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Community Voices, October 2016

What a great time of year to be on a college campus! SMSU and the Marshall community are vibrant and exciting places to be this fall with our students as busy as ever.  From Family Weekend to the University Gala, Homecoming and Ag Bowl games, the gatherings in the Student Center to the activity in the residence halls and of course all the academic engagement in the classrooms and labs in the academic buildings, there is a buzz that can be felt and experienced by everyone on campus.  We have welcomed high school students to our career fairs and college visit days; we have seen the athletic venues full with our fall competition schedules; music and theater performances are underway; speakers and presentations have captivated audiences; and we have tremendous participation from our alumni, parents, and community friends as they have joined us for the excitement that these events bring to the campus this time of year.

This fall we are thrilled to welcome over 800 new students to campus and as a part of the nearly 7,000 students (on campus, online, and in high schools) that SMSU serves across the entire state of Minnesota.  Locally I often hear about the impact and value that our students bring to the community.  From their work as full and part-time employees to their volunteer efforts with area organizations, the students who come to Marshall and the surrounding communities are an important component of the economic engine of our region.  SMSU’s economic impact has been valued at nearly $150,000 annually – dollars that reflect the annual business operations of the university, and dollars that are spent locally by our employees and students.  When spent locally, those dollars then are repaid and are spent several times over right here again in our own backyard.  Add in the others who visit the community to attend fine arts events and athletic competitions, and that number continues to grow.

Our SMSU students are always eager to be a part of the greater Marshall community and I encourage our local businesses and community organizations to reach out and engage the newest members of our community. Whether you are looking for new employees or have a service project that needs support, SMSU students can fill those roles.  SMSU Career Services and the Center for Civic Engagement are two great resources to begin with in contacting our students. Both of these resource centers have outstanding faculty, staff and students committed to assisting students in becoming engaged in the community and forming meaningful partnerships.

It’s hard to believe that we are half-way through the fall semester, but there are still a host of exciting fall events happening on campus. I encourage everyone to come out and experience all that SMSU has to offer – speakers, performances, competitions.  More importantly, invite someone from out of town to check out what this great campus and community have to offer.  Let’s share the many reasons why SMSU is known for academic excellence and distinctiveness and why SMSU is, “Where you Belong!”


Published in the Saturday, October 29, 2016 Edition of the Marshall Independent.

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