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President Eisler’s Founders’ Day Talk Focuses on Opportunities, Response to Students’ Needs

Ferris State UniversityThe 10th Founders’ Day celebration on the Ferris State University campus began Thursday, Sept. 1 with an address from President David Eisler, heralding the efforts of Woodbridge N. and Helen Gillespie Ferris, and considering the future direction of the university.

Eisler highlighted the diversity present in the first class of Big Rapids Industrial School students, displaying a picture from Sept. 1, 1884, which showed 10 men and five women, along with Mr. and Mrs. Ferris.

“From the very beginning, Ferris’ purpose was to make the world a better place, to graduate people who are prepared to contribute to their community,” Eisler said. “The university has always sought to prepare students for successful careers, to be responsible citizens and to become lifelong learners.”

Eisler said that some areas of recent improvement for the university include reducing the net cost of attending Ferris, embracing its greater student ethnicity, and working to limit student debt, as they complete their degrees and begin their careers. The president also praised the Shimadzu Core Laboratory for Academic and Research Excellence, and called it “a source of excellence for the university.”

“It’s great for our students, as it affords the opportunity for involvement in research to undergraduates, which is not available on most campuses,” Eisler said.

In the academic year ahead, Eisler said that Ferris will make a particular effort to help students who need developmental support, while faculty and other academic leaders work to offer programs that are relevant, and responsive to Michigan’s needs.

“The effort on this campus to be innovative with regard to curriculum is unsurpassed in my 41-year experience in education,” Eisler said.

In the future, Eisler said that Ferris will endeavor to support those considering, or attending the university who are from disadvantaged backgrounds, and promote high-demand career options that are available to graduates.

The president also detailed recently completed and ongoing construction projects across campus, with emphasis on improved intramural recreation facilities, and the North Residence Hall taking shape near the Campus Quad and University Center. 

PHOTO CAPTION: Ferris State University President David Eisler capsulized the “Past, Present and Future of Ferris” in a presentation Thursday, Sept. 1 at the University Center.