Eastern Michigan University’s Foundation Board of Trustees discussed business and finance agendas, intercollegiate athletics and other EMU-related issues in the Grand Ballroom of the Student Center on Friday.
Foundation Chairman Bill Brickley began the meeting by saying a major goal for the semester is to “help students get out in the world.” He also said that there was a sense of “spirit and energy” across the campus.
The vice president for advancement and executive director of the Foundation, Tom Stevick, provided an update regarding endowment growth, endowment spending and fundraising goals for EMU.
Stevick said the college is on target with the growth and spending, but is lacking slightly in the area of fundraising. The plan is to meet the $10 million mark, but the funds have only hit $8.2 million in fundraising gains.
Athletic director Heather Lyke addressed the Foundation with an update concerning the student athletes and athletics department at EMU.
Lyke said she hopes to make a positive difference at EMU while leading the athletics department. She also said she believes in having a successful athletic program and has been focused on building a strong internal team.
Lyke said that the department has become more involved in other aspects of the university with coaches helping out during pep rallies, luncheons and move-in events.
A major focus in the athletic department has been on academics and continuing to improve on those academic goals. Lyke said that there are 209 scholar athletes, 59 student athletes in the Honors College and the average GPA last year was 3.19.
“Academically, we’re doing really well as a group,” Lyke said. “Both academics and athletic performance are important.”
EMU President Susan Martin said that it was a really exciting time for EMU, with a record number of freshmen set at 5,210 for the semester. She said the incoming GPA for these students was at 3.2, with 1,200 in the Honors College. Martin also said the student body is representing 79 different countries and all 50 states.
Student Body President Desmond Miller talked about the different priorities the Student Government Association will focus on throughout the semester, including the Gateway Scholarship for undocumented students and underprivileged students, voter registration on campus and more participation in athletic events.
“Students are happy, energetic, excited,” Miller said. “They are engaging and have a lot of ideas.”