Friday, September 24, 2010

Get Informed About Ferris State University's Disability Awareness Month Activities

October is an important time of the year for many reasons.

One of October's significant events is Disability Awareness Month. Ferris State University has planned a series of activities to bring attention to that fact.

Oct. 2, from noon to 3 p.m., in Ferris' Ewigleben Ice Arena hosts Michigan Sled Hockey.

The Michigan Sled Dogs are set to challenge the Ferris Club Hockey Team and the Big Rapids High School hockey team to a game of sled-style hockey. The Michigan Sled Dogs consist of players with a variety of disabilities ranging from amputees, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy and spinal cord injuries. Members of the team range in age from eight to mid 40s.

Admission is $1 or two nonperishable food items.

On Oct. 12, Ferris hosts Johnnie Tuitel, a guest speaker for an event inside the Rankin Student Center Dome Room. The event starts at 11 a.m. Tuitel enjoys making college students laugh through his humorous and entertaining life stories. He is skilled at putting to rest any tensions that may arise because of the wheelchair and makes the audience feels comfortable with his disability. Students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to enjoy this presentation.

Admission is free, but donations of nonperishable food items are appreciated.

On Oct. 20, the movie "Music Within" will be played in IRC 120 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The movie is the true story of Richard Pimentel, a brilliant speaker with a troubled past. Pimentel returns from a tour of duty in Vietnam, his hearing severely impaired, and discovers true purpose and meaning through his work on behalf of Americans with disabilities. The movie has an "R" rating and is a blend of comedy, drama, biopic and war.

Admission is free, but the donation of nonperishable food items is appreciated.

For event questions or for individuals who need assistance to attend these events, contact Disabilities Services at or by phone at (231) 591-3940 at least 72 hours prior to the event.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration Continues Tonight (Sept. 23) With Latin Night Club

The Latin Night Club on Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Rankin Student Center Dome Room is an event that promises to be fun, interactive and educational.

Natalia Carvalho-Pinto
, who serves as a Ferris State University recruiting officer, could hardly be more excited about the range of important activities being sponsored as part of 2010 Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration.

Tonight, Sept. 23, the Latin Night Club promises to liven up the Rankin Student Center Dome Room beginning at 7 p.m.

Anyone interested can join the Hispanic Student Organization and others for free Salsa and Merenge dance lessons by an instructor.

Carvalho-Pinto thinks events like this, and all others associated with Hispanic Heritage Month are important for people from all of the backgrounds that make up Ferris' student population.

"All of the Hispanic Heritage month events expose Ferris students to Hispanic culture, history and language through activities in a Latino environment, as well as bring to the campus community discussions on current and significant issues faced by the Hispanic community," she said.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Northern Region Ferris State University Homecoming Bus

Here's a helping hand for our northern Michigan Bulldogs to return to Ferris State University for Homecoming activities.

Saturday, Oct. 9

Bus leaves at 9 a.m. from NMC’s Hagerty Center, 715 East Front Street, Traverse City

Trip Includes:

  • Admission to the game, tailgate party, food and beverages including FSU bus travel to and from Traverse City...all FREE
  • Opportunity to go to the Homecoming Parade
  • Meet some of the College of Business Faculty-Giveaways-Visit the Campus Bookstore and more...
  • Football Game Time: 2 p.m. Ferris vs Findlay
  • Bus arrives back in Traverse City approximately 6:30 p.m.

Sign Up Now...RSVP by Sept 24th for FSU Students and immediate family.

Limited seating available...

Call : (231) 995-1735 or Email: and reserve your seat!

Best-Selling Author Dr. Mark Mathabane To Speak At Ferris State University Sept. 24

Dr. Mark Mathabane smiles during a reception in his honor. Dr. Mathabane will be a guest speaker on the Ferris State University campus on Friday, Sept. 24.

Ferris State University's Arts and Lectures Committee is pleased to welcome Dr. Mark Mathabane to campus on Friday, Sept. 24, for a lecture in IRC 120 at 7:00 p.m.

A reception in his honor will be held at 6 p.m. in IRC 109 sponsored by Club History and Phi Alpha Theta.

Dr. Mathabane touched the hearts of millions with his sensational autobiography "Kaffir Boy." Telling the true story of his coming of age under apartheid in South Africa, the book won a prestigious Christopher Award, rose to No. 3 on The New York Times best-sellers list and to No. 1 on the Washington Post best-sellers list, and was translated into several languages.

Today, the book is used in classrooms across the U.S. and is on the American Library Association’s List of “Outstanding Books for the College-Bound.”

Alumnus Tom Rundquist Ready for ArtPrize

Alumnus Tom Rundquist's quest for a Top 10 finish in the prestigious ArtPrize competition in Grand Rapids begins today.

Rundquist's original painting, "Angel: Princess Diana's Spirit in the Garden of Eden," is now showing at the Open Concept Gallery (50 Louis NW - Trade Center Building 6th Floor) in Grand Rapids. According to a Sept. 21 article in the Big Rapids Pioneer featuring Rundquist, the ArtPrize competition is hosting 1,713 artists from 21 countries and 44 U.S. states at 192 venues throughout the 19-day competition that ends October 10.

