‘Something Special is Happening Here’

Creativity and innovation are celebrated at the annual State of the College address

ADRIAN, Mich. – It has become a tradition in recent years for President Jeffrey R. Docking to give the annual State of the College. Last year marked the second year in which Dr. Docking invited faculty, staff, students and more to assist him in delivering the address. This year continued that tradition as the campus community gathered to share the dynamic changes on campus throughout the past year, and of things to come.

This spring, one of our trustees, Richard Kibbey (a 1975 Graduate of AC) said, ‘I just want to conclude the evening by saying that something special is happening here. You can feel it in the air, you can sense it on campus, you can experience it when you walk around and talk to the students and people who work here,’” Docking remarked in his opening comments.

“This phrase ‘something special is happening here’ stuck with me,” Docking went on to say. “Something special is happening here – and I hope you will feel it too.”


“Adrian College will make more bold and exciting changes that reinvent us each day into a truly amazing and unique educational institution in our state.”

The address opened with a short video highlighting the progress to each of the ideas shared in the spring of 2012.

At Adrian College, we do what we say we are going to do,” Docking informed the audience. “This is one reason why so many students and families are looking our way.” 

Among the completed ideas presented in the short video: updates to Robinson Planetarium, the relocation of the College plant building, media group awards, turf in Arrington Ice Arena, the addition of a Sports Management major, IT upgrades across campus, Downs Hall renovations, Baer Lecture Room renovations in Jones Hall, the establishment of a partnership with Lincoln Elementary, the addition of a trustee meet and greet for students, new student housing options, and the presentation of the inaugural Creativity Award.

Docking went on to invite this year’s series of presenters to share new ideas that would be implemented over the course of the upcoming year.

·       Track and Explore: A Nature Adventure with Adrian College and Michigan International Speedway

Track and Explore is the intersection of research, education and outreach supported by MIS Cares, under the umbrella of the NASCAR Foundation. The program is coordinated with the assistance of Adrian College faculty and students and open to area school districts.


·       Business Incubators on Campus

 Dedicated space in the new plant facility on campus to nurture start-up business ventures.


·       Freligh Speaker Series

The Jean Lok Freligh Speaker series honors Bob and his late wife Jean Freligh, longtime supporters and friends of the College. This anonymous donation provides a five-year commitment to bring nationally and internationally known speakers to campus. This year’s event hosted Dr. Meg Jay, author of “The Defining Decade.”


·       Marching Band London Trip

The invitation for the Adrian College Marching Band to perform at the London New Year’s Day Parade in 2013.


·       Technological Advancements in Shipman Library

Upgrades to provide a more functional wireless and online area for student use in the library.


·       Digital Sign in Caine Student Center

The addition of an interactive digital sign placed in Caine Student Center to navigate campus, celebrate alumni success and view upcoming events and activities.


·       Plastinate Lab

The addition of Plastinates at Adrian College. Adrian becomes only the 6th institution in the world, and the second in the United States, to use their specimens for teaching. Plastination is an organic materials preservation technique that was invented in the late 1970s by a German Anatomist, Gunther von Hagens.  


·       Take an Adrian Bulldog to Work

Job-shadow experience for current students to spend a day with alumni in a related field of interest.


·       Groundbreaking on Peelle/Jones Renovations

The complete renovation to Peelle/Jones Hall will offer three additional chemistry labs and three new biology labs to the existing space as well as general renovations to Peelle and Jones Halls.


·       Van/Bus Wraps

Addition of three wrapped vans and a team bus with Adrian College branding.


·       Dining Options on Campus

The Adrian College Community will vote on a new dining option for campus.


The event also recognized Amara Karapas as the winner of the second annual Creativity Award. Her idea features a student created mosaic on the stairway wall approaching the Caine Student Center. Karapas received a $1,000 check for her idea, which will be funded up to $10,000.


Dr. Jeffrey Docking concluded his speech with a story demonstrating compassion, generosity and outreach. The legacy of the Dancey/Godard generosity to the campus of Adrian College began in 1920 and continues to help students successfully complete their degrees.


“In 2011, Betty Dancey Godard did something unexpected. She donated $1 million to create the R.V. Dancey Scholarship in her father’s memory to support first generation college students,” stated Docking. “She has since met in person with each student she supports and enjoys their genuine gratitude and their success.”


Following a visit, Ms. Godard pledged another million for student scholarships.


“I was speechless by her generosity and ensured her we would use it wisely to provide an excellent education for our students. The legacy she continues is a testimony from her father who had been introduced so many years ago.”


“Because of the generosity of Mrs. Godard, and her late father, an amazing 585 scholarships have been awarded over the years.”

At the conclusion of the event, Dr. Docking reflected on continued achievement for the College, “I thank you for joining us today. Something special is happening here,not only on our campus but also in our hearts and minds to create a better Adrian College. We are accomplishing this together.”

If you were unable to attend the State of the College and would like to see the presentation in its entirety, please follow this link