Torch Newsbriefs: 4.27.11

Pilgrim to speak at NAACP forum

Ferris State University’s Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. David Pilgrim, has been invited to speak at a national forum on contemporary racism and intolerance. The forum titled “From Symbols of Hate to Portraits of Understanding” will bring together members from different cultures to address, identify and find solutions for problems stemming from hatred in the United States. The current discourse in our nation regarding the dignity and respect of diverse cultures, various ethnic groups and personal sexual orientation give rise to an important need for continuous discussion related to these matters. All individuals who believe these issues are important enough to discuss are invited to attend. The event will be held on April 30 at the UAW/General Motors location in downtown Detroit and is free to the public. More information related to the event can be found at

Spaghetti Bridge Competition

The 11th annual Spaghetti Bridge Competition was held at Ferris State University on March 19 – 20. First through fifth place winner were awarded to teams in four categories: Authentic Bridge Design, Oral Presentation, Written Presentation and Load-Bearing Competition.  First, second and third places were awarded to the competition’s overall winners. 

The competition was established in 1999 to encourage science, mathematical and engineering skills in high school students. This competition included 20 high schools throughout the state of Michigan, including Sacred Heart Academy’s Team * and the Noodlepalooza! Team. It was designed to be an enjoyable, challenging, team-oriented, problem solving opportunity. All teams worked hard in coming up with an oral and written presentation of their design theories, as well as constructing an authentic bridge before the competition. Judging for this took place on the first day. The following day the teams had two hours to construct a freestanding bridge that crossed an open span of 24 inches using only two pounds of spaghetti and six sticks of glue. The bridges were then tested to determine which one held the most weight.

Cash prizes for teams earning first through fifth place in each category ranged from $50 to $500 for school labs, classrooms or clubs. SHA’s team placed first overall, with each team member earning a $2,000 scholarship to Ferris State University. Team members include seniors Richie Flannery and Mitchell Reetz along with sophomores Lindsey DeRoche and Dakota Manley. The team placed first in written presentation and second in bridge design and oral presentation. 

11th annual Torchbearer Awards Ceremony

All are welcome to attend Ferris State University’s 11th annual Torchbearer Awards Ceremony on April 27 at 7 p.m. in the Williams Auditorium. The Torchbearer Leadership Awards Ceremony started as an annual tradition in 2000 by the Office of Student Leadership and Activities to recognize the achievements of student leaders, student organizations and the faculty/staff that support their efforts at Ferris.

Those in attendance will have a chance to see the Torchbearer Awards, Rising Star Awards, Outstanding Campus Advisor, Greek Awards, Initiative 125 Awards, and the Five-Star RSO Awards be given to recipients. At this year’s ceremony, Nichole Wheelock, former Torchbearer Award recipient, will deliver the keynote. Light hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served at 6 p.m. prior to the start of the 7 p.m. ceremony. This event is business casual attire. Anyone with a disability and is in need of special accommodations to attend should contact extension 2606. n