Prizes, including a top award of $250,000, will be determined via popular vote. Instructions on how to vote are available at the ArtPrize Web site (

The top 10 ArtPrize finalists will be announced Sept. 30. Winners will be revealed October 7.

Here Is A List Of 2010 Ferris Homecoming Activities ... So Make Your Plans Now

We know how much you miss Ferris State University, and we know how eager you are to visit the place of so many memories (some you can share and some maybe you can't).

BUT, Homecoming week is a great opportunity to return to Ferris, remember all of those good times and relive memories with friends and family.

Below is a list of the official Homecoming activities taking place at Ferris during the week of memories here in Big Rapids. When your friends on Facebook talking about all the fun they had you might regret you didn't make this trip happen.

Check out the list of events below and remember that it's not too late to make plans for the trip back to Big Rapids to share in the fun of Homecoming week.

Schedule of Events

Monday, October 4Lip Sync Contest, 7 p.m. Williams Auditorium
Tuesday, October 5Kickball Tournament, Top Taggart Field, Registration 6:30 pm, Tournament begins at 7 pm
Wednesday, October 6King and Queen voting begins at 8 a.m.
Click here for information.
Thursday, October 7Bonfire at 8 p.m. in Lot 61 by Brophy/McNerney
Friday, October 8Women in Sports Day
Friday, October 8Comedian, 7 p.m. at Williams Auditorium
Friday, October 8Black Alumni Meet & Greet, 7 p.m., OMSS Lobby 1010 Campus Drive, Suite 159
Saturday, October 9Northern Region Homecoming Bus To Homecoming! Leaves from NMC�s Hagerty Center, 715 East Front Street, Traverse City at 9:00 a.m. Arrives back in Traverse City at approximately 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 9Striders Homecoming 5K 9:00 a.m. at Campus Quad
Saturday, October 9Helen's Garden Dedication 9:30 a.m. at the Prakken Building, corner of Oak and Ives.
Saturday, October 9Alumni Welcome Tent, Lot 37, immediately west of Top Taggart Field, 10 a.m. to game time.
Saturday, October 9Parade, noon downtown Big Rapids
Saturday, October 9College of Education and Human Services Alumni Tailgate, immediately west of Top Taggart Field, Noon to kickoff
Saturday, October 9College of Engineering Technology Chili Cook-off, Lot 37, immediately west of Top Taggart Field
Saturday, October 9HVACR Tent, Lot 37, immediately west of Top Taggart Field
Saturday, October 9College of Business Tailgate Tent, Lot 37, immediately west of Top Taggart Field
Saturday, October 9Black Alumni Welcome Tent, Lot 37, immediately west of Top Taggart Field
Saturday, October 9Football Game
2 p.m. Top Taggart Field. Please read the tailgate policy.
Saturday, October 9Alumni & Student Homecoming Afterglow - 7 - 11 p.m., The Gate
Saturday, October 9Black Alumni Celebration,8 p.m.-1 a.m., Holiday Inn Grill Room

Ferris Horticulture Students Contribute To Helen's Garden Project

Here is a look at how Helen's Garden, in honor of Helen Gillespie Ferris (wife of Ferris State University founder Woodbridge N. Ferris, was planned.

The Victorian-themed garden honoring the memory of Ferris State University co-founder Helen Gillespie Ferris will be dedicated on the morning of Homecoming, October 9, 2010. Among the plants will be a shrub propagated from one of Helen's original plants from the site of the Ferris home in Big Rapids.

Ferris State University horticulture student Josh Ackerman produced the winning design, chosen by John Vanderploeg, Ferris professor of Biology and coordinator of the Ornamental Horticulture Technology program along with the input of other project leaders.

Join Ackerman, Vanderploeg and others influential to the project on the morning of Homecoming for the dedication ceremony in front of the Prakken Building at the corner of Ives and Oak in Big Rapids, Mich.

Follow this link to read more about Helen's Garden

*SPECIAL NOTE: John Vanderploeg will appear on the "Ferris State Live" television program broadcast around Northern Michigan on Fox 33 this Thursday at 10:30 p.m. He will discuss the horticulture program and Helen's Garden. Later, the broadcast of the show will be streamed at

Ferris To Honor Helen Gillespie Ferris With Introduction Of Helen's Garden

Woodbridge N. Ferris (left) and his wife, Helen Gillespie Ferris, are shown here in this photo. Helen, wife of founder Woodbridge, is being honored as the University introduces Helen's Garden on campus on Oct. 9, 2010.

Ferris State University
has a special dedication coming up on Oct. 9 to pay tribute to Helen Gillespie Ferris, wife of founder Woodbridge N. Ferris.

Ferris President David Eisler and Mrs. Patsy Eisler would like to extend an invitation to you to attend:

The Dedication of Helen’s Garden
Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010
9:30 a.m.

