78,840,000 Minutes-How Do You Measure 150 Years?

Graduates of Wayne State University aren’t usually the rah-rah type of alumni.  I’ve never seen a Wayne State flag flying from anyone’s porch.  And it’s not that we haven’t had any NCAA Division I Champions.  It’s just that Fencing doesn’t generate the same passions as that of Football and Basketball.

Wayne has traditionally been a commuter school.  Most of the students pay their own way which means they are working while earning degrees.  That was my experience.  At commencement the temptation is to think – I got this degree in spite of you, Wayne State – not because of you.

That’s changing.

Last Friday I was invited to participate in a gala ceremony in which Wayne State closed out it’s observance of it’s sesquicentennial.  That’s 150 years.  While it’s true that the Detroit Medical College was established in 1868 some purists believe the University didn’t really begin until 1917 when Detroit School Superintendent David Mackenzie founded the Detroit Junior College in the former Central High School Building now know as Old Main.  The Detroit Medical College became part of the university later.  The argument goes; “Imagine that your grandparents came to this country from Italy in 1920.  But then your brother married someone who’s ancestors came on the Mayflower.  Would you start saying your family came over on the Mayflower?”  Older is better, I guess.

I’m certainly not saying I don’t have fond memories of Wayne State.  I attended Monteith College which was a much smaller College within the University much like James Madison on the Michigan State University Campus.  Monteith’s theory was that there is a body of knowledge that every educated person should possess regardless of your major or specialization.  Our first two years consisted of many required courses in social science, natural science and humanities.   They were taught in college wide lectures followed up with small discussion sections.  We had the best of both worlds.  A small college community on a large University campus.

I was also able to extend my formal affiliation with Wayne from four years to twenty.  After graduation I was elected to the University’s Board of Governors and served two eight year terms.

Which is why I was invited to the gala on Wayne’s Campus last Friday.  From time to time the Governors Emeriti  are invited to sit on the stage for events and serve the same decorative purpose as the potted plants.  But I usually accept these invitations.  It’s nice to stay in touch.

I was moved by the photos and personal histories of students and facility.  I was the first in my family to go to college – and higher education would not have been accessible if not for Wayne State University.  That’s the case with hundreds of thousands of others over the past 150 years.

I also discovered Wayne State now has it’s own hand signal.

Go Wayne State Warriors!

The Passion of Dana Nessel

We Will Make History if We Keep Our Eyes on the Prize.

Dana Nessel is running for Attorney General and not for CEO of some corporation.  The stories that float up in the media and that are hyped by her opponents and organizations opposing her about staff turnover in her campaign are nothing more than a distraction.  And it’s a distraction we should ignore between now and the election

Dana is a very passionate trial lawyer. If it was your rights, property or maybe your freedom at risk in a courtroom isn’t that exactly what you’d want, even expect from your lawyer.  We call them “Advocates” after all. It’s no wonder that her Republican opponent is refusing to debate her.  Hell, I’d refuse to debate her.  She’d have him for lunch.  And he’d have to defend some indefensible things like taking contributions from hate groups.

Aren’t those the very qualities we want in the People’s Attorney?

In an attack ad Michigan Republicans attempted to smear Dana because the law firm she was associated with provided legal representation to unpopular and controversial clients.  The “Truth Squad” at Bridge Magazine had this to say about the ad

Misleading images and a blatant disregard for the role of defense attorneys earn the ad a rating of foul

When it comes to standing up for civil rights, protecting the environment, safeguarding senior citizens, or protecting consumer rights Dana is the clear and obvious choice.

The candidates will soon be making their “closing arguments”.  Dana’s will be clear, forceful and, yes, passionate.  Let’s listen and ignore the distractions.

Here’s a new ad.  If you’d like to see on the airways consider making a contribution.