President's Message to Campus - September 20, 2019


Next week is homecoming, and we will host a number of events throughout the week for students, faculty, staff, alumni and the greater Big Rapids community. Actor and comedian Marlon Wayans will perform on campus Thursday, Sept. 26 at 8 p.m. inside Williams Auditorium. The traditional homecoming parade begins downtown at noon on Saturday, Sept. 28 with football alumni Brian and Jeff Carmody as this year’s grand marshals. Colleges and the Alumni Association will host tailgating tents starting at 11 a.m. before the football game against Northern Michigan at Top Taggart Field with a 3 p.m. kickoff.

It is always great to welcome our alumni back when they return to Big Rapids for Homecoming. This provides opportunity to catch up on their lives and success, and reminisce about their experiences at Ferris. Through the bond of shared common experience we can celebrate our University and the difference your efforts make in the lives of our graduates.

Many people work together across campus to plan and execute our homecoming festivities. I want to thank everyone who takes time to welcome back our alumni and support our students and student-athletes. You can visit the 2019 Homecoming website for complete event details.

Fall Reunion

On Friday, Sept. 27 the Golden Eagles, Class of 1969 alumni, will be recognized along with honoring Distinguished Alumni and Pacesetter Award recipients at the annual Fall Reunion dinner. These exceptional graduates are wonderful examples of how a Ferris education changes lives. This year’s Distinguished Alumni are –

  • Pamela Curtis (’86), chief executive officer of Senior Resources of West Michigan
  • Kathy Pawlicki (’85), vice president and chief pharmacist with Beaumont Health
  • Randy Phelps (’81 and ’83), principal/relationship manager of HNI Risk Advisors of Michigan
  • Luke Wyckoff (’91 and ’93), founder and president of Wyckoff Consulting and chief visionary officer of Social Media Energy

Pacesetter recipients include –

  • Candice Colby-Scott (’04), board-certified Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon
  • Michael Crowe (’05 and ’09), registered manager of general operations with Walgreens and president and founder of My Pharmacist NOW, PLLC

Hearing the stories of these outstanding individuals and how a Ferris education was an important step in their success is always a heartwarming experience.

HatchEd Innovation Fair and Idea Incubator

To further innovation and advance a climate of entrepreneurship at Ferris, Academic Affairs and the Academic Senate are sponsoring HatchEd on Sept. 25 and 26. This two-day conference is dedicated to sharing the innovative efforts of our faculty and staff. You can register online to attend, and a conference agenda will be available on the HatchEd website.

One of our core values is collaboration, and this is a wonderful example of the University working together to move Ferris forward in new and exciting ways. Please make plans to listen to and support your colleagues from across the University as they present their work. I look forward to learning about the many ideas that will be shared. Thank you to Amy Greene and her team for organizing and providing this opportunity on the Big Rapids campus.

Hagerman Pharmacy Building Rededication Ceremony

The College of Pharmacy is hosting a re-dedication of the Hagerman Pharmacy Building on Friday, Sept. 27 to recognize the significant renovations made to the building. This work results from the generosity of pharmacy alumni through the Pharmacy Forward Campaign, a part of the Now and Always Comprehensive Campaign. The event begins at 3:30 p.m. with light refreshments, remarks and tours of the newly renovated building. Everyone is welcome to attend.


There is much good news to share about our athletic teams. The football team continues to rank as the nation's #2 team in the American Football Coaches Association Division II poll after a big 62-28 road victory over Central Washington last weekend. It has been since 2016 that our team has scored over 60 points, and this was the largest score ever against Central Washington in their history. The team is on the road Saturday against Ashland University, a traditionally strong team in the GLIAC.

Volleyball climbed another spot to 10th nationally in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association Division II National Poll after posting a 2-2 mark this past weekend against nationally-ranked opponents at the Colorado Premier Challenge in Denver. The team swept then top-ranked Tampa (Fla.) 3-0 and then 13th-ranked Barry (Fla.) 3-2 in the finale. The team is on the road this weekend with contests against Lake Superior and Saginaw Valley.

The soccer team is off to a 4-0-1 start this year after shutout victories against Minot State and Northern State last weekend and a 2-1 victory against Walsh on the road yesterday. Yesterday’s goal was the first scored against our team this season. They climbed four spots this week to 11th in the nation in the United Soccer Coaches Division II National poll. The team will host Saginaw Valley on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Women’s tennis is also having a tremendous start to their season. They are currently 2-0, and for the first time in 15 years, the women defeated Northwood last weekend with a thrilling 4-3 victory. They are playing in Grand Rapids this weekend at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regional Championships. 

The women’s golf team opened their season taking first place in the Saginaw Valley Fall Invitational held last weekend. Student-athlete Destiny Lawson emerged as the individual medalist after a birdie on the first playoff hole to garner the win. They are also on the road this weekend in Ohio taking part in the Cumberland Classic.

This past weekend was one of the strongest fall weekends in the history of Bulldog athletics. If you see or know any of our coaches or student-athletes, please take a few moments to congratulate them on their hard work. It is wonderful to see this level of success in the early weeks of their fall seasons.

David L. Eisler, president