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SVSU History: 1970's

Quick Facts

  • 1970 The Cardinal is chosen as the SVC mascot
  • Nov. 1971 Cardinal Gymnasium is completed
  • Fall 1972 SVC joins the GLIAC conference
  • Jan. 14, 1974 Sam Marble steps down as SVC's 1st president.  William Capitan serves as acting president.
  • Oct. 17 1974 Jack Ryder is hired as SVC's 2nd president.
  • Jan. 1975 SVC's name is changed to Saginaw Valley State College.
  • Winter 1978 Pioneer Hall is opened for classes.

1970 through 1979


  • 1970: At a Kentucky golf tournament, Bob Becker and Gene Hamilton spot a kitchen decoration with a cardinal printed on it. The two decide to make the cardinal the school's mascot.
  • January: A campus coffee house opens on Pierce Rd. Today that facility houses Public Safety.
  • Jan. 5: The Board of Control votes unanimously in favor of Sam Marble's idea of a 'community government' in which administration, faculty and students all have equal say in the design of the college.
  • Spring: Forty students picket Wickes Hall over concerns about campus safety. 'No Protection, No Classes' was the slogan. Faculty backed the students by canceling classes.
  • April 8: SVC receives full accreditation by North Central.
  • Fall: Women's basketball becomes the college's first organized female sport on campus.
  • October: Under the new community government, President Marble uses his veto power for the only time to reject a proposed class, Third World Political Philosophy, that was approved by the student and faculty.


  • January: Black students are named to six of the seven major student/faculty committees after a request is made the previous spring for more minority involvement.
  • February: The first annual Landee Award for Excellence in Teaching is awarded to William Hoffmann and Gamal A. Elashhab.
  • Feb. 16: Student Life Director Eric Buschlen is born.
  • Fall: Wrestling becomes a sport at SVC and remains until its elimination in 1983 with the college's response to Title IX provisions.
  • Sept. 27: SVC's radio station, WSVC, begins broadcasting at 2 p.m. The station no longer exists.
  • November: The Cardinal Gymnasium is completed. The gym still remains within the Ryder Center.


  • Jan. 14: The faculty union is voted in.
  • Jan. 15: SVC's community government is abolished in a Board of Control meeting.
  • Fall: SVC Athletics joins the GLIAC conference where it still competes.
  • September: WSVS, the college's first and only radio station, is sold to a religious group in Midland.
  • October: Students complains that the school is issuing illegal traffic tickets. Attorney James Kendall responds SVC is acting under a different law because only one Kochville Twp. officer was employed at the time.


  • 1973: The Chrysallis Center becomes an official part of the campus under the leadership of Rosella Collamer.
  • 1973: Ten years after the charter was bought to begin SVC, the college comes up with "Design for a Second Decade." The document outlines goals that campus officials hoped to accomplish between then and 1983. Among those goals include encouragement for recreation, cultural activities and informal association.
  • Fall: "SVC's First Decade, Just a Beginning" is the title of the school's tenth anniversary. The school celebrates with guests like Michigan Governor William Milliken, Dow Chemical Co. President C. Benson Branch and General Motors President Edward Cole.
  • November: History Prof. John Willertz is elected Bay City mayor.


  • Jan. 14: Sam Marble steps down as SVC's first president. Dean of Fine Arts William Capitan serves as the acting president until a replacement is hired.
  • Feb. 26: Muddy Waters is hired as the college's first football coach. The team plays its first season in the fall with a non-varsity schedule.
  • March 19: The campus' first bomb threat clears out Wickes Hall. No bomb is found.
  • Oct. 17: Ten months after Marble resigned, the Board of Control hires the college's second president, Jack Ryder. He takes office beginning Nov. 1.


  • 1975: Campus Dining Services Director John Curry arrives on campus.
  • January: The state approves the Board of Control's Dec. 9, 1974 decision to change the college's name from Saginaw Valley College to Saginaw Valley State College.
  • February: President Ryder announces plans for the construction of a multi-million dollar facility at a school assembly. This would eventually be called Pioneer Hall.
  • Feb. 17: Students boycott ARA, the college's vending machine company, to supply the school with a "better selection." The Student Government provides tea, coffee and hot chocolate during the boycott.
  • Sept. 13: SVSC football begins its first varsity schedule against Adrian College. Playing the home game at Arthur Hill High School, the Cards claim a victory, 29-14.


  • 1976: Crystal Lange joins the college staff.
  • Fall: Richard Thompson is named SVSC's new director of Admissions.
  • Sept. 7: Future First Lady Rosalynn Carter, wife of Jimmy Carter, visits the campus to campaign for her husband.
  • Oct. 23: Ground is broken for Pioneer Hall.


  • 1977: SVSC's Chrysalis Center, which helps adult students find an education at SVSC, is recognized as one of nine outstanding national career counseling centers in The Technical Education Research Center in Cambridge, Mass.
  • January: The Michigan Efficiency Task Force Issues a report to Governor William Milliken to the effect that Delta and SVSC could be run more efficiently if they were combined. The idea was turned down by Director of the State Dept. Gerald Miller in April.
  • Fall: Three Saginaw-area scientists develop and begin to test an anti-cancer drug at SVSC. The drug they discovered, dirhenium propionato sulfate, elicited enough interest that the National Cancer Institute agrees to provide funds for the drug.


  • Winter: SVSC's first science building, Pioneer Hall, is opened for classes after a year of construction.
  • March: Robert Yien is appointed the new vice president of Academic Affairs, a position he holds to this day.
  • March: SVSC's baseball team debuts as a club sport. The team turns varsity the following year.
  • Fall: SVSC's academic units are reconfigured into five "schools," later to be called "colleges' once the college changes its name to a university in 1987. The schools are of the Arts and Behavioral Sciences, Education, Business and Management, Nursing and Allied Health, and Science, Engineering and Technology. They remain today.


  • 1979: 26 Saginaw Township Police cars arrive after a commotion is reported after a viewing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in Doan. 22 students are arrested but later have charges dropped against them. Months later, the Public Safety office became its own independent police department.
  • Jan. 17: An SVSU female student has a knife held to her throat by a former boyfriend in her SVSC dormitory at 3:30 a.m. At the time, SVSC Public Safety officers were only on duty until 3 a.m. Delta College's Campus Police is alerted instead, but by the time they arrive, another SVSC student had disarmed the man.
  • Jan. 31: Asst. Prof. Dwayne Canon dies of a massive heart attack shortly after dismissing his 8:30 a.m. class after complaining of chest pains.