We are delighted to have a full complement of students, faculty and staff back on campus with classes in session and our University activities in full swing to start fall semester. If you have had the opportunity to talk with our students and their parents during this move-in period, you have certainly sensed their excitement and optimism. That kind of energy is infectious. I want to thank our residence life and admissions staff, our physical plant employees, our dining employees, our faculty, and everyone who has assisted in making this week a welcoming one for our students, their families and friends.
Many people reach out to help students and their families feel welcome on our campus. One of the great traditions in Big Rapids is First Impressions, where volunteers staff tents in the Rankin Center, South Quad, FLITE and Bond Circle on the Friday and Saturday before the start of classes to greet students, provide information, and answer questions they and their parents might have as they move in to campus. This year those volunteers included Teresa Allen, Ashley Barrigar, Cindy Bauman, Shauna Beisiegel, Marilyn Bejma, Richelle Boerma, Dan Burcham, Mike Cairns, Nick Campau, Jeff Carney, Samantha Colwell, Laurie Daniels, Vickie Deur, David Eisler, Kim Erickson, Debbie Fisher, Teresa Fogel, Patti Fraser, Will Gasper, Leah Goode, Destiny Gorby, Jody Greco, Robin Hoisington, Sharon Hopper, Elaine Kamptner, Cheryl Kondziolka, Sandy Larie, Beth Logan, Andresa Maciejewski, Pat Maguire, Angela McCane, John Monahan, Katy Moore, Kristy Motz, Kara Olson, Shanee Ramsey, Linda Randle, Scott Randle, Andrea Ruggles, Rebecca Sammel, Missy Saunders, Jerry Scoby, Karen Thompson, Deb Tice, Dan Tuuri, Kim Wilber, Brittany Vierck, Leroy Wright and Heather Youngs. This is a wonderful example of our University community in action helping our students.
As a part of the campus move-in, the Office of Housing and Residence Life and the Residence Hall Association this year again sponsored Bulldogs in Action to welcome new students to campus. This year’s Bulldogs in Action included more than 20 student organizations helping move new students in to campus residence halls. Please join me in thanking the Residence Hall Association, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, NAACP, Ferris State Football, Basketball and Soccer teams, and additional Registered Student Organizations. If you have ever had to move a son or daughter to begin college, you understand how helpful this assistance is.
The 2012 academic year was an amazing one for our University. Some of the highlights included the opening of our new Pharmacy facility at 25 Michigan Avenue in Grand Rapids, the success of our men’s ice hockey team, our successful reaccreditation, the launching of new programs, completion of the renovation of the historic Federal Building for the Kendall College of Art and Design, the opening of an expanded Jim Crow Museum, among others. I expect that this year will be equally eventful.
We should never lose sight of the fact that our efforts at Ferris State University have as their singular purpose the education of our students. We will continue our conversation on how as an institution we can better serve our students and how we can continue to innovate to keep a Ferris education affordable. We have already talked a great deal about these issues, and this semester we will be moving to put the best of the suggestions that have already been made into practice.
As we welcome students back, our challenge is to build upon the work we have already done to create the best opportunities possible for the class of 2016 and beyond. Our students’ arrival on campus is the most tangible reminder possible of why these issues are so very important.Keep visiting the Ferris State University Blog for more information about things taking place on and off campus involving the institution.