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Campaign News—Fall 2012

On Higher Ground Campaign Closes with $19 Million Raised

Siena Heights University closed the most successful campaign in the institution’s history with an on-campus celebration Oct. 16. The On Higher Ground Campaign shattered its original goal of $13 million by finishing with more than $19 million in pledges and gifts over a three-year period. The campaign officially ended on June 30, 2012.

“The campaign response was everything we had hoped for and more,” said SHU President Sister Peg Albert, OP, PhD. “We secured the largest individual gifts in the institution’s history, and we now have visible evidence of what this campaign has meant for Siena Heights—especially for our students.”

The campaign addressed three primary priorities: new athletic facilities, a new university center and growing the endowment through securing planned and estate gifts.

O’Laughlin Stadium and Dawson Field were completed in fall 2011, and now host athletic events such as football, track and field, soccer and lacrosse.

The baseball field, completed last spring, features an artificial surface infield and is considered one of the premier small-college facilities in the region. In July 2012, the Mary and Sash Spencer Athletic Complex opened adjacent to the stadium and features state-of-the-art locker rooms, offices and training facilities.

Construction is currently underway on the new McLaughlin University Center, which will include a dining service, bookstore, community rooms and recreational space. The student center will be a functional gathering space and will benefit all segments of the university community, enhance the quality of student life for resident and non-resident students alike and support more community events. The center is scheduled to be open by the time classes begin in fall 2013.

Read more . . .

Alumni News—Fall 2012

Alumni Focus

Dawn Huggins ’93, ’98
Dawn Huggins ’93, ’98
Cammy DiPietro ’87, ’00/MA
Cammy DiPietro ’87, ’00/MA
Ryan Bills ’02, ’09/MA
Ryan Bills ’02, ’09/MA

The Adrian Schools Educational Foundation named its outstanding teachers for 2012, and they include Dawn HugginsCammy DiPietro and Ryan Bills. All three are Siena Heights graduates. They were recognized Oct. 4 at a reception.

Ryan Bills ’02, 09/MA is currently an art and technology teacher at Adrian High School. He is also the International Baccalaureate Programme art instructor. He teaches the Stage Craft class at AHS where students design and build scenery for all the districts plays and musicals. He has taught middle school and elementary school art, coached middle school boys track and high school cross country and served as the technical director for high school musicals and plays. Bills has both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine arts from Siena Heights.

Cammy DiPietro ’87, 00/MA is a fifth- and sixth-grade language arts, reading and social studies teacher at AMS 5-6, where she has been for eight years. She taught the same subjects at the seventh- and eighth-grade level at APS, where she also served for many years as student council and peer mediators supervisor. She is the school liaison for the “Reading is Cool” program, and also has her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from SHU.

Dawn Huggins ’93, ’98 is currently a kindergarten teacher at Lincoln Elementary School. She has also taught first and second grade. She has two bachelor’s degrees from Siena Heights University. Huggins’ nominators recognized her ability to understand each student’s learning style and use the right combination of emotional and academic support to challenge her students to learn.

Read more . . .

Overcoming the Odds . . .

SHU Disabled Students Don’t Let Physical Obstacles
Get in the Way of Success

By Austin Harper ’13—Student Writer

There are currently anywhere from 25–75 disabled students at Siena Heights University. Learning and mobile disabilities, visual, hearing and cognitive impairments and autism, all of these and more are challenges among some of SHU’s most promising students.

There may be the assumption that trials such as these greatly hinder these students; that they struggle day in and day out, barely passing classes. There may even be the perception that they may never even be able enter into the workforce.

According to Bob Ritz (left, middle), SHU’s learning specialist/ADA coordinator, this could not be further from reality. He said these students are given every opportunity to succeed. First, they must have documentation of their disability and they must ask for the help. As long as they do this, he and SHU will provide any assistance the students require.

“Enlarged textbooks, taped lectures, extended test times, I provide all of these accommodations,” Ritz said. “A student with ADD may be distracted by a pencil being tapped on a desk or a page being turned. They can take their test in my office, free of distractions, to level the playing field.”

Though these students are given assistance, he said they do not have it easy. Leaving counselors and constant parent support during high school, college is an extremely different experience.

“They have to do a lot on their own,” Ritz said.

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