LETTERS: Dissent with editorial and a fallen cohort

Merlyn Mowrey noted a  number of inaccuracies in “Hardly Presidential” coverage.

Because this is a fine institution of learning, I worry about the models you look up to as well as you as a model.  It is increasingly difficult to teach  and practice “civil discourse” in classes when some students and some faculty alike see Fox News and other extremists as the epitome of success and purveyors of truth.

We all learn through modeling. We need to seek out better models and learn together so that civility will replace shouting and innuendo.

Ronald Primeau

Professor of English

CMU students have lost a friend — a friend most didn’t know they had.

Two weeks ago, Dr. Mary Ellen Brandell, CMU professor emeritus, passed away.  Mary Ellen was a lifelong resident of Mt. Pleasant, a leader of the community, and a past CMU staff member, professor, and senior administrator.  She held many positions, served on many committees, taught many students, mentored many young people, and first and foremost, was a friend and advocate for students.

In the roles she held and the committees on which she served, both in the community and university, Dr. Brandell was a tremendous leader who interacted with countless people and was respected and loved by all.

Dr. Brandell had the capacity and talent to make everyone feel as if he or she was one of her very special friends, and indeed, each person was. She cherished others and was a valued friend. Dr. Brandell cared for and appreciated CMU students more than any other person I have known. She always spoke glowingly of what students did for the university and the community.

If others were making negative statements about “those CMU students” Dr. Brandell was the first to speak up, disagree with the statements, and share stories about the positive things students were doing and how they made Mount Pleasant a better place in which to live. She was a true champion of students in the sense of a champion as one who fights for another.

Few people know that it is because of Dr. Brandell that CMU has a Volunteer Center; a Volunteer Center which registers over 4,000 CMU students annually to engage in community service. Dr. Brandell served the community and the university, knew how this enriched the lives of those who served even more than it enriched those who were served, and recognized that students wanted to be involved in their communities.

She had the idea for CMU to partner with United Way of Isabella County to establish a unit which would respond to students’ desire to serve and would meet community needs.  It was as a result of her vision, commitment, compassion, persuasiveness and perseverance that the Volunteer Center was created and provides students so many opportunities and experiences.

To the very end, Dr. Brandell valued and appreciated CMU students, and advocated on their behalf. She did a great deal quietly, deliberately, and without seeking credit, to enrich the lives of CMU students.

Dr. Brandell was a good friend to the students who knew her and to those who didn’t.  She positively influenced the lives of students in ways they do not know.

Mary Ellen was a friend to CMU students. She was a beloved friend to many. Her legacy lives on and she is sorely missed.

Bruce Roscoe

Dean of Students