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Community Voices, August 2015

This past week was a wonderful reminder of the remarkable connections that exist between Marshall and SMSU.  In a community like ours, the ‘town and gown’ relations are those between the residents of the community or ‘town’ and the University students and faculty, who historically wore academic ‘gowns.’ We are so fortunate to have such a strong town-gown relationship.

Last Thursday we welcomed over 500 new students in to the residence halls.  Volunteers from area businesses joined faculty, staff and returning students as ‘Mustang Movers,’ helping the new students move their personal belongings in to their new homes.  Two local businesses in particular stood out, Bremer and US Bank both sent alumni and volunteers to help throughout the day and their assistance made all the difference.  Marshall Radio was also on site to provide music to the atmosphere and to interview a number of the faculty, staff and students welcoming our newest students.  And of course, the work was made much easier with the all-terrain vehicles and golf carts donated by NB Golf Cars and Action Sports. These are all wonderful examples of a community embracing our newest students and welcoming them to Marshall. Parents and family members were especially appreciative of all the assistance. 

For our students, the excitement of moving to a new community was certainly enhanced this weekend with the myriad of activities planned around town.  The annual Smokefest and Mustang Booster Club Kick-Off welcomed over 1,000 people to campus Friday night. Students and families with children of many ages were treated to a movie on the big screen and the music and energy of the Johnny Holm Band.  It was great to see our students enjoy the downtown activities like Friday Night Lights, the Grand Parade, Saturday night concert and fireworks as part of the annual Sounds of Summer celebration.  All of these great events were made possible by the partnerships of campus and community businesses and organizations.

As the fall begins to unfold, there will be more shining examples of campus and community partnerships.  Just as the marquees around town are welcoming back students to the community, I encourage the community to join us on campus for a weekend athletic activity or to attend a music or theatre performance. There is currently a great art exhibit in the Whipple Gallery by SMSU Alum Terrence Fogarty that everyone is invited to view. Also, plan to or check out this fall’s Writers Festival in October.  SMSU is open for you – our community at large – and there is something for everyone to be a part of.  In just a few weeks we will welcome back the families of our students for Family Weekend in conjunction with the Ag Bowl, our annual celebration of agriculture.  There will once again be numerous activities to be involved with. I encourage you to come and check them out.

Fall is a great time in college towns and those of us at SMSU, are proud to call Marshall our home. We welcome you to SMSU to share in our enthusiasm and see for yourself how the local town-gown relationships here are strong and proud.


Published in the Marshall Independent, August 29, 2015

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