Last Friday, the Board of Control voted to grant over 1,000 SVSU degrees for commencement weekend. This large number of graduates naturally led to a significant increase in the number of guests who attended commencement, especially during Friday evening’s ceremony, which was standing room only by the start of the ceremony. Accommodating such a large group is no easy task, and I thank all participating staff from Campus Facilities, the Conference Center and Alumni Relations for their patience, planning and flexibility throughout the weekend. I would also like to thank the number of faculty members who came out in support of our graduates; we cannot underestimate how important it is for graduates to see their teachers and mentors in the audience as they prepare to cross the stage. Thank you all for making this last weekend so special for our students and their supporters!
Just as soon as we said goodbye to hundreds of our students last weekend, we said hello to several more during the year’s first SOAR orientation. Over 100 students participated in SOAR on Tuesday, and luckily, Mother Nature cooperated. The incoming freshmen enjoyed a beautiful day on campus, led by our highly-trained, always-friendly orientation leaders. I look forward to seeing many more of our incoming Cardinals on campus throughout the summer, and if you pass by a touring group on campus, be sure to say hello.
Congratulations are in order for Kathleen Chantaca-Kubczak, administrative secretary to the Office of Student Life. Kathleen was recently chosen as a recipient of the Spirit of Frida Award, presented by Mi Gente Magazine. The Spirit of Frida Award is presented to female professionals whose contributions to their professions and to the community go above and beyond. This is a very deserving award for Kathleen, who continually puts students’ needs first and often volunteers her personal time to develop student programs and support student-led events on campus. Kathleen will be presented with this award at Comerica Park on May 30. Congratulations once again!
SVSU enjoys a long-standing partnership with the United Way, having recently participated in fundraising events such as "Saginaw's Most Stylish" and encouraging annual employee participation in the United Way campaign. This summer, we are excited to participate in "Over the Edge for United Way." This event will take place in celebration of the United Way's 100th year serving Saginaw County and will involve volunteers rappelling down one of the tallest buildings in our region, Covenant HealthCare Mackinaw, on Saturday, June 8.
Riley Hupfer, assistant director of the Center for Community Engagement, and Beth Alford, director of Military Student Affairs, will be representing SVSU. Coop will join them, too. You can support our brave volunteers and Saginaw United Way by clicking here.
We take tremendous pride in the performance of our Cardinal Formula Racing team, which competes on or above par with other high education institutions across the world. This year was no exception. The team placed 15th overall at the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers Collegiate Design Series at Michigan International Speedway. For the fifth year in a row, the Cardinals placed first among all exclusively undergraduate teams and continued to compete exceptionally well against teams from some of the top engineering education institutions from around the world. This victory comes for a group of SVSU students who work long hours — and often overcome plenty of racecar engineering-related challenges along the way — in demonstrating their dedication to the Cardinal Formula Racing program. My sincerest congratulations to these fine competitors; you continue to make your university proud!
Six of our student-athletes from track and field have qualified for national competition. Tom Goforth will compete in the 5,000- and 10,000-meter runs; Ryan Talbott will compete in the 10,000-meter run; and Ryan Kelly will compete in shotput. They will be joined by Allison Dorr, who is set to run the 5,000- and 10,000-meter competitions. Lauren Huebner will compete in the heptathlon and Jenna Keiser will compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
The NCAA Division II Outdoor Championship will take place Thursday, May 23, through Saturday, May 25, concluding post-season competition at Texas A&M Kingsville.
Best of luck to all, and go Cards!