Sep 5th, 2012 @ 8:44 am | Author: Dr. Steve Shirley
Political season is upon us, and that means many yard signs can be seen across the landscape. In addition to these political signs, you may have also noticed the "Support the Vikings, Help Row the Ship" signs in Valley City. These signs are a new tradition that started last year, and it is wonderful to see so many of the signs throughout the community.

When a plea goes out to "Support the Vikings" the focus is really on supporting the students of Valley City State University. This is the time of year when the academic calendar is in full swing and the campus and community are once again buzzing with college students. VCSU began the Fall 2012 semester with a first-day record enrollment headcount of 1321 students – a slight increase over last year's first-day record. It is no coincidence that we are also coming off a year where the VCSU Foundation awarded a record amount of student scholarships in 2011-12 (over $750,000).

This is also the time of the year when the VCSU Century Club and V-500 scholarship drives are in full-swing. I would like to extend a big word of "THANKS!" to those of you who participate in one or both of these annual scholarship drives (or any of the many other giving programs at VCSU), and encourage those of you who have not participated to please consider doing so. Beyond V-500 and Century Club, there are many other ways to support VCSU and students through the many "Friends Of ..." programs supporting such specific areas as Music, Theatre, Medicine Wheel Park, the Library, the Planetarium, Business, and the International Program. You can also get involved by supporting a specific endowed scholarship, the annual Phone-a-Thon, the annual Spring Auction, or the preservation of the historic President's House. The ways in which you can get involved and help VCSU succeed are endless!

It is unquestionably an exciting time in VCSU's history. With the soon-to-be-completed Rhoades Science Center project, the new artificial turf field, the record enrollment, new academic programs (in Athletic Training, Business Process Integration Management, and Medical Laboratory Science), the statewide impact of the Great Plains STEM Education Center and Prairie Waters Education and Research Center, the recent 10-year re-accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, the remodeled Cafeteria, and so many more exciting initiatives.

The ability of VCSU to offer private scholarship dollars to prospective students is one of the most significant efforts we can make in continuing to attract the absolute best students to VCSU and our community. When surveyed, students repeatedly indicate that availability of financial assistance is one of the most important factors in their decision-making process in selecting VCSU.

A vibrant, healthy, successful university is a key ingredient that enhances the overall quality of life in Valley City and the surrounding region, and the most important ingredient to a successful university are the students we attract and educate. All of these aspects are interrelated, and so your contributions and participation toward VCSU's scholarships are all the more important, and all the more appreciated!

The long-standing strong relationship between VCSU and the Valley City community is one of the great success stories in our state. As we always say, it truly is a 'win-win' partnership. Thanks to all who support this successful partnership, and thanks for everything you do to "Support the Vikings and Help Row the Ship!"