September 13, 2016
Dear Cranbrook Friends & Family,
After a summer that has been as hot as it has been dry, I would like to personally welcome you back to Cranbrook for the start of another exciting academic and program year! All summer long, our Community was filled with visitors, tour groups and sold-out summer camps. From restoration projects to technology upgrades, many campus-wide improvements have been completed and others begun. I know you will notice the difference when you are back on campus.
I am pleased to announce that in late June, the Board of Trustees approved an updated campus Master Plan entitled, Toward Cranbrook 2030. Our updated Master Plan was the result of a more than year-long collaborative effort by members of the Cranbrook Community and provides a framework for the future of our campus. With our updated plan, we are prepared to move forward with programmatic and other campus improvements. If you are interested in learning more about the plan, I hope you will contact me personally.
At Cranbrook Schools, the new academic year is off to an outstanding start. The school has once again opened with full enrollment, due in part to a remarkable 96 percent retention rate for returning students-including 97 percent retention at the Upper School. Cranbrook has also been recognized as one of the most competitively successful high school athletic programs in the state of Michigan, and was recently awarded the prestigious "Exemplary Program" award by the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. A very small number of schools state wide receive this recognition, in some years only one. To find out more about the great things that have been happening at the Schools, I invite you to explore the interactive 2015-2016
While most students were away from campus this summer, our Horizons Upward-Bound (HUB) students were hard at work at Cranbrook for their six-week summer phase. In fact, two of our rising HUB students were interviewed by Fox 2 News for a story that highlighted the extraordinary impact the program has made upon underserved young people in Metro Detroit. Congratulations to both of these remarkable students and the entire HUB program! Visit our social media pages for a link to the video.
In the midst of installing new exhibitions, Cranbrook Art Museum, Cranbrook House & Gardens, and Cranbrook Institute of Science launched new websites that I encourage you to explore if you haven't already. A redesigned website is also in the works for Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research. These upgrades will better serve the evolving needs of our program areas and constituents and I know you will find them easier to navigate, even on your mobile devices and tablets. I hope you find them as attractive and useful as I do.
Cranbrook's IT Department was also busy this summer, meeting the ever-expanding technological needs of our diverse Community. Over the summer, Cranbrook IT took on the significant task of upgrading our campus wireless network. The upgrade project expands the signal strength in our many buildings and enables our students, faculty and guests to more easily interface with a "fully digital" Cranbrook. Please visit our "CEC Guest" network next time you are on campus and enjoy a faster connection to Cranbrook's many online offerings.
In addition to other summer improvements and upgrades, renovations are now complete at the Brookside Library, just in time for the return of our eager young students. Included in this special project were renovations that include a new wheelchair access ramp, new carpeting and furniture. A student technology center featuring printing, scanning and tablet charging was created that compliments a new wall mounted monitor offering Bluetooth functionality for students and others. Additional enhancements include tablets for users and enhanced Wi-Fi coverage.
At Cranbrook House, the third of a four-phase roof restoration project is almost finished. The Booth's family home also benefited
from new wayfinding signage and is soon to undergo major repairs to its pergola, damaged recently during a heavy storm. If you have yet to see the restoration to the Cranbrook House roof and chimney, I urge you to take a drive past the House's main entrance. I like to think that Cranbrook House now looks as fresh as it did when first designed by Albert Kahn in 1908!
At Spud Court, located on the eastern side of the Quad, refreshed brick and cement work has been completed, returning this area to its original grandeur as a pedestrian courtyard - what a terrific improvement! In addition, a new asphalt surface was also completed at the Early Childhood Center while students were away.
Activity across all of our Program Areas significantly ramps up as we move into fall, with more than 25 events planned throughout the Community early this season. From Hippie Modernism at the Art Museum, the Center's Preserving Michigan Modern lecture series and historic tours with the Center and House & Gardens, to MEGALODON: The Largest Shark That Ever Lived at the Institute and a Schools' Open House, there is something for everyone at Cranbrook this fall. Please accept my personal invitation to visit and enjoy this special place and all that it has to offer!
I look forward to seeing each of you and your family this fall. I hope you will find time to visit.
Very Best Wishes,