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SVSU History: 1990's

Quick Facts

  • Sept. 14 1991 RWickes Stadium is dedicated, replacing the Cardinal Stadium.
  • Nov. 1993 SVSU computer network is installed and is fully operationa.
  • April 16 1997 Curtiss Hall is dedicated
  • May 16 1997 Groening Commens is dedicated
  • Oct. 17 1998 Julia Edwards Bell Tower is dedicated
  • Aug 1999 1st Living Center is completed

1990 through 1999


  • 1990: SVSU's first president, Samuel Davey Marble, dies.
  • May: NASA's Learning About Science, Engineering and Research (LASER) bus makes a stop at SVSU. The mobile education center parks on campus for a week.
  • Fall: Former Vice President of the United States Dan Quayle visits the Ryder Center to present an award to the Bay Area Narcotics Team.
  • October: Famous sex therapist Dr. Ruth speaks at the campus.


  • February: Permanent space for a branch education location is established at Cass City High School. SVSU first began offering off-campus classes in the Thumb area in 1981.
  • April 20: SVSU's bowling team wins the National Collegiate Bowling Championship.
  • Fall: The current Bay Rd. SVSU sign goes up.
  • September 14: Work on the 4,028-seat Randall Wickes Memorial Stadium is finished and the stadium is dedicated, replacing the 2,400-seat Cardinal Stadium.
  • October: The defending NBA Champ Detroit Pistons basketball team holds training camp at Ryder Center.


  • 1992: After negotiations, SVSU and the Consortium for International Earth Science Network (CIESN) reject the idea of making the campus the home for the project. The deal would have set aside 160 acres on the northwest corner of the campus for CIESN's use.
  • April 1: The campus debuts its first computer-tabulated Student Government ballots.
  • June 30: Plans begin for the construction of a new Business and Professional Development Building. The center would serve as the main entrance to the campus, linking Doan Center with the Fine Arts Building. Once completed, the three-story, 202,900 square ft. structure would become the largest on campus. The building would later be named Curtiss Hall, after longtime Board member Charles Curtiss.


  • March 29: After going missing for months, the body of 21-year-old Robert Litner is found in the woods behind SVSU, 200 yards in. The sophomore football player had committed suicide.
  • Fall: SVSU celebrates its thirtieth anniversary.
  • November: The SVSU computer network is installed and fully operational. The network provides access to e-mail and the Internet for students and staff.


  • 1994: The university receives its most recent accreditation renewal by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The accreditation expires after 10 years. SVSU is currently working to renew that distinction again.
  • January: The construction of a $900,000 recital hall and lecture hall is approved. It is later called Founders Hall. Construction begins in October.
  • Aug. 4: Michigan Gov. John Engler speaks on campus during a groundbreaking ceremony for what will later be named Curtiss Hall.
  • Sept. 30: The Triskellions disband. The group, formed in 1968, raised approximately $300,000 in 26 years of service to go toward SVSU scholarships.


  • 1995: Construction on Founders Hall begins. The 5,500 square ft. facility is expected to cost $1.5 million, up from the original estimate of $900,000.
  • 1995: Charles Curtiss retires from the Board of Control after 32 years.
  • April 19: Student Government President Joel Olvera pleads no contest to an attempt of fourth degree criminal sexual conduct and is sentenced to house arrest and required to be monitored by an electronic tether for 45 days. He is also sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay $600 in fees. The charges were brought against Olvera by a Student Government secretary.
  • Fall: The Valley Vanguard's university funds are cut off by President Gilbertson after, among other factors, an article is allegedly plagiarized from The Midland Daily News. The paper ceases publication for an entire eight months before resuming in January, 1996.


  • 1996: SVSU introduces "The Card," now called "Access SVSU."
  • 1996: The Student Government changes its name to Student Association.
  • February: A water pipe breaks, flooding portions of Brown Hall. Quick reaction by students and faculty prevent major structure damage from occurring.
  • April: 1993 SVSU graduate Penny Phelps becomes the first woman ever to give a commencement speech at the National FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
  • August: The Detroit Lions hold the first of five training camps at SVSU. The partnership ends in 2001.
  • Oct. 8: Joan Rivers visits the Cardinal Gym in front of 500 students.
  • Oct. 9: Elizabeth Dole visits the Cardinal Gym in her efforts for husband Bob Dole's Presidential Campaign in 1996.


  • March 17: SVSU graduate and current Michigan Senator Jim Barcia returns to the campus to lead a political science class in a "Professor For A Day" program.
  • April 16: Curtiss Hall is dedicated.
  • May 16: Groening Commons is dedicated and named after William A. Groening, a member of the group that worked to create both Delta College and SVSU in the 1960s. Groening also served as the first chair of the school's Board of Control.


  • 1998: Long-time Athletics Director Bob Becker retires. Football coach Jerry Kill takes over before resigning within months.
  • Jan. 29: During his State of the University address, President Gilbertson previews some of the changes coming to campus, including the construction of a $25 million Instructional Facility No. 3 for spring, 1999. The plan also includes renovation of existing residence hall facilities as well as the addition of housing, and construction of the Bell Tower and Ampitheater.
  • February: Plans move forward to begin a new Master's degree program in Communication and Multimedia.
  • Oct. 17: The Julia Edwards Bell Tower is dedicated. The structure is named after the wife of William Edwards, the man who chaired the committee which raised funds to purchase the land SVSU sits on.


  • April: After 24 years, Food Services Manager John Curry retires.
  • August: The first Living Center is completed, providing housing for more than 300 upperclassmen.
  • September: Construction for Instructional Facility No. 3, an expansion of the Science Building and an addition to the Zahnow Library, begins.
  • Nov. 1: Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Crystal Lange dies.