We have a golden opportunity tomorrow. More than 650 high school students have registered to attend our Admissions Open House. Including parents, significant others, and the like, we will welcome more than 1,000 visitors to our campus. My sincere appreciation to everyone who has volunteered to be a part of tomorrow’s event, including dozens of faculty and staff from across the institution. Thanks, too, to our Admissions staff for their work generating interest in the event, and organizing it. In your interactions – tomorrow and throughout the year – please help our guests understand how much we care and how committed we are to supporting our students. Show them the extraordinary opportunities for undergraduate research and learning. Let them see your Red Pride. Let’s make tomorrow a great day to be a Cardinal!
Every year, our students show amazing dedication to our community, raising significant funds for local nonprofit organizations during Battle of the Valleys week. This year, we are collecting funds for Hidden Harvest, an organization that provides food for pantries and kitchens across our Great Lakes Bay Region. Their president and CEO, Samantha McKenzie, is an SVSU alumna. I was listening to the football broadcast last Saturday, and heard from this year’s Student Association philanthropy chair, Emma Eldred. Her passion for this cause and for this contest inspired me. Our campus will be filled with fundraising activities next week; I hope you will join our students and support this effort, as you are able. We have won the last eight fundraising contests with Grand Valley, and over the life of the competition, our students have raised $331,329 for worthy causes. Let’s keep that winning streak alive. For a full list of activities, and the opportunity to donate online, starting Sunday, visit svsu.edu/bov.
What an eventful, inspiring week now coming to a close. We kicked off the week Monday when world-famous theoretical physicist Michio Kaku spoke to a packed house about the future of medicine. The Cardinal Singers put on another outstanding vocal performance Wednesday under the direction of Kevin Simons, assistant professor of music. Then, on Thursday, award-winning author Samrat Upadhyay discussed the forces that make a writer. I’m confident those in attendance enjoyed these performances as much as I did. We have an outstanding lineup of events ahead of us this fall. I invite you to join us as your schedule permits.
One such opportunity is Family Weekend, which spans today through Sunday, giving families of students, faculty and staff the chance to experience SVSU thanks to free entertainment, student performances, crafts and novelties, athletic events and more. The lineup of events includes a tour of the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum, the Trunk Or Treat Halloween event tonight, a showing of Captain America: Civil War, a haunted house experience at Pine Grove Apartments, football, and more. Please welcome our Cardinal families if you see them on campus this weekend.
Tonight, we honor seven outstanding graduates and a student about to graduate at our annual Alumni Celebration. The honorees are:
Community engagement and improving our region are hallmarks of this institution. On Thursday, we hosted a number of our community leaders to discuss how best to empower Saginaw County K-12 students with the tools and motivation necessary for success in middle school, high school, college and, ultimately, the careers they pursue. This is no small venture, but fortunately some of our region’s most influential leaders and stakeholders attended the gathering. Our guests included Saginaw Mayor Dennis Browning; Reneé Johnston, president and CEO of Saginaw Community Foundation; Larry Sims, president and CEO of the United Way of Saginaw County; Kathy Stewart, Saginaw Intermediate School District superintendent; and Tim Wilson, Carrollton Public Schools superintendent. We engaged in important dialogue that will no doubt strengthen educational prospects for our community’s youth.
We have received very positive early reaction to the latest edition of Reflections magazine, which was delivered to offices earlier this week. There are powerful stories behind many of our people and programs, and our staff has done an outstanding job capturing these stories in its pages. The newest edition includes a profile on Jaeleen Davis, a current student who overcame both a childhood disease and a terrible accident this summer to continue pursuing her many passions; an insightful piece on the development of our “We” marketing plan; a look into how we have prepared our education students for a resurgent job market for teachers in Michigan; a feature on a historically-significant photo catalog preserved in our Zahnow Library archives; and retrospectives on our recently-retired colleagues Merry Jo Brandimore and Gene Hamilton. I hope you will spend some time with the issue at www.svsu.edu/reflections. The stories also are being posted to our online newsroom; I encourage you to share them through your social media channels.