“Is college worth it?” I am sure most of us are asked some variation of that question on a regular basis. For reasons I hope we all understand, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” Michigan citizens recognize this. A poll commissioned by the Michigan Association of State Universities (of which we are a member) showed that nearly 80 percent of those surveyed supported the state investing more funding for public universities. Another key finding in the survey revealed 95 percent of respondents agreed public universities are important to the state economy. Among parents with high school students, 80 percent indicated their child will receive at least a four-year degree. All of us should take pride in this vote of public confidence and work to reinforce it, especially among our legislators.
Tuesday was "Decision Day," which many universities and high school students consider an important day for seniors to choose their college or university destination. While the date is largely symbolic - there is still time for future freshmen to enroll, after all - we are undoubtedly in the stretch run for first-year student enrollment decisions. We continue to see positive indications, but there is still plenty of important work to do to enroll these students and continue recruiting. Our first Orientation session (SOAR) for fall 2018 is Friday, May 18. If you are on campus that day, please do all you can to make these students feel welcome.
We were fortunate the good weather arrived in time for Wednesday's public dedication event for a series of SVSU student-created murals installed on the exterior of the Bayshire Building in Bay City. The artwork depicts Civil War soldiers, fire rescue, local athletes, lumber industries, and rock music associated with the city. Thank you to the student artists; the art department; and Mike Mosher, professor of art/communication and multimedia. These are great learning opportunities and they beautify our region.
Congratulations to the staff of The Valley Vanguard, our student newspaper, which was nominated as a top 3 finalist for the best college newspaper award by the Michigan Press Association. The staff will learn where it placed in the top three during the association's annual convention May 10 in Lansing. A number of reporters, photographers and graphic designers earned individual awards as well, including Connor Doyle, the publication's second-year editor-in-chief. You can read about the individual awards by clicking here. Congratulations to Connor; Andy Hoag, the newspaper's adviser; and the entire Vanguard staff.
Liana and I were happy to be servers for over 750 of our hard-working students on Sunday to ease the tensions of exam week during the Late Night Breakfast hosted by Dining Services. Thank you to Daniel Najera, Matt Wilton and the entire Dining Services staff for hosting this great event, and to all the faculty and staff who volunteered.
Winter seemed to hold a healthy lock on the region until this week, when spring has truly blossomed across campus. What great timing, making for beautiful scenery for students able to study for finals in an outdoors setting. The opportunity to be outside appeared to reduce the anxiety attached with finals week. Thank you to the maintenance crews who keep our campus - both indoors and out - looking great.
Last Friday's series of student showcases was inspiring. The Science and Engineering Symposium, the Undergraduate Research Program and other events highlighted the passionate, hard-working nature of our students and the outstanding support they receive from faculty. At SVSU, we pride ourselves on the education we offer our students. On days such as last Friday, our students become the educators. I could not be more proud of them.
None of us can make every event on campus, but SVSU social media channels are a great tool to stay informed. We passed a milestone this week: More than 30,000 people now follow SVSU's official Facebook page, created about a decade ago. Social media is such an important tool in today's world, especially among younger audiences that include our students and prospects. Our continued development of an audience on that stage is critical to relaying our message and raising awareness of all SVSU offers. If you are not already, I encourage you to get connected with our social media accounts and share the positive messages within your own social networks. Click here for a helpful directory of many of the university's social media accounts.
Thank you again to everyone who attended last Friday's All-University Awards banquet. I was proud of the faculty and staff recognized so deservedly for their accomplishments, and I was pleased to award Dave Abbs the Distinguished Service Medallion for all he has done – and continues to do – for SVSU. Click here for a recap of our award recipients.
Congratulations to the members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute who won the Altrusa International /Rotary Club of Saginaw 13th Annual Bee for Literacy Wednesday. The team, calling itself the "ABC Darians," out-spelled a dozen other teams. Proceeds from this year's event benefited the CAN Council Safer Older Smarter program as well as Major Chords for Minors.
Congratulations to the men's golf team, which qualified to participate in the NCAA Division II Midwest/Central Super Regionals May 7-9 at the Findlay Country Club in Ohio. The team earned the No. 7 seed from the Midwest Region. For the women's golf team, sophomore Sabrina Coffman earned a bid to compete as an individual at the NCAA Division II East Super Regionals at Ferris State.
Our track and field teams opened competition at the GLIAC Outdoor Championships Wednesday at Ashland University. After five events, SVSU held the top three positions in the men’s decathlon.
The softball team, opens the GLIAC Tournament Friday at 12:30 p.m. vs. Ashland at The Sports Force Parks in Sandusky, Ohio. The baseball team hosts Northwood at 4 p.m. Friday, at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, and again at noon Sunday.
Best wishes to all our student-athletes. Go Cards!