Dedication Ceremony Speech — History Club President, Justin Wetenhall

Alexis de Tocqueville Plