This is a note to all new Central Michigan University students.
Two years ago, I stepped into the vicinity of Mount Pleasant bubbling with joy and excitement. I was finally in college; independence at last.
I was full of hope and optimism about what might lie ahead, and I was not disappointed.
Now entering into my junior year, I can confidently describe my feelings about CMU: Pride.
Chippewas, like I have observed, are ever eager for improvements. They deter complacency and relentlessly pursue excellence. They strive for excellence in their academics, social activities and in all their other endeavors.
Every year, thousands of dollars roll out in scholarships to support deserving students. From the Centralis scholarship to departmental scholarships, CMU shows its passion for helping others.
Even in the field of sports, we are excelling.
Our female soccer team has had the highest average GPA of any female soccer team in the nation for seven years consecutively.
Basketball player Crystal Bradford was among the few who were honored with a gold medal from the university games. She even stood out on the courts.
And Eric Fisher, CMU’s 4-year offense lineman, was the first pick in the NFL draft earlier this year.
Now you understand what I mean by pride.
Take a look around you. The atmosphere is evidently saturated with love, a sense of belonging and generosity. The camaraderie is contagious.
Students and Registered Student Organizations constantly unite together to raise money and awareness for different causes.
We boast of a pool of valedictorians from not only America, but from across the globe, who excelled in their various high schools.
We have a sound honors program that promotes academic pursuits with humanitarian service. In fact, three students who are members of the honors program just dominated Michigan by winning both first place and second place in a state-wide essay competition.
But what I observed to be most startling is that everyone takes their place in the hustle for excellence.
I do not claim Central is without flaws, but we have our strengths and they are not in small measure.
I am proud of being in the gathering of intellectuals who have something to contribute.
I am proud of being among people with a passion for volunteering and helping others.
I am proud of being a Chippewa, and you should be, too.