This coming week is one of the most exciting times on campus here at SMSU. It's homecoming week, that time of year where we welcome back alumni, families, and friends to celebrate old times, recognize achievements, and share in the fun of fall on a university campus. Our students have chosen the theme, "Paint the Town Brown & Gold," to lift up our Homecoming festivities and welcome everyone back to Marshall.
As I have the opportunity to meet more and more people around this region, I am frequently amazed by the number of alumni who have remained in the area and continue to have a vested interested in SMSU. Not only are they loyal, but they share a strong passion for the institution and are quick to tell their "Southwest Stories" and why they are so proud to be SMSU alumni.
On Wednesday, I had the privilege of attending a luncheon for the 93 alumni who are part of the faculty and staff here at the University. It was fun to hear the pride in their voices as they talked about the accomplishments of other SMSU alumni. I learned some very interesting facts about our alumni.
Did you know that we have alums who are Olympians, Grammy-award winning musicians, movie stars, college presidents, professional athletes, and international CEOs? Did you know that we have more than 18,000 alumni representing all 50 states? And that SMSU alumni have the highest giving rate of any public institution in the state of Minnesota? Did you know that our 2012 graduates had a 99 percent job placement rate? These are just some of the greater points of pride that were shared and I look forward to hearing more.
There are a host of events planned this week to recognize the accomplishments of our alumni and students. The SMSU Alumni Association will host their annual Alumni Awards Luncheon on Friday; the University Gala, our largest scholarship Fundraiser, will be on Friday night; and of course Saturday features the homecoming parade and Mustang football game. There are many exciting things to do this week and you can find them on our webpage at smsu.edu/homecoming.
Whether you are from Marshall and southwest Minnesota or will be coming back to campus from around the country, this is our week to celebrate SMSU and the Marshall community. Invite your classmates and friends to town, encourage them to come and see what is new at the University, share what hasn't changed, and maybe even create more Southwest Stories this week.
Let's Paint the Town Brown & Gold. Go Mustangs!