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Oct. 6, 2014

VIP Luncheon Kicks Off Homecoming Weekend

Distinguished Alumni and Faculty Celebrate CSU's Accomplishments

By Jordan Smith

CSU Alumni take part in the Parade of the DecadesAt noon Friday, Sept. 19, special VIP guests filed into the Fenn Tower Ballroom for the Homecoming VIP Luncheon. Those in attendance included Cleveland State Grand Marshal and NBA Miami Heat Norris Cole, members of the Homecoming Court, Homecoming Committee, Residence Life, the Alumni Association, the men’s basketball team, Presidential Student Ambassadors and others.
Student Government Assosiation President Allie Dumksi came out and welcomed all the attendees who had filled the exquisitely prepared room. Cleveland State's President Ronald M. Berkman started his speech by expressing his gratitude to the students who put in the hard work of planning the event.
Cole would become the segway into President Berkman’s story about his son who is a sports writer for Maxim magazine.

While interviewing Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade, Berkman's son mentioned he is the son of Cleveland State’s president. Berkman described “an immediate connection [to Cleveland State and his teammate Cole],” where Wade mentioned two things that set Cole apart from other rookies.

“The two things that he said stand out about Norris are A — his character, and B — his thirst and his hunger and his willingness to learn more about basketball," Berkman said. "That character is why Norris and his family are here today," he continued. The President closed his speech by discussing the valued relationship between the Cole family and Cleveland State.

Then, Norris Cole took the podium to say a few words. Around the time when guests began indulging in their salads, Norris thanked his family, as well as the Board of Trustees, President Berkman and the entire staff for giving him a chance to play Division 1 basketball.

Board of Trustees member David Pendleton was really pleased with the event.
“Shows how far our athletics have come since the establishment of the University,” he said.
The members of Resident Life were more than happy to be in attendance. The event that they were most excited for would come later in the evening during the Block Party and Parade of the Decades. President Berkman shared a similar sentiment.

Berkman, who is elated to have the Presidential term that coincides with Cleveland State's Golden Anniversary, said that the luncheon was a great event. The success of the luncheon seemed to mount the excitement for the Block Party in everyone. Before President Berkman left the Fenn Tower Ballroom, he expressed how much he enjoyed all the homecoming festivities.
“Every one I really enjoyed," Berkman said. “We had a great dinner last night — the distinguished alumni dinner. We had [more than] 600 people in attendance, and we’ll see whether Cleveland State students can really party this afternoon.”