Brian's Corner - October 2015

Conversations Matter

I’ve had great conversations and experiences with alumni over the past month. Homecoming, as you would guess, proved to be one great conversation after the next. I enjoyed meeting so many new alumni while reconnecting with so many others during that special week. I only wish I had more time for the one-on-one conversations I enjoy most. The “quickies” about the weather, traffic, and the demolition of Viking Hall can only go so far.

I thrive on relationships and work to build all kinds of experiences where we learn about one another and about our Cleveland State University. We recently hosted a concert in Mather Mansion featuring the musical talents of GRAMMY award-winner Angelin Chang, CSU Professor of Music and Law, and Dean of the Cleveland Marshall College of Law Craig Boise. We purposely kept the experience small to engage the group in conversations before and after the beautiful concert. And it worked. Not only was the concert uniquely special, but I suspect many new friendships were ignited that evening. Conversations matter.

Last week I took part in our most recent Passport Cleveland Tour of Akron’s Stan Hywet Estate. WOW. If you’ve never been there, I can’t encourage you enough. We toured the public spaces, along with the behind-the-scene spaces where the staff lived and worked to support the Seiberling Family and their guests stayed at Stan Hywet. Our tour guide was a walking encyclopedia of that era in Akron history, and I enjoyed the conversations with alumni throughout the tour and over lunch. Even though I had to explain multiple times what I did for a living at CSU…I enjoyed meeting them. By the end of the day, our group of initial strangers seemed like a group of old friends enjoying a reunion.

Our Passport Cleveland program attempts to bring together Viking Alumni by offering tour experiences of unique gems in Northeast Ohio. The program is a tremendous success. I encourage you to consider joining us for an upcoming program—we have all of them listed here . There’s no need to worry about not knowing anyone else on the tour—by the end you most certainly will. You’ll learn about local history and folklore, while meeting others who share a common O Hail to Thee!


Brian Breittholz
Executive Director
CSU Alumni Association