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 Alumni Director Letter

​Centralight Summer Magazine


Dear friends,

I don't have to tell you that we're living in a very different world today than when our team sat down to plan the content for the summer issue of Centralight. In fact, by the time you read what I'm writing today, things will be different yet again, in ways we cannot predict.

It's a scary, uncertain time.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the "stay home, stay safe" order Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued for the state of Michigan, we have decided not to publish Centralight in June. This was not a decision we reached easily. With each issue we plan, our conversations are bursting with CMU Chippewa pride. There are so many amazing, world-changing and impressive stories to share about our alumni and about how our university is making a difference in Michigan, across the country and around the world.

But in this "new normal" we're navigating, we thought it was best to pause our publication.

If you haven't already, I encourage you to subscribe to Our CMU, an e-newsletter featuring university news and stories, campus events and things happening throughout the Mount Pleasant community. As you would expect, much of that news lately has to do with CMU's campus operations and health advisories related to the novel coronavirus. It's an excellent way to stay informed about the effects this has on our campus and how our university is responding.

This time feels isolating, and we want to connect with you. We want to hear about how you're adjusting to this – wherever you call home now. From teachers making significant changes to the way they lead students through lessons to health care workers facing challenges unlike anything they've encountered to neighbors helping neighbors, we know Chippewas are rising to the occasion. Share your story with us at Give us something to cheer about.

My heart goes out to our newest alumni – those who were set to graduate this spring, excited to wear their maroon caps and gowns as they celebrated their accomplishments. With commencement currently on hold, this is not the college ending they dreamed of.

But I can't help but burst with CMU Chippewa pride when I listen to Sydney Reed, a senior and 2019 Homecoming Gold Ambassador, deliver a message to her fellow students. Here's just some of what she shared:

If I've learned anything about our community in my four years, it's that CMU Chippewas are strong, resilient, and there is nothing that can tear us down. …

We won't allow this roadblock to define our college careers. We've become leaders, we've lived, learned and loved, we've grown in the face of challenge, and we've experienced some of the best four years of our lives at CMU. So, I don't care what this virus tries to do. Nothing is going to take that away from us. We will overcome this together.

I encourage you to listen to her entire message. It's a powerful one.

Be safe. Be well. We're here for you, and we're looking forward to sharing more stories of alumni success in the coming months.

Fired up forever,


Marcie M. Otteman
Executive Director Alumni Relations and Development Strategies