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“Those Who Stay…”

August 11, 2015

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What better way to spend a kick-off than touring the biggest stadium in the United States?!  At the beginning of each academic year, the Leadership Pathway and the Scholars Program in Dental Leadership organization (SPDL) hold a kickoff where student members and the supporting faculty can get to know each other, talk about the organization, and learn about leadership in an informal environment.  This year, our group was lucky enough to take a tour of the Michigan Big House Stadium.  For many of the first year dental students, this was their first time seeing the inside of the stadium.  And for those of us who are senior dental students, this marks our last year of being able to stand in the student section.  Whether this was a first or last, or somewhere in between, the excitement was everywhere when our tour guide led us through those iconic wrought iron gates and into the elevators.

Michigan Stadium is truly impressive. The sheer size is what makes it globally known, but the attention to detail, vision, and investment from a multitude of people and organizations is what truly makes this Stadium awe inspiring.  All levels of the stadium represent the University’s pride, from the block ‘M’ on the turf that gets cleared off during the winter, to the sold out season tickets.  As students, the importance of our school’s history and reputation is infectious, and a tour through the stadium reminded us of what it means to be a part of a program that is known for its “leaders and best”.

Once we left the Big House, the members were able to enjoy dinner together in a nearby park, converse with faculty, interact with each other through team-building exercises, and discuss the year ahead.  After such a fun and motivating kickoff, we are even more excited to start the year.  Just as the football team has been training tirelessly to prepare for the Fall season, the SPDL Executive Committee has been working hard to bring impactful, fresh ideas and opportunities to our monthly leadership training meetings.  The reputation of hard work and achievement that SPDL has earned over the years, and the changes through the school, the university, the community, and other countries that have been implemented through hard work, speak to the passion of the current members and alumni alike.  This sort of reputation means every year we are motivated by high expectations that can be difficult to reach. But, if we remember this kickoff – the enthusiasm and camaraderie, along with the lessons of pride and teamwork – we have a chance to be a part of the most influential and successful year these organizations have ever had. Which is why we are eager to engage all SPDL and Leadership members, let them grow, and challenge them with a line that sounds almost too familiar… ‘Those who stay, will be leaders’.

Joseph Farkash and Janet Zalucha are D4s and on the eBoard for SPDL.

To check out the full album of the Michigan Stadium visit, check out our Flickr page. Locker room, box seats and a pick up football game on the field, you don’t want to miss it.

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