Here at UM-Flint, one of our most important constituencies are our alumni – all 32,000(plus) of them. The majority of our graduates live in Southeast Michigan, but increasingly we find them elsewhere in the state as well as across the country. As we enroll more international students, and as the global economy grows, we will see more UM-Flint alumni abroad. Wherever they are, they are part of the half-million member U of M alumni family, and very special to us. Our graduates hold important positions in a wide variety of settings – GM, Lear, Best Buy, Northrup Grumman, the state government of Maryland, Kirkland and Ellis law firm, Genesys Health System – to name but a few. We can claim numerous current or former elected officials as our own. I will be traveling in 2012-13 to meet a number of these graduates who live out of state.
In the next few years we will be celebrating a number of milestones, including a campus 60th anniversary (2016) and the university’s bicentennial (2017). An upcoming milestone in the Fall of 2012 is the 30th anniversary of our Physical Therapy program, and a series of events is being planned to celebrate that occasion. I hope we can celebrate similar milestones in the future, such as the 40th anniversary of the School of Management in 2015. All in all, we celebrate the fact that we have so many successful graduates who help to make our university and the world a better place.
Most notable is that we have an outstanding group of alumni volunteers – the best I have worked with in any of my positions in higher education. We now have more than 100 such individuals, with more indicating an interest in serving in the future. Our Alumni Society has a strong leadership board that oversees its programs and activities. Our relationship with the MClub of Greater Flint is one of mutual collaboration and support, and we enjoy celebrating “Michigan Moments” with the M-Club members on a regular basis. For years the M-Club has supported the University of Michigan-Flint in a number of important ways, most notably in raising funds for scholarships for our students. The current scholarships supported by the club helped 17 students this year. But their generosity isn’t stopping there. This past year the club signed two new gift agreements with the campus for scholarships. They have agreed to endow the Challenge Program Book Fund and the Student Research Fund with the goal to provide $50,000 to each of the funds over the next several years.
Ed Brown, Chancellor Ruth Person, Adele Karas
Russ Deutsch, Chancellor Ruth Person, Tina Nies, Jerry Rule
Our alumni recruit new students for us at college fairs in southeast Michigan and elsewhere. A select group of our distinguished alumni leaders and friends are assisting us with a special Annual Giving effort as well as in raising money specifically for student support. They can be counted on to assist with special events such as tailgates, “GoBlue on the Bricks,” and other university activities. In all, they are simply “Leaders and Best” and I am proud to be associated with them. We celebrate our volunteers with a special dinner at Ross House each year as a way to say “thank you.”
Alumni volunteers faithfully serve at commencement – helping to organize graduates, take family photos, provide directions (and of course enroll new graduates in the Alumni Association!) They have become an integral part of making our “Biggest Day Ever” the best it can be, and we depend on their support. One of the most important people at commencement has been Associate Professor Stephen Landon. We have counted on him for his hard work, advice and guidance to make sure that the “Biggest Day Ever” is also the “Best Day Ever.” In recognition of his dedication and expertise, I recently nominated him to the University Bicentennial Committee to begin preparing for the events of 2017. Sadly, Stephen passed away on Sunday, July 8, in Rapid City, South Dakota. He will be missed in so many ways, and we will all work diligently in the future to ensure that we meet his high standards for the “Best Day Ever.”
Ruth J. Person
New UM-Flint alumna Rachel Salazar has a great addition to her resume, thanks to the Michigan Civil Service Commission (MCSC). Rachel, who graduated with a visual arts degree in April, entered a contest this year to design a logo for the MCSC internship program. Her design was selected from more than 25 entered. For designing the winning entry, Rachael was offered a four-month internship with the commission. As an intern, she redesigned and branded all of MCSC’s rack brochures. She also worked on the marketing and design for the promotion of Michigan HR Day, a major event sponsored by the MCSC. As a final thank you for her logo design, Rachel received a certificate and a sweatshirt that had her design printed on the front during a special reception at the University Pavilion. A representative of the MCSC Office of Career Services came from Lansing to make the presentation.
Rachel Salazar and Chancellor Ruth Person
The U.S. Department of State recently informed us that Dr. Quamrul Mazumder served on the Engineering Education Peer Review Committee for the Fulbright Specialist Program for 2010-11. It is always an honor to have our faculty chosen to serve on such distinguished committees.
In June we convened to celebrate 400 years of service from our UM-Flint staff. Yes, 400! That service includes three 40-year employees: JoAnn Shabazz, Academic Advisor/Counselor; Linda Grimshaw, Assistant Director, Financial Aid; and Todd Toulouse, Laboratory/Classroom Services Supervisor. What an admirable record!
On June 18, Governor Rick Snyder convened a group of community leaders in Flint to discuss his urban initiatives plan. We were pleased to host this occasion and to be an important part of the conversation, and we are eager to join the Governor’s Advisory Group to work on this initiative to bring needed improvements to Flint that will benefit us all.
Chancellor Ruth Person and Governor Rick Snyder