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President’s Weekly Update - Week of Monday, June 19, 2017

Board Update

Cathy Ferguson and Dave Gamez, two long-serving Board of Control members, at their final board meeting.

Our Board of Control met Monday and passed a budget for the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1. This includes a tuition increase of $474 for in-state undergraduates, which falls within tuition restraint guidelines set by the Legislature. We remain the most affordable public university in Michigan by a significant margin, and our budget – while stable – continues to be tight. We appreciate the small but steady increases in state support we have received in recent years, but our state funding remains $1,000 per student less than it was in 2001 ($4,581 then compared to $3,577 today). We know that many of our students struggle to pay for their education and any increase makes that more challenging. To all of our colleagues who work with our students to help them navigate their finances: thank you for all the support you provide.

I would also like to thank two Board of Control members who presided over their final meeting. Cathy Ferguson and Dave Gamez have provided fine leadership for our university for many years, as Cathy has served on the board for eight years, and Dave is completing 14 years on the board. In working with them as provost and now as president, these volunteers are thoughtful and sincerely interested in our students and in how we engage with our surrounding communities. We plan to host a farewell reception for them in the fall, but in the meantime, if you see Cathy or Dave, please join me in thanking them for their service.

Praised for community partnerships


A few weeks ago, we told you about the $40,000 Dow Chemical Company Foundation grant that promoted “chief science officer” representatives among middle and high school students in the Great Lakes Bay Region. The concept has been received with glowing reviews by the community, including the staff at The Midland Daily News, which published an editorial last week praising the program. “So while not everyone may be interested in science, it’s good to know that those who are interested have plenty of support and encouragement,” the editorial read. Read the editorial in its entirety...

Cardinal College Day a success

‌‌Student with Coop at Cardinal College Day

Our campus played host to another successful Cardinal College Day last Friday, when 137 high school juniors and seniors attended. As we inch closer to the fall semester, I am pleased to see our Admissions team — and everyone who volunteered Friday — work so hard to roll out the Red Pride carpet for prospective students and visitors alike.

Stars of the parade

Images from SVSU's entry in the 2017 Frankenmuth Bavarian Festival Parade as mascots Coop and #1 Fan entertain parade patrons.

For the second consecutive year, SVSU participated as a member of the lineup for the Bavarian Festival Parade in Frankenmuth earlier this month. Coop and his partner, No. 1 Fan, were among the enthusiastic Cardinals whose Red Pride could not be discouraged by sweltering temperatures. They greeted hundreds of onlookers while walking alongside the Dow/SVSU Mobile Research Lab bus. I would like to thank everyone who represented SVSU so well that day.

A Grand Prix for SVSU

Bay City Grand Prix June 23-25, 2017

You can proudly call SVSU a sponsor of the all-new Bay City Grand Prix powerboat race and waterfront music festival, which will be a familiar event for those who attended the Bay City River Roar in previous years. New sponsors are offering a fresh look for the popular annual gathering. The event, which will feature the largest field of F1 ChampBoat powerboat racing team in years, is scheduled from Friday to Sunday, June 23-25, in Veterans Memorial Park in Bay City, alongside the Saginaw River. A full list of events can be found at or Enter SVSU at checkout and receive $5 off all general admission and "beach party" tickets or $10 off all VIP tickets.

As part of the sponsorship, SVSU will have an informational tent and we are seeking volunteers to help distribute print materials, answer any questions and serve as ambassadors for SVSU. Two beach party passes for the entire weekend are our thank you for volunteering. Register now at    

Miss Michigan Cardinals

Five SVSU students or alumni were among the 34 women competing in this weekend’s Miss Michigan Scholarship Pageant. In fact, all five of our academic colleges were represented. Jaeleen Davis is enrolled in the College of Arts & Behavioral Sciences; Ashli Maser graduated from the College of Science, Engineering & Technology in May 2016; Mallory Rivard graduated from the College of Education this May; Kara Terry graduated from the College of Health & Human Services this May; and Alana Wilson is enrolled in the College of Business & Management. For several years now, at least one of our students finished in the top 10 in the points-based Miss Michigan contest, which features strong, community-minded women looking to make a difference in the lives of others. This year, Mallory — who recently was hired as a teacher by Bay City Public Schools — was the first runner-up to the crown. What an impressive showing for her and her fellow Cardinals.

Welcoming visitors for Thunder in the Valley

A collage of images from 2017 Thunder in the Valley games.

I would like to thank everyone who helped our campus host the 10th annual Thunder In The Valley games this weekend. This is a wonderful event that features disabled athletes participating in events such as track and field, archery, swimming, powerlifting and table tennis, among other sports.

Disc golf champs

Congratulations to SVSU’s disc golf team, which won the inaugural Collegiate Cup earlier this month at Flip City Disc Golf Course in Shelby. Our players competed against some of the best teams in the nation, including two teams from Ferris State University, which won national championships last year. The team took home a $2,000 prize and bragging rights for at least a year. Go Cards!

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