Congratulations to our Student Association on another victorious Battle of the Valleys fundraising campaign. SVSU collected over $36,000 for the Barb Smith Suicide Resource and Response Network compared to the $14,915 raised by Grand Valley State University students. This is the 11th consecutive fundraising win for SVSU's Student Association, which has now raised over $425,000 for various organizations since the beginning of the fundraising competition now in its 16th year. I am very proud of the efforts of our Student Association and the faculty, staff and students who support Battle of the Valleys every year, and I am pleased to report that, as a result of their efforts, Student Association will be honored by the Mid-Michigan Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals next Wednesday with the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award. This is a well-deserved recognition for a group that has consistently dedicated itself to assisting others throughout the years. Congratulations!
The Military Times has recognized SVSU as one of its "Best for Vets" colleges for the 4th year in a row. Our institution has been ranked among the nation's four-year institutions based upon our fit for service members, veterans and their families. This includes available benefits and services to veteran students. Beth Alford, Director of Military Student Affairs, and her team work hard to make their office a "one-stop shop" for veterans on campus, working to ease students' transition from military to civilian life after service. The center also provides a place for veteran students – many of whom are commuters - to get involved on campus. The Military Student Affairs office currently serves close to 500 students, more than 150 of whom are currently using their Veterans Affairs benefits at SVSU. Congratulations to everyone involved; this is a great point of pride for our university.
You can join me in congratulating Beth and honoring our veterans next Thursday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m. during the annual Veterans Day Celebration in Curtiss Hall. This celebration is a fantastic way to thank those who have served our country.
The Saginaw Valley State University theatre department opened their fall season with Carlo Goldoni's play "The Servant of Two Masters" earlier this week. Dave Rzeszutek, associate professor of theatre and the show's director, expects that audiences will "laugh hysterically" during this interaction-heavy show, noting that viewers can expect to be involved in the production. Cast and crew members have spoken to this play's distinct style. The set, for example, is built as the show is performed. Liana and I saw the show on Halloween night, and I can attest to the pure comedy of the show and I commend the director, cast and crew on a fantastic performance. You do not want to miss this production. The show runs through this Sunday in the Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts. You can purchase tickets and find more information on the show by visiting http://svsu.edu/theatre/showschedule/.
Cardinals Vote, a non-partisan initiative centered on connecting SVSU students with opportunities for civic engagement, has worked successfully toward preparing students to participate in the Nov. 6 midterm election. This initiative is supported by the Center for Community Engagement and maintains three student fellows that are funded by the Campus Election Engagement Project and the Campus Vote Project. This support has been essential in providing opportunities for voter registration and resources and information on ballots, proposals and candidates. All of these efforts have led to the registrations of 577 voters and will culminate in an Election Day party on Nov. 6. Attendees can stop by the Thompson Student Activities Room between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to check their polling place, learn about transportation options, and ask election-related questions before an election watch party from 6 – 10 p.m. in the Unity Room. More information on this event can be found on Facebook.
The Black History Mobile Museum will be on campus next Tuesday, Nov. 6, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Curtiss Hall. This renowned mobile museum, founded and curated by Khalid el-Hakim, features over 7,000 original artifacts of Black History memorabilia from the trans-Atlantic slave trade era to modern hip-hop culture. The featured exhibit on Nov. 6 includes over 150 original artifacts from various events and prolific public figures throughout history including Martin Luther King Jr., Aretha Franklin, The Jackson 5, and Muhammad Ali. Be sure to stop by next Tuesday for what I believe will be an outstanding learning opportunity for our faculty, staff and students. My thanks to the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, the African Student Union, the Organization for Black Unity, Phoenix Light, and the Black Studies program for bringing the museum to campus.
Next week marks the beginning of International Education Week. Our office of International and Advanced Studies will kick off the week with a Coffee House Series in the Thompson Student Activities Room at 8 p.m. and continue throughout the week with various activities and learning opportunities. The International Food Festival – one of my favorite events of the year – will take place on Tuesday in the Marketplace at Doan from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Office of International and Advanced Education has worked hard to put a robust Education Week schedule in place, and I encourage you to join in when possible. You can view a full schedule of International Education Week events by clicking here: https://vimeo.com/298030939
We are beginning the crescendo of the fall sports season. The men’s soccer team earned the top seed in the GLIAC tournament and we at SVSU will host the semifinals and finals. Our team plays Northwood at 11 a.m. Friday. The winner will play in the championship match Sunday. The men are currently ranked No. 1 in the Midwest region and No. 11 nationally.
The women’s team advanced to the GLIAC semifinals with a 4-0 win over UW-Parkside Tuesday and will take on Ferris State tomorrow at Grand Valley. The winner will play again on Sunday. The women are currently No. 4 in the Midwest region.
After their fourth-quarter rally against Grand Valley came up just short last Saturday, the football team plays at Northwood in the Axe Bowl. If you can’t make it to Midland Saturday the game will be aired locally on WSGW 100.5 FM and nationally online on ESPN 3.
Our volleyball team concludes their regular season Saturday at Lake Superior State after a great 3-2 comeback over Northwood on Senior Day last weekend. The team is competing for a top 4 conference finish and the right to host a first-round match in the GLIAC tournament.
Our men’s and women’s cross country teams will race in the GLIAC Championships this weekend. The men are currently No. 2 in the region and No. 10 nationally, while the women are No. 5 in the region and No. 25 nationally.
The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams continued their winning ways, defeating Findlay last weekend; the Findlay women were ranked No. 19 nationally. SVSU swimmer Lydia Mattar was named GLIAC Athlete of the Week after posting a pair of first place finishes in the 400-meter individual medley and the 200-meter breaststroke. Our teams return to the pool this weekend at Northern Michigan.
Our women’s tennis team concluded their fall season with a 4-3 win over Ashland in the GLIAC tournament last weekend.