President's Message to Campus - February 15, 2019

Hateful Things Reception

As part of the Festival of the Arts, the University’s Fine Art Gallery is hosting “Hateful Things and More,” a traveling exhibition featuring items from the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. The exhibition also includes a small selection of photographs from two recent donations to the Jim Crow Museum – David Levinthal’s Blackface series and civil rights images from photographer Bruce Davidson. You can view this exhibit through Feb. 23.

A reception will be held tonight beginning at 5 p.m. at the Fine Art Gallery inside the University Center. David Pilgrim, founder and curator of the Jim Crow Museum, will speak from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. with a Q&A and gallery tour to follow. The reception is free, and everyone is welcome to attend.

Internship and Career Fair

Over 175 employers will be present at the internship and career fair on Thursday, Feb. 21, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. inside the Ewigleben Sports Complex. Students will have the opportunity to meet with employers and discuss internship and full-time employment in the following disciplines: Education, Health Professions, Criminal Justice, Information, Security and Intelligence, Business, Sales, Accounting, Insurance, STEM and Engineering Technology. Locally, 48 employers from the West Central region and 19 employers from Mecosta and Osceola Counties will be present. For employers seeking connections with College of Business students, there will be a reception on Wednesday, Feb. 20, from 6-8 p.m. in the IRC Connector.

Recent data reveals that 96% of Ferris graduates find employment or pursue advanced education, and 89% of our graduates find employment in their field of study. This reflects the quality of education and preparation students receive, and the success of events like the Internship and Career Fair.

Thank you to the staff in the Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services office for coordinating this wonderful opportunity for our students, and to faculty and staff for supporting this activity. Please encourage your students to attend. For more information contact the CLACS office at ext. 2685.

Festival of the Arts

We are entering the third full week of the Festival of the Arts in Big Rapids. If you have not had the opportunity to enjoy one of the many scheduled events during this month-long series, I encourage you to review the events happening this weekend and next week:

  • Friday, Feb. 15: “Guitar Concert,” presented by Paul Asbell, 7 p.m., Immanuel Lutheran Church
  • Saturday, Feb. 16: “Wildlife Drawing Workshop,” presented by Rod Lawrence, 1 p.m., Card Wildlife Education Center “Voices of Freedom Acapella Concert,” 7 p.m., United Church of Big Rapids
  • Sunday, Feb. 17: “Hammered Dulcimer and Bazouki Concert,” presented by Mark Wade and Randy Clepper, 3 p.m., Immanuel Lutheran Church
  • Monday, Feb. 18: “Creating a Wall Garden,” presented by Bryan Ridenour, 7 p.m., Three Girls Bakery
  • Tuesday, Feb. 19: “An Evening with Judy Garland,” presented by Barbara Pillsbury, 7 p.m., United Church of Big Rapids
  • Wednesday, Feb. 20: “My Mother’s Daughter,” presented by Betty Stolarek, 5 p.m., Artworks; “Design After Disaster,” presented by Chris Cosper, 7 p.m., Granger Center, Room 102
  • Thursday, Feb. 21: “Literature in Person,” presented by the Dept. of English, Literature and World Languages, 7 p.m., FSU Fine Art Gallery

For more information or to view the complete schedule of events visit

Book Discussion – “Becoming a Student-Ready College”

Beginning on Tuesday, Feb. 19, the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning is facilitating a weekly discussion on the book “Becoming a Student-Ready College.” Published in 2016, the book’s authors provide insight into what it means to be a university prepared for the 21st century student and suggestions to ensure their success. Participants will meet each week for four weeks to review these ideas and case examples, and to discuss how strategies presented in the book could be applied at Ferris State University.

The first discussion session will be held at 3 p.m. in FLITE 240 and facilitated by Liz Burbatt and Brooke Moore. Book discussions are a wonderful way to meet others from across the University with similar interests and to make new connections. I highly encourage you to attend.


Last weekend our men's and women's indoor track and field teams had a strong showing in Allendale at the Grand Valley Big Meet. Congratulations to senior thrower Cody Stilwell for setting a NCAA provisional qualification mark with a throw of 19.60 meters. Senior distance runner Damien Halverson set a new personal record in the men's 5,000 with a time of 15:07.39. The teams head back to Allendale this weekend for the GVSU Tune-Up Meet, with the 2019 GLIAC Indoor Championships Feb. 23-24 in University Center, Mich.

The men’s and women’s basketball teams hosted Northern Michigan Thursday with the men winning 78-67. This moves them back into a first place tie for the GLIAC Northern Division. This weekend our teams host Michigan Tech on Saturday at 1 and 3 p.m. for the women and men respectively. These are the final regular season home games for both teams. They will honor senior student-athletes between games, and it will also be Faculty Appreciation Day. If you are in Big Rapids this weekend, come out and show your support.

A pair of student-athletes received special recognition this week. Congratulations to volleyball junior outside hitter Allyson Cappel and soccer senior Carley Dubbert for receiving the GLIAC Commissioners Award for their outstanding play during the Fall 2018 season.

Finally, hockey alumnus and all-star Chris Kunitz achieved a significant career milestone Thursday evening when he played in his 1,000th NHL game while skating for the Chicago Blackhawks. During his career Chris has played in 178 postseason games, played on four Stanley Cup championship teams and won an Olympic Gold Medal skating for Canada. Congratulations Chris on these extraordinary career accomplishments!

David L. Eisler, president