues who have been fighting online and virtual education for the last few years. The resources that we have – say, Canvas, our online management system – are very workable and support from SVSU has been really, really good. Second, I’m not sure there isn’t a way to do this once the world isn’t on fire. I’ve been happy to leave online teaching to the spring and summer classes, but I’m getting more and more attracted to the idea of developing online courses for the fall and winter semesters too. I do wonder if our current health care crisis isn’t going to look like the moment when we all started to really embrace online education. 

Describe your remote work space.

I have a home office and it contains 99% of what I need to work. I’ve got almost all of my books at home anyway and I’m pretty comfortable here. It’s also upstairs and away from some of the familiar distractions. (That’s one of my feline friends supervising the work day. Note the Manchester City mug in the background. I miss the Premier League [football/soccer] something fierce.)

What do you miss most about campus life?

The familiar stuff. I have a number of friends that I usually only see on campus and that I certainly am not running into right now. I miss seeing students, especially those students I am not teaching this semester and especially those that are planning on graduating at the end of the academic year. And honestly, I miss wearing some of my work clothes. I had a regular day that I and some colleagues would wear bow ties. I’m not even wearing socks at the moment. So be it. Do I miss meetings on campus that could have been emails? I do not.

What is one thing that has changed for you that most people wouldn’t realize?

I don’t have a good answer for this one. I have all the familiar problems that everyone else has and my own liabilities are becoming clear. (I like to listen to vinyl records. One of my speakers seems to be blown. I haven’t got a clue what to do about it.) Maybe that’s the lesson of all this: we share some tremendous needs and weaknesses that isolation can really bring out. What’s really going to be interesting is what happens once this is all over. What does the return to social life look like? Mass parties in the street? Strangers embracing each other? I honestly have no idea but it will be something to see.

Adjusting to Change 

Learning online

Tyler Sadilek, B.S. 2020
College of Science, Engineering & Technology

portrait of Tyler Sadilek

What is your greatest “aha” moment so far?

When the initial news of campuses across the state began to spread, I was in and out of classes. Each and every time I would walk out of a class and check my phone, there was more news and it seemed to get worse every time. My “aha” moment was when at the beginning of the day on Wednesday I was going to class per usual, only really knowing that COVID-19 was in the United States, to suddenly knowing that my senior year was not going to end the way I had envisioned. Study abroad trips, cancelled. Graduation, postponed. I never knew that when I walked out of Science West that day, it would truly be the end of my undergraduate career on this campus. However, I was and continue to be impressed with the steps SVSU has taken so quickly to ensure our safety, and for that I am absolutely grateful.

Describe your remote work space.

My remote workspace, quite honestly, is the comfort of my reclining couch in my favorite grey PJs. (I will not submit a selfie because I simply do not do my hair when I get to go to school from my couch.)

What do you miss most about campus life?

I miss my friends! My “spot” on campus the past four years has been Starbucks. My roommates and friends knew that if they couldn’t get ahold of me, this is where I was with a hot coffee. Once the COVID-19 news hit, I still went to my usual spot on campus to do homework (alone, to practice social distancing of course). However, Starbucks was not allowing people to sit (understandably so) and none of my peers were around. The campus was a ghost town and it made me realize that I took for granted the friendly faces I saw in Starbucks every day and the nice barista who always gave me extra whipped cream when I asked.

What is one thing that has changed for you that most people wouldn’t realize?

One thing that has changed for me that most wouldn’t realize is that I didn’t get to say goodbye. As a senior, I was doing my best to soak in all of the “lasts” that were coming. The last time I walked from my apartment to class, the last time the fountain came on in the spring after a long winter (we all know this was the best day of the year), the last Thursday night out with my friends. We are adjusting, as we have no other choice, but the last chapter of this book got closed too soon.


Cardinal Athletics

Celebrating Seniors

portraits of three male golfers 

With the athletics season ending earlier than expected, we are celebrating Cardinal seniors who have concluded outstanding careers with SVSU. This week we recognize golfers Alex Dice, Mitch Hughes and Jordan Weaver.

