Friendraising and fundraising

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Greetings from Valley City State University!The last few weeks have been marked by gatherings of our important boards and some fun activities for raising funds and awareness for the university.The Viking Golf Scramble was held Saturday, June 8. Twenty-eight teams took to the Country Club and Bjornson Park courses to enjoy a day of golf and fellowship, rekindling bonds and friendships. Despite a slight rain interruption, the event was a tremendous success. I enjoyed meeting so many friends and alumni of VCSU. I parked on the ninth green at the Country Club and attempted to provide a “line and speed” indication on the putts for each team. A few even went in! In any case, it was a fun-filled day that included several Valley City residents, business leaders, Viking supporters, and alumni from across the region. I wish to offer special thanks to athletic director Jill Devries for her organizational work, the foundation staff and volunteers, our student volunteers, and Larry Robinson and Greg Vanney for their expert grill work in preparing burgers and brats on the fifth hole at Bjornson!During this past week we had the opportunity to meet with both our Alumni Association and VCSU Foundation boards, and I was honored to present a report of the university to each group. It was my pleasure and privilege to share with these boards the outstanding successes the university has enjoyed during the past semester, including the approval of $32 million for the construction of the new VCSU arts and communication center, student and faculty/staff successes, campus beautification projects, enrollment and scholarship updates, and athletic accomplishments. We have a positive story to share, and these important groups are such important ambassadors for VCSU. We sincerely appreciate their volunteer service and all they do to help VCSU succeed and grow. The capstone event of the board gatherings was the donor recognition banquet, Monday, June 10, in the VCSU Student Center dining room. It was an honor to recognize so many folks who have made significant donations of their time and resources to VCSU. The importance of these friends to our institution is tremendous, and we are grateful for their support. Finally, I want to recognize the tremendous loss our campus experienced this past week with the untimely passing of Jamie Paurus. Jamie served as assistant professor and chair of the Computer Systems and Software Engineering Department and also as our golf coach. He brought innovative ideas and energy to the department and was very proud to be the golf coach. Helping students succeed was at the top of his priority list, and he touched many lives. In the short time I had a chance to work with and get to know Jamie, I appreciated his always upbeat and positive attitude, wry smile, quick wit, and dedication to his family and children. He was well respected by all here at VCSU, and he will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and condolences continue to be with all of his family and friends.I’m sure Jamie would want us to all keep rowing, and in that spirit, I’ll close as I usually do: Go Vikings!