The true spirit of BGSU shone through today at the Centennial kickoff for faculty and staff—a spirit of dedication to students, to one another and to the University; of shared memories; of good humor, and of appreciation for those who paved the way for what Bowling Green is today and what it can become in its next century.
As the steel drum ensemble played lively tropical music to take the bitter chill off, several hundred attendees in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom browsed through tables of memorabilia reflecting BGSU's past. Centennial Commission co-chair Larry Weiss served as master of ceremonies for the program.
"One hundred years is a milestone that should be cherished, revered and celebrated," President Carol Cartwright observed. But, anticipating the theme of the day's speakers, she noted that it is the people who make the difference and who are remembered by alumni—the shuttle bus driver with kind words for a homesick student, the chemistry professor who opened up a whole new world of interest and a career in science, the education professor reassuring the newly minted teacher. "The people are truly the life blood of any institution," she said.
BGSU's reputation for friendliness may have been sealed in 1936 when it became a state university instead of a college, said Dr. Janet Parks, Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus of human movement, sport and leisure studies. An article in the BG News then called upon everyone to make the institution known as "The Friendly University." "Beyond a doubt, Bowling Green has always been, the 'Friendly University' to me," Parks said.
Saluting classified staff was Mark Kelly, emeritus director of bands and a much-lauded faculty member. "Though you may not get your name on the front page of the newspaper," he said, "you take pride in the responsibility of your service that allows the remainder of us the maximum opportunity to earn our pay."
Dr. Terry Rentner, director of the School of Communication, said, "It takes a University to raise a successful graduate." Citing four current administrative staff members who between them have nurtured and guided thousands of students over their collective 100-plus collective years at BGSU, Rentner said administrative staff have a direct, positive impact by consistently putting students first.
The impact faculty can have was brought home by alumnus and six-time Emmy Award winner Jason Jackson, who in a video message related how, as a 15-year-old on campus for a music event, he ran into Dr. Duane Tucker of the radio-broadcast-film department. Tucker spent two hours talking with him—leading Jackson to later enroll in BGSU and go on to his successful career.
"We owe it to all of them to seize the opportunity to insure Bowling Green's future of excellence in our second century and beyond," Cartwright said.
Last night, BGSU received the 11,594th fall freshman application for fall, surpassing the previous high of 11,593 in fall 2006! We fully expect to reach our aggressive goal of receiving 12,000 applications in the next few weeks.
Our largest recruiting event of the year is coming up in just a few short weeks. On Feb. 15, BGSU will host our annual Presidents' Day event, giving prospective students and their parents the opportunity to visit BGSU while classes are in session. If you are interested in volunteering that day, please sign up.