Grizzly Bites - Issue No. 2

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TO: Fans, Friends, Alumni, and supporters of Oakland University Athletics

First off, I would like to thank everyone who took time to read and respond to the first edition of Grizzly Bites. As will be the pattern after each edition, I will read the responses, and in several cases, I or another OU staff member will respond to answer specific concerns or questions. The best thing about the feedback is that I will utilize some of the suggestions as discussion points with key members of the staff. Your feedback is very helpful so that we do not take our focus off the issues in relating issues that are important to you. We will have several work sessions during the summer where I will reference ideas or suggestions that have been brought to my attention via your responses.

Graduates and Champions/Hall of Honor
We honored our Graduates and Champions on Friday, April 24, and our 22nd Hall of Honor Class on Saturday, April 25. Congratulations to all current and former Oakland student-athletes. We once again had another successful year.

Academic Progress Report (APR)
It was fitting that the NCAA released its Academic Progress Report (APR) on May 6 and we were in good standing. Congratulations to our women's golf program for receiving a public recognition award from the NCAA for a perfect score of 1000. Eight of our sports had a score above the national average, including baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's golf, men's swimming and diving, women's cross country and softball. All of our programs were above the minimum score of 925.

Spring Sports Update
With the spring sports wrapping up, I would like to congratulate our softball team for finishing the season with five straight wins. Along with the team, Julie Owen and Jessica Granger had an outstanding season and were recognized for that on the all-league teams. The team also finished with a 12-11 mark in league competition, missing the league tournament by just a half game.

Baseball had a pair of exciting wins, getting a walk-off home run in the bottom of seventh inning to defeat Eastern Michigan, 1-0, and beating perennial league power Oral Roberts at home, 15-11. They also split a four-game set with then-second place Centenary. Congratulations on a solid season.

In track and field, we had several quality performances at the Summit League Championships. A total of six Golden Grizzlies earned all-league recognition, including one conference champion as Jeff Decatur won the 100-meter dash. We are proud of all the competitors and all the hard work they put in this season. Good luck to Jeff as he competes at the NCAA Regional Championships at the end of the month in Louisville, Ky.

Golden Grizzly Athletic Fund
I would also like to thank those of you who have supported the Golden Grizzlies during this past fiscal year. It is an exciting time to be a part of OU athletics and much of our success would not be possible without your support. Those individuals who donate by June 30th will be listed in next season's Donor Honor Roll and you can always visit our giving page by clicking here.

Strategic Plan
As we move forward this summer, we are exploring several facets of the functions of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. We have met with Tom Thomas and his associates at Cardinal Advisors.

As we proceed through the next several weeks, members of the Oakland Athletics staff, university administration and key constituent groups will have the opportunity to assist us in the strategic planning process. This is an exciting opportunity for us, one I anticipate will be the foundational piece by which intercollegiate athletics aligns itself with the mission of Oakland University and engages with our communities.

President's Invitational Golf Event
One of our biggest summer events is the President's Invitational Golf Event that will take place on Friday, June 12 at the R&S Sharf golf course on campus. This is a great way to kick off the golf season while supporting OU athletics and academic programs across campus. We'd like to thank Pepsi and iSEKURITY for their generous title sponsorships. For more information on this prestigious golf tournament, including participation or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Joe Impellizzeri, Assistant Athletics Director for Development, at 248-370-3117 or impellizz@oakland.edu.

Season Tickets
We are excited to offer season tickets at a lower cost this year to try and assist with the trying economic times the state of Michigan has faced. Prices are available here so don't miss your chance at getting 10 percent off, which will end on June 30.

March of Dimes
I was thrilled to see so many student-athletes, coaches and staff members volunteer at the March of Dimes Walk America event in Troy. In the past nine years associated with this event, the time committed by Oakland Athletics has grown from a single volunteer to nearly 40 people. The best aspect is that I believe every one of our volunteers understands the reason why they are contributing to this event. It's not just about getting Oakland University in the community, but to realize that we can have a positive impact on the great cause of the March of Dimes.

While I cannot guarantee a personal response to every e-mail that we receive, please know that they will all be read, so I do encourage your participation in this process. Some of your questions/comments could become subjects for future issues of Grizzly Bites.

I also encourage you to share this letter with any OU fan that may not have access to the internet. Our mission is to inform and engage as many Golden Grizzlies supporters as we possibly can.

I want to thank you for your continued support of Oakland University athletics as we move forward with our vision for excellence.

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