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Celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Ruth D. Jones

While campus will be closed on Monday, you are invited to join the SVSU community attending the Martin Luther King Unity March that same day in downtown Saginaw. The march begins at 10 a.m. at the corner of Franklin Street and Hayden Street and will continue to the Dow Event Center. There will be remarks about Dr. King and his life’s work at the end of the march. There is no cost to attend and no need to RSVP. 

As part of our university's 11th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration event, we will be hosting Ruth Jones throughout next week. A member of NASA's leadership, this trailblazing figure plans to meet with our students as well as aspiring scientists still in middle schools and high schools across the region. On Tuesday in the Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts, she will participate in a Q&A session following a 5 p.m. public screening of "Hidden Figures," the outstanding 2016 biographical film about a group of NASA trailblazers from the 1960s. Lastly, she will present her inspiring keynote address during the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration event Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the same venue. Both the film and presentation are free to attend. 

I also am pleased to be able to congratulate Carolyn Wierda, SVSU's special assistant to the president for STEM initiatives, on her latest achievement. As part of the MLK Celebration, Carolyn will be one of three people honored as a recipient of the MLK Drum Award, which celebrates the outstanding regional leaders who contribute to causes that embody Dr. King's ideals. Carolyn certainly fits that description. She will be recognized along with former Dow Corning Corp. leader Dave Stickles and the late Charles McNair, a beloved leader in education in Saginaw for a half-century. 

Welcome, Officer Brian Cushman!

Officer Brian Cushman being sworn in by Cheif Cliff Block

This week, we officially welcomed Officer Brian Cushman to the SVSU University Police department. Brian is a recent graduate of the Delta Police Academy. On Tuesday, Chief Cliff Block led Brian’s swearing in and pinning ceremony, where they were joined by Brian’s wife Samantha, son Walker, his father and in-laws and several members of the campus community. Congratulations, Officer Cushman! We are proud to welcome you to the University Police department and to the SVSU family. 

Shenyang visiting artists’ work on display in University Art Gallery

Shenyang artists Li Shoa Hong and Liu Wei at the University Art Gallery with President Bachand and wife Liana

Lliu Wei with Dr. Bachand

Two visiting artists from Shenyang Aerospace University, Liu Wei and Li Shaohong, are visiting campus for a week. Both visitors are also professors of art at Shenyang University. Their work will be on display in the University Art Gallery until Feb. 7, and there is a reception scheduled for 4 p.m. today, Jan. 16. The artists will also visit several art classes through the week and have given a talk to art students in the gallery. The professors are part of a partnership with Shenyang Aerospace University, as we currently have a 2+2 program with the university in art. We are pleased to welcome them to SVSU and hope they enjoy their stay in the Great Lakes Bay Region!

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer visits for Great Lakes Bay Economic Club

Govener Gretchen Whitmer

This Friday, Jan. 17, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will be joining us at SVSU to speak to the Great Lakes Bay Economic Club about her vision for the future of Michigan. Gov. Whitmer is expected to provide a preview of her State of the State address. The Great Lakes Bay Economic Club encourages the exchange of ideas on economics, business, and policy on a wide range of economic issues affecting the region. Registration and more information on the Jan. 17 program can be found at We are excited to welcome Gov. Whitmer to SVSU, and we look forward to her presentation. 

First Cardinal College Day of the semester this Saturday

Saginaw Valley State University sign in Curtis Hall

This Saturday, Jan. 18, SVSU will be hosting its first Cardinal College Day of the year from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This event is for any high school student wanting to get a first look at SVSU. The day will include a campus tour with a current SVSU student and a meet-and-greet with faculty from the students’ academic programs of interest. Each contact with prospective students is important. As always, I thank the staff in the Admissions office and all volunteering faculty and staff for their outreach efforts. 

Save the date: State of the University address

President Bachand speaking with SVSU

The State of the University address is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 6, at 4 p.m. in the Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts. With enrollment and retention at the front of mind, I intend to use that time to focus on the importance of embracing change and adopting a willingness to do what it takes to reach each of our students. I will also discuss key strategies to focus on student success going forward. I look forward to seeing you then. 

Remembering Alan Ott

Alan Ott

You might have heard that a long-time friend and supporter of Saginaw Valley State University, Alan Ott, passed away on Sunday. Alan, for whom the Ott Auditorium in Gilbertson Hall is named, enjoyed a 55-year career in banking in Michigan. He was also a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served in the Korean War. Alan was very well known in the Great Lakes Bay Region, but especially in the Midland community, where he was a dedicated volunteer and board member for several organizations. He was a member of the SVSU Foundation Board and received an honorary doctorate from the university. We will remember him fondly. 

Solid accomplishments for men’s and women’s basketball teams

SVSU athletics flyer

We start off SVSU’s 2020 Athletics calendar with men’s basketball junior guard Malik Ellison, who has been selected as the Great lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) South Division Player of the Week after his great play this weekend for the Cardinals. Last week's GLIAC Player of the Week was sophomore guard Myles Belyeu for the second time this season after his impressive Jan. 3 performance. 

The Cardinal women’s basketball team lost a GLIAC matchup at home to the Ferris State University Bulldogs this past Sunday, but Kaitlyn Zarycki netted a career-high 27 points and seven rebounds versus the Bulldogs. She was named the Meijer Player of the Game for her performance. 

The Cardinal’s track and field team will be competing at the Doug Hansen Open this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in the SVSU Athletic Complex. 

Women’s basketball will be competing against Grand Valley State at 1 p.m. this Saturday before the men’s basketball team takes on Grand Valley at 3 p.m. in O’Neill Arena. Best of luck to all Cardinal athletes competing this weekend!  

I wish everyone the best in the new semester and look forward to the milestones ahead. Go Cards! 

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