Following the fall season, the Men’s Golf Team was working hard to qualify for a spot in the NCAA postseason. Head Coach Joe Vogl, who is retiring in June, said, “It was unfortunate that the spring season was called-off about 12 hours before we were set to leave for our first spring tournament. We felt pretty good about making a run this spring but, unfortunately, we will never know!”

For more on the Cardinal Men’s Golf team and the graduating seniors, click here.


Wall of Honor 

Scott L. Carmona College of Business

Guy S. Garber  

 Portrait of Guy Garber 

In the Scott L. Carmona College of Business, the Wall of Honor pays tribute to distinguished business leaders whose influence, both professional and philanthropic, has contributed to the vitality of the Great Lakes Bay Region in countless ways.

We are proud to feature Guy S. Garber.

In 1907, Guy Garber was a farm implement salesman with a bold vision. He saw the automobile as the vehicle of the future. In 1910, Garber established Garber Buick Company in Saginaw. In addition to being an astute businessman, Garber was a dedicated community servant. Today, the company lives on, dedicated to the same principles on which it was founded.

See Guy Garber’s story here.


SVSU on Front Line Against COVID-19 

SVSU partnering with local distillery to

produce hand sanitizer

Man in front of pallet of something  

As the Saginaw community struggles with social isolation and shortages of essential products, Saginaw Valley State University is stepping up to help.

The university is beginning plans to produce 300 gallons of much-sought-after hand sanitizer that health care professionals can use while responding to the COVID-19 virus. 

SVSU’s plans involve a partnership with Saginaw-based Old Town Distillery, which recently donated 270 gallons of 190-proof alcohol that serve as a key sanitizer ingredient. 


The project is one of several COVID-19 response initiatives being pursued by SVSU in collaboration with Michigan Health Improvement Alliance, a nonprofit that coordinates health care-related efforts across 14 mid-Michigan counties. 

“As we face this public health crisis together, our university is proud to join with the Michigan Health Improvement Alliance and our regional economic development leaders to protect our brave health care professionals across the state,” said Matthew Kline, Independent Testing Laboratory manager.


From the Collection

Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum houses sculptor’s works


“The Boy and Bear”
Southfield, Michigan

  limestone sculpture of bear and boy

When it opened in 1954, Northland Center in Southfield, Mich., was the largest shopping center in the United States. The J.L. Hudson Company, the center’s anchor store, commissioned six artists, including Marshall Fredericks, to design sculpture for the center. Fredericks’s “The Boy and Bear” became a favorite.

The sculpture features a boy, cast in bronze and gold-plated, atop a huge – yet friendly looking – bear, carved in limestone. In a 1995 interview with Cranbrook’s Mary Iorio, Fredericks said, “I wanted to show the bear as a cuddly, friendly and lovable kind of bear.”

Following Northland Center’s permanent closing in 2015, “The Boy and Bear” was rescued and installed inside the Southfield Public Library.

The Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum at SVSU houses a plaster cast of the sculpture, and a bronze casting is on display in the Museum’s Jo Anne and Donald Petersen Sculpture Garden.  


Learn more through the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum digital archives and objects collection.


Student Emergency Fund

Financial relief available for SVSU students

student emergency fund logo

The coronavirus pandemic has upended the lives of SVSU students. To help students who may be facing financial hardships due to the loss of work hours, unexpected moving costs, healthcare costs or other circumstances beyond their control, SVSU provides financial relief through the SVSU Student Emergency Fund. The SVSU Student Emergency Fund provides immediate assistance to students facing unexpected financial hardships. If you are in a position to help, please consider a gift to this fund. Your donation will help students stay in school and provide financial relief at a time when they need it most.

If you would like to bring some much-needed stability to a student, you can make a gift here.


Previous "Advance" enews editions:

March 27, 2020 Advance (306KB)


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