President's Message to Campus - November 30, 2018

End of the Semester Activities

As we enter the final week of classes, students are busy completing assignments and studying for exams, and our soon to be graduates look forward to commencement on Saturday, Dec. 15. For many, this is an exciting time of year. For others, it can be stressful and somewhat overwhelming. Thank you for taking a little extra time with our students and giving them the help and support they need.

Amidst the end of the semester activities on campus, I hope you have an opportunity to attend one of the annual holiday receptions for faculty and staff, donors and friends on Tuesday, Dec. 4, and Thursday, Dec. 6. Tuesday’s reception will be held at the Woodbridge N. Ferris building located at 17 Pearl St. NW. in Grand Rapids, while Thursday’s reception will be held at the University Center on the Big Rapids campus. Please join us anytime between 4 and 6:30 p.m. at either location to relax, socialize, enjoy food and beverage, and celebrate the holiday season. I look forward to seeing you there.

The Ferris Jazz Band will perform its holiday concert on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 8 p.m., and the FSU Symphony Band, West Central Concert Band and Chamber Orchestra will host the Symphonic Santa Sunday Family Holiday Concert on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 4 p.m. Both performances are at Williams Auditorium. Donations of canned and other non-perishable foods will be accepted in the lobby at Sunday’s concert in support of Project Starburst, a local food pantry. These holiday concerts are free and open to all. Thank you to Matt Moresi, Scott Cohen and Dale Skornia for bringing holiday cheer to the Ferris and Big Rapids communities, and helping those in need this time of year.

Pancakes with the President will be held Monday, Dec. 10, at the Rock Café. This is an opportunity for our students to take a break from studying, relax with their peers and enjoy a free late night breakfast. If you would like to take part in this event and serve our students, please contact our office at ext. 2500.

Employee Learning Week

Next week is Employee Learning Week hosted by the Staff Center for Training and Development. These workshops focus on customer service and provide an opportunity for personal growth and development. If your schedule allows, please take some time this week to invest in yourself.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 4: Pardon Me, presented by Shana Beisiegel, Student Affairs, 1:30 – 3 p.m., UC 203 - the importance of listening, validating and adjusting when communicating with customers and co-workers.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 5: Customer Service – The Disney Way, presented by Jody Gardei, Staff Center, 9 – 10:30 a.m., UC 217 - learn about the Disney enthusiasm for customer service and bring it to your work area.
  • Thursday, Dec. 6: Empathy vs. Apathy, presented by Shana Beisiegel, Student Affairs, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m., UC 217 - the importance of critical thinking and ways to avoid empathy burnout (apathy) when working in emotionally demanding professions.

You can register on the Staff Center for Training and Development website or by e-mailing [email protected].


Last Saturday our football team defeated Northwest Missouri State 27-21 in an exciting game during round two of the playoffs. This was their 13th victory, a school record. With the win, the team is in Arkadelphia, Ark., for the NCAA Division II National Quarterfinals. Kick-off against top-seeded Ouachita Baptist is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday. You can stream the game live online at OBULiveStream. The Bulldogs are the nation's only team to reach the NCAA Division II National Quarterfinals each of the past three seasons, and they hold the nation's best record (58-7) over the past five years in Division II football. This week junior quarterback Jayru Campbell was named one of nine finalists for the 2018 Harlon Hill Trophy awarded to the nation's top NCAA Division II football player. The winner will be announced on Friday, Dec. 14.

Three members of the women's soccer team received additional recognition as 2018 United Soccer Coaches All-Midwest Region Team picks. Freshman forward Pia Nagel was tabbed to the all-region first team with sophomore Bri Rogers named to the second-team squad and senior forward Carley Dubbert chosen to the third team. The women had a record-breaking season with a school all-time best 17-4-3 overall record under head coach Andy McCaslin. They reached the national tournament for the first time in school history and won their opening two games at home before falling to top-ranked Grand Valley State in the third round of the national tournament.

Best of luck to head coach Tony Annese and the student-athletes as they compete this weekend for a win to reach the Division II National Semi-finals.

David L. Eisler, president