Outdoors in the Garden
Between the Prakken and Alumni buildings
Ferris State University
420 Oak Street
(Corner of Oak and Ives Streets)
Big Rapids, Michigan

Helen Gillespie Ferris loved flowers as much as she loved learning and helping cultivate lives. The University community is honoring Mrs. Ferris by dedicating Helen’s Garden in the most historic area of campus.

The dedication will celebrate Helen’s role in transforming lives and building opportunity.

Please join us.

If you require special accommodations to enjoy this event, please call the Advancement office at (231) 591-3825 at least 72 hours before the dedication.

From the President's Desk: More On The Significance Of East Campus Suites

Ferris State University, has already officially introduced the new East Campus Suites. Below are some words about the new Suites. (FSU Photographic Services/Ed Hyde)

Here is a note from President Dave Eisler to the Ferris State University community regarding the positive enrollment numbers for the Fall 2010 semester:
The new East Campus Suites student residences are an important step forward in our ongoing efforts to make Ferris the University of choice for students from Michigan, the Midwest and beyond. Today education is becoming more of a commodity with students picking up courses on-line or at a community college. Ferris provides quality education in these formats and settings, but for many students, especially traditionally aged students, there are great benefits to the environment for intellectual and personal growth a residential campus provides.

The East Campus Suites were a $22 million project with the bonding costs financed through the room rates paid by the student residents who live there. The project was completed at $2.7 million below the estimated cost. These remaining bond funds have been shifted to the Arts and Sciences Mechanical Systems Project and for updates to existing residence hall facilities.
In the last few years we have worked hard to upgrade our campus here in Big Rapids seeking to make it an academic destination for students. Academically we have done this through the living/learning spaces created in the IRC, the renovation of more than 75 classrooms and laboratory spaces, and now through the new Optometry Building rising on our campus.

While we work to maintain and update our residence halls, it is worth remembering they were all constructed before 1970, when Victor Spathelf was president of Ferris. The East Campus Suites create the type of modern living facilities that will attract students to Big Rapids and keep them living on our campus.

In designing and renovating facilities we stress the construction of common spaces outside the classroom where learning and collaboration can take place anywhere and anytime. In addressing quality of life issues for our students, we have also tried to create living, learning environments that are vital and relevant to our students’ needs. Student Government President Morgan Toms noted that East Campus Suites is an expression of pride and a concrete example of the University looking out for student interests.

We worked closely with our partners Granger Construction and the architectural firm of TowerPinkster to create a building that is not only beautiful and conducive to learning, but energy-efficient as well. The East Campus Suites are our first LEED certified building, meeting the criteria for the Gold standard. This reflects our strategic goal to make the University more energy efficient and environmentally sound.
Check back for more items from the desk of the president here on the Ferris State University Blog.

Don't forget about the videos shot by University Advancement and Marketing:

This video is from the ribbon-cutting ceremony:

This video is a sneak peak at the inside of the new East Campus Suites:

Monday, September 20, 2010

From The President's Desk: A Historic Week Reshaping Ferris, Kendall

Ferris President David L. Eisler speaks during the official announcement of a project involving the restoration of the Old Federal Building in Grand Rapids for future use by Kendall College of Art and Design. (Photo/Brian Kelly)

Here is a note from President Dave Eisler (pictured) to the Ferris State University community regarding the positive enrollment numbers for the Fall 2010 semester:
This was a historic week as we officially announced the University’s plans to renovate the Old Federal Building in Grand Rapids and dedicated the East Campus Suites in Big Rapids. During the past decade Kendall College of Art and Design’s student enrollment has grown from 600 students to more than 1,400 students. The federal building renovation will help address the facility needs of Kendall faculty, staff and students by adding nearly 95,000 square feet of classroom, gallery and lecture space. The location is perfect, sitting squarely between the current Kendall building and the 5 Lyon Apartments where many Kendall students live. In March 2012 when the project is complete, Kendall will occupy three contiguous city blocks dedicated to a community of student artists, designers and creative thinkers.

The project is funded through an innovative financing package that utilizes a mix of funding options, including state historic tax credits, enhanced historic tax credits, Brownfield tax incentives, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act bonds, and unique public private partnership approach. We are also seeking private philanthropic support for the project. With the state providing more than $13 million in tax credits for this $27 million project, the long-term bonded costs for Kendall ultimately are expected to be less than $7 million. One of the reasons it took many, many months to finalize the agreements for this project is that we made it a priority that funding the renovation would not become a burden for our students or for Kendall.

Many people have played crucial roles in making this project a reality. These include Kendall President Oliver Evans, Kendall Vice President for Administration and Finance Sandy Davison-Wilson, Ferris Vice President for Administration and Finance Jerry Scoby, Vice President for University Advancement and Marketing John Willey, The Christman Company President and Chief Operating Officer Jim Cash, Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell, State Representative Roy Schmidt and many, many others.
Check back for more items from the desk of the president here on the Ferris State University Blog.