July 25, 2014


Even during the slower paced summer months, great achievements and progress continue in our community. I'd like to share a few.

Student-Athletes and Coaches Committed to Academic Success

Our student-athletes and their coaches are demonstrating a strong commitment to academic success. Four CSU teams earned a perfect score on the NCAA's latest Graduation Success Rate for Division I institutions. In total, eight of our teams scored higher than the national average. We also had eight teams and coaches recognized by the NCAA for an Academic Progress Rate—which tracks students' eligibility, retention, and graduation—in the top 10 percent of their sport. Way to go, Vikings!

Green Turns Gold: Celebrating CSU's 50th Anniversary

We will kickoff our 50th anniversary celebratory year with Green Turns Gold Weekend on September 18-21, 2014. A weeklong array of activities will lead to the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards event on Thursday, September 18, honoring 9 outstanding graduates, as well as all past recipients, for their service, leadership, and career achievements.

On Friday, September 19, I hope you will join us for the main event: the 50th Anniversary Block Party on East 18th Street and Euclid Avenue from 4pm to 10pm. This free public event will feature entertainers, food trucks, and live music and will culminate with a fireworks display. At 5:45pm, all students and alumni are invited to march in the University's first-ever Homecoming Parade of the Decades, which will begin in the Plaza behind the Student Center and end in the center of the Block Party on 18th Street.

On Saturday, September 20 and Sunday, September 21, the University will host a full slate of Homecoming activities and anniversary events, including signature faculty lectures "In the Year of '64" and "Cleveland's Brain Gain," and a variety of alumni reunions and gatherings. Later in the fall, on Thursday, November 13, we will hold the first of a series of 50th Anniversary panel discussions on campus. I will join past CSU presidents Dr. Michael Schwartz and Dr. Claire van Ummersen for a thoughtful dialogue on our experiences at the University.

I hope to see you, as well as your friends and family, at many of these special events. Be sure to visit http://www.csuohio.edu/50/ regularly for updates.

University's Master Planning Continues

I want to update you on the ongoing work of our master planning team, which was tasked with developing a comprehensive Campus Master Plan that will guide CSU's future development for the next 5-15 years. The plan is on track to be finalized in October 2014 and will be presented for approval at the Board of Trustees meeting on November 19, at which time it will become public.

National Media Recognizes CSU's Research on Brain Gain

The most recent work of Richey Piiparinen—senior research associate in our Center for Population Dynamics—made national headlines for its findings that show Cleveland is experiencing a "brain gain."

We have moved to a much more knowledge-based economy, and our graduates are now Cleveland's greatest resource. Most of our graduates want to build their futures in Cleveland. We are giving them the critical tools and experiences they need to do so.

And so while enjoying summer, I look toward our students' return next month with tremendous enthusiasm.


Ronald M. Berkman

Cleveland State University

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