Old Main Society Members Fenns and Kuks Recognized for Support

Key supporters of Ferris State University are sporting a stylish new look with their new Societies of Distinction membership jackets. Interim Director of Advancement Karen Lerew recently met with John and Lynda Fenn, and Kenneth Kuk to present them with Ferris Red jackets to thank them for their support of the university and their membership in the Societies of Distinction’s Old Main Society.

Lynda and John Fenn
Lynda and John Fenn show off their new Societies of Distinction jackets.

The Fenns support the Surveying Engineering program in the university’s College of Engineering Technology with the John R. and Lynda D. Fenn Surveying Annual Scholarship, as well as an endowed fund for the John R. and Lynda D. Fenn Digital Photogrammetry and GIS Laboratory. John is a 2007 honorary graduate and is the chair of the Surveying Engineering Advisory Board.

Ken Kuk
Ken Kuk shows off his new Societies of Distinction jacket.

Kenneth and Linda Kuk are longtime Ferris employees: Kenneth is a professor in the CET’s Welding Engineering program, and Linda is a staff member in the College of Health Professions. They support students through gifts to the welding program, FLITE, Opportunity 125 and the Ferris Foundation for Excellence Benefit. Kenneth also serves on the Faculty/Staff Fundraising Campaign and has been a strong supporter of Ferris students.

The Ferris Foundation’s Societies of Distinction honors those who enhance and maintain the university’s tradition of excellence through their generous financial support. Membership in the Old Main Society, which commemorates the first building on campus, requires a $50,000 cumulative gift. Among other benefits, the membership jacket is a visible token of thanks to the Fenns and the Kuks for their dedication and generosity.

Visit Ferris’ Societies of Distinction website for more information,  or email Lerew at karenlerew@feris.edu.

PGA Golf Management Learning Center Campaign Under Way; Alumni Support Sought

Calling all PGM alumni!  The PGA Golf Management program at Ferris State University is seeking support for its PGA Golf Management Learning Center Campaign, an effort to raise $4 million to build a state-of-the-art center that will include a more functional indoor practice facility for year-round golf instruction and practice.

The new learning center is essential to maintaining the Ferris PGM program’s strong reputation as the first and largest program of its kind in the country. As competition increases for today’s aspiring golf industry professionals and new PGA-required curricula is implemented, Ferris is challenged to provide a year-round practice and educational facility.

The university’s student call center began reaching out in April to gain support from PGM alumni.  Campaign chair Mike Bigford, a member of the Ferris Foundation Board of Directors, explained to student callers how the new learning center will truly transform the PGM program. Bigford, president and CEO of Utility Supply and Construction Company headquartered in Reed City, Mich., is among several supporters volunteering their time and support for the campaign.

Bigford at Call Center
Ferris Foundation board member Mike Bigford and Director of Annual Giving and Advancement Services Jennifer Yontz address students in the university’s call center to seek support for the PGA Golf Management Learning Center campaign.

As part of the overall effort, the PGA Golf Management Learning Center Brick Campaign is an opportunity for alumni and friends to have their name engraved on a brick and incorporated into the new learning center. Visit the PGA Learning Center Brick Campaign website  to learn more.

For more information on the campaign, visit the PGA Golf Management Learning Center Campaign website.  For additional questions or assistance making a gift, contact senior Advancement officer Mark Roof by emailing markroof@ferris.edu.

Goode Hosts Over 70 Donors at “Bulldogs After Hours” Reception

“Bulldogs After Hours” reception at Artworks in downtown Big Rapids.

Athletics Advancement Officer Will Goode teamed with FSU Athletics staff to host the first annual “Bulldogs After Hours” reception at Artworks downtown Big Rapids. Over 70 donors attended in addition to coaches, student-athletes and members of the Ferris administration.

“This was a great event to get our coaches out into the community and give our stakeholders a one-on-one opportunity with Bulldog Athletics,” Goode said. “The feedback from all who attended was very positive and our donors really enjoyed the evening and look forward to more events like this in the future.”

The Ferris Foundation Welcomes New Board Member

Carla Miller, executive director of The Ferris Foundation, met with newly appointed Board Director, Tim Murphy, at the office of MacAndrews and Forbes Holdings at their regional office in Washington, D.C. where he serves as Vice President of Corporate Compliance. Tim is a 1983 Ferris State University graduate from the School of Criminal Justice with nearly 30 years of public and private sector experience – primarily in the Federal Bureau of Investigation where he eventually rose to become the Deputy Director of the FBI, a position he held until 2011. Tim will be on the Ferris campus in early May for The Ferris Foundation spring meeting and to work in the classroom with students in the Criminal Justice program.

Tim Murphy and Carla Miller.

A Day in the Life of an Event Planner

We have all seen or heard about the wonderful “parties” that we put on across campus, but no one talks about what it actually takes to put these events together.


What Everyone Talks About

A lot of work goes into pulling off a seamless event and it’s not always glamorous,” said Destiny Gorby, stewardship and donor relations coordinator.  “When you take a glimpse into this process, you’ll see that  no party can happen without an invitation.  Around 1,300 invitations have to be sealed, stamped and labeled for an upcoming event.”

Preparing invitations for a typical event can consume more than eight hours of labor, 13 rolls of stamps, four bottles of envelope sealer, and over 43 pages of address labels to get everything out the door in a timely manner.


What No One Talks About

Anyone that has planned an event will know how unglamourous event planning truly is at times.  A great deal of time is required for researching and re-researching venues, menus, linen colors and styles, centerpiece designs, invitations, signage, giveaways, etc.  — all while maintaining your budget.

“Behind the scenes, it goes without mention the time you spend digging around in your supply closet to find the right vase for your centerpiece idea and the amount of dust you kick up while doing so,” added Gorby.  “Keep in mind that appearances are deceiving and that everything takes time and hard work to make our parties ‘look’ perfect.”

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