President's Message to Campus - September 28, 2018

Homecoming

Today and throughout the weekend, many engaging events and activities will take place on campus and in the Big Rapids community as part of the University’s 92nd annual homecoming celebration. This afternoon, the History Task Force and the Humanities Department will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Carillon Tower at 4 p.m. on the North Quad. There will be a brief program, a performance on the Carillon Tower keyboard and more. Refreshments will be served. Please attend if your schedule allows.

Tonight we recognize the Golden Eagles, Class of 1968 alumni, along with honoring Distinguished Alumni and Pacesetter Award recipients at the annual Fall Reunion dinner. This is always an outstanding evening and a profound reminder of how a Ferris education changes lives.

On Saturday, our students, faculty, staff and alumni will be participating in the annual homecoming parade on Michigan Avenue in downtown Big Rapids. This is a wonderful celebration that showcases our Ferris pride and brings together the Big Rapids and Ferris communities. Our men’s basketball team will serve as Grand Marshals, which is sure to be a big hit with parade attendees. Later that afternoon, the football team hosts Ashland University at 3:05 p.m., with the game streamed nationally on ESPN3. Tailgating begins at 11 a.m.

Many students, faculty and staff have worked very hard to ensure a successful homecoming celebration. Thank you to everyone who planned and organized this year’s events and provided opportunities for the campus and Big Rapids community to come together and celebrate our great University.

Disability Awareness Month

In observance of Disability Awareness Month in October, the Liaison Committee for Students with Disabilities has planned a series of events to celebrate our students, staff, faculty and community members with disabilities, as well as to educate the greater public about the importance of inclusion.

  • Theater Delta Interactive Performance – 5 Star Event Tuesday, Oct. 9, 6 – 7:30 p.m., University Center 202
  • Film Screening – “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot” Monday, Oct. 15, 6 – 9 p.m., University Center 202C
  • A Forum for (Enrollment) Change Tuesday, Oct. 23, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., University Center – 202C
  • Skeleton Skurry – A 5K Run, Walk & ROLL Event! Saturday, Oct. 27, 9:30 a.m., Big Rapids City Hall

I would like to thank the members of the Disability Awareness Month planning committee for organizing these important events: Nina Davis, Kim Dickman, Amy Greene, Ashley Hawley, Chris Richmond and committee chair Maggie Walcott. Please share these upcoming events with students, and I encourage you to attend those of interest to you.

Roboday 2018

Students from across the state will be inside the Ewigleben Sports Complex on Saturday morning participating in the Roboday 2018 competition. Twenty-one teams will be competing in this 2nd annual event. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to showcase their skills and abilities in robotics, and have some competitive fun with their peers.

Much time, effort and commitment goes into preparing for a robotics competition, from students and coaches alike. The event is organized by FIRST, the FIRST Robotics registered student organization at Ferris. Before homecoming activities, take a moment to stop in and see the great work of these high school students.

Athletics

On Sunday, Sept. 23, our men’s hockey team spent the afternoon with the Grand Rapids Griffins Youth Foundation. Coach Bob Daniels hosted a coaching clinic with area hockey coaches, and later in the afternoon, our student-athletes shared time on the ice with aspiring youth hockey players. It was a great day for all involved, and this special video captures the good will generated. Thank you to Coach Daniels, the student-athletes, Miles Postema, Jody Greco and others for providing this opportunity to Grand Rapids area youth. There is also a wonderful feature story on Coach Daniels posted to the new streaming provider for Bulldog Hockey, FLOHockey.

Last weekend our women’s soccer team returned home with two more victories and now holds the best nine-game start in school history at 8-1-0. This week the team moved up in the United Soccer Coaches poll rankings to #14 in the nation. The women play at home today at 4 p.m. against the 18th-ranked Ashland Eagles and will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Ferris State soccer on Sunday when they take on Saginaw Valley State at home at 12 p.m.

The football team is nationally ranked at #3 in the D2Football.com poll and #4 in the AFCA Coaches poll. Tomorrow’s homecoming football game will be part of an important national cause to help support "Coach to Cure MD," a national charity project that brings coaches together from across the nation to raise awareness and research funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The team will welcome a special player to the roster, 15-year-old Nick Ritter, who was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at the age of seven. It is the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed during childhood and primarily affects boys across all races and cultures. Thank you coaches and student-athletes for welcoming Nick and his family, and supporting this worthwhile cause.

David L. Eisler, president