I thoroughly enjoyed the Family Weekend activities I was able to attend. From the soccer, volleyball and football games, to the “I love SVSU” sculpture dedication, to my conversations with visiting parents, siblings and others, I thought everyone involved represented our university well. My thanks to everyone who took time to participate. Such positive interactions are vital to our reputation and recruitment efforts.
I never tire of hearing stories of our students succeeding. Never. A few weeks ago, I heard from my former student Patrick McInnis, the CEO of Fathead and our Commencement speaker this past May (and former COO of Quicken Loans). He told me about a young woman who had made an outstanding impression during her summer internship with Quicken Loans in Detroit. Her name is Rosalie Stackpole, and now she is doing her part to extend similar opportunities to her classmates. As Rosalie puts it, “I tried to sell SVSU while I was there. I'm a Cardinal. That's what we do.” Let me tell you: she did it. Thanks to Rosalie, we are sending a busload of students to Quicken headquarters this Friday. They will meet with some of the company’s top leaders. This is a fantastic opportunity, and there are still a few seats available for students. If you have students you would recommend for this opportunity, please ask them to contact Bill Stec in our Career Services office.
As we move toward mid-terms, I want all of us to be mindful of our students’ academic success. Their success is our success. I’m sure this comes as no great surprise to many of you, but our internal data shows that those students who most need assistance are the least likely to visit their professors or use the Center for Academic Achievement. Please do all that you can to make struggling students feel comfortable about asking for help. If they don’t ask, I encourage you to reach out to them, and then take the time to help them and direct them to available resources. With proper support, many students can get back on track academically, and more than a few of our most accomplished alumni have overcome initial college struggles to make us very proud.
My congratulations to all the students and faculty who are part of our chemistry club, particularly president Erin Campau, a biochemistry major from Essexville, and faculty advisor Stephanie Brouet. Our chapter recently received a rating of outstanding – the highest possible – from the American Chemical Society. This honor is not easily obtained. A committee of chemistry club advisors from around the nation reviews reports and makes awards based on chapters’ activities. Over the past year, our chemistry club held a number of activities, including a run for charity that raised $2,000 for a pair of schools: one local and one in an underdeveloped country. Keep up the good work, and if your student group has received similar recognition, please let me know. As I mentioned before, I never tire of hearing stories of our students succeeding. Never. I hope I’m making my point.
We have some distinguished speakers on campus again this week, including our own Carolyn Wierda, interim associate dean in the College of Education, who will deliver the annual Rush Lecture this Thursday, Oct. 9 at 4 p.m. in Founders Hall. She’ll explore worldwide education trends and what it means for us. Charles Fishman, the author of “The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water,” the bestselling book on water in America in the past 25 years, will give his public lecture Wednesday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. in the Curtiss Hall seminar rooms. As your schedule permits, I hope you’ll attend these and our remaining lectures this fall, as well as our plays, concerts and all manner of cultural offerings.
For the next few weeks, we are hosting a group of students and faculty from Shanghai Normal University in China. That institution prepares 85 percent of the teachers for that city of 24 million. My thanks to our colleagues in the College of Education and International Programs for welcoming these visitors, who will spend time with our students and faculty, as well as the Saginaw Township and Swan Valley school districts. These international exchanges provide great benefit to all participants, and I’m pleased to have been able to greet so many of our international friends already this year.