BY SAVANNAH RHEINHART, Editor-in-Chief
When I first began as freshman at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, I only knew a few people from high school that were also attending, didn’t participate in anything outside of the classroom, and spent a lot of time in my car. I’m sure many of us share the same initial experience. To a lot of new students, UM-Dearborn was a college, not a college experience.
Quickly, I realized how difficult it was to NOT be involved on campus. It wasn’t long before I became a sister of Phi Mu Fraternity and soon after, the Michigan Journal. These organizations, as well as UM-Dearborn College Panhellenic, Student Activities Board, and Student Government, have become not just things I participate in and support, but part of who I am. I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. And it’s pretty clear that these feelings can be directly attributed to our beloved Vice Chancellor, Stanley Henderson.
It is very easy for a big name university to be a nameless and faceless organization looking for money and nothing more. And I’ve seen that from certain departments on campus, but never from the office of the Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Life. Long before I was a student at this university, Vice Chancellor Henderson’s door has always been open. For students who want to make changes on campus, to get more involved, or just need advice, he was always there. I believe this to be due his unrelenting love for a community that he helped to create.
We’ve heard the “community” speech countless times, but it always resonates the same way. UM-Dearborn is not an institution, but a community. A community of growth, of support, of caring, and of hope. No one knows this to be true more than our Vice Chancellor because he’s the one to consistently put in the effort to maintain it. Throughout my four and a half years on this campus, he is the only administrator to attend STUDENT RUN events on a regular basis, send out mass emails of support, and even know students by name. These actions are what truly make a community.
I’ve had the privilege of working closely with the Vice Chancellor for the past year or so, and it has been nothing short of a delight. From our first monthly meeting, I was given nothing but support through pleasant conversation, useful stories, and some laughter. Through hard times, whether academically, through one of my organizations, to my personal life, Vice Chancellor Henderson has been there for me as an administrator, but also as a friend. And while he may give compliments often, they are never untruthful. To hear a compliment about this newspaper, UM-Dearborn College Panhellenic, and Greek Life as a whole, means more to me and the students more than could ever be written.
The care that our vice chancellor has shown our community has now shifted to the students. It is our responsibility to ensure that his legacy continues with all of us; to take pride in our academics, to be involved and give back to our community, and to be of good character. These are just a few of the many lessons that we have all been so lucky to have learned from Stanley Henderson and his legacy will be one that stays with me forever.
On behalf of myself, the Michigan Journal, and the students of this campus, thank you, VCH. You’ve given us more than a college experience. You’ve helped us to be community leaders and given us ideals to carry with us for the rest of our lives. Thank you and forever Go Blue!