The 1990s were
indeed a decade of prosperity featuring campus building improvements,
growing enrollments and maturing programs.
More than $60
million in campus improvements took place in the decade of the 1990s.
The long-awaited West Complex, the largest structure on campus,
opened in 1996. The multipurpose facility serves as the main entryway
to the university's core campus and links the Leland L. Doan Center
with the Arbury Fine Arts Center. Other improvements include the
renovation of the football stadium in 1991, the addition of Founders
Hall in 1995 and the Bell Tower in 1998, and construction of Instructional
Facility #3 in 1999.
decade, enrollments grew to record levels. In fall 1990, on-campus
enrollment was just over 6,000, but by fall 1999, it had grown to
just over 8,000. And, the university began attracting a higher quality
of students. In fall 1998, for example, 38 members of the record-sized
freshmen class were high school valedictorians and salutatorians
and one third had grade point averages of 3.5 or higher.
domestic enrollment grew, international enrollment also flourished.
The decade opened with less than 50 international students and grew
to 335 students by fall 2000. According to President Eric R. Gilbertson,
international students "have clearly helped to make this campus
a more cosmopolitan place."
excellence also was recognized through accreditations. In 1994,
the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools renewed SVSU's
accreditation for 10 years, the longest renewal in the university's
history and a sign of the university's level of performance, integrity
and quality. Specific academic programs received accreditation by
national agencies for the first time, including education, graduate-level
nursing and occupational therapy.
More than 500
people gathered in 1993 to celebrate SVSU's 30th anniversary and
to reflect on SVSU's humble beginnings in the basement of Delta
College to its growth on a 782-acre campus, from a first graduating
class of 10 students to an alumni body of more than 12,000. SVSU
President Eric R. Gilbertson summed up the occasion. "What we hoped
was going to happen is what happened. Hopes became a reality."
New faces came
to campus and beloved pioneers said "good-bye" - from the retirement
of SVSU's second president, Jack M. Ryder, in 1991 to the conclusion
of the work of the Triskelions in 1994 to the death of College of
Nursing founder Crystal M. Langue in 1999.
of the 1990s was one of growth, prosperity and change. It continued
to build on the accomplishments of the past and laid the groundwork
for the "next steps' into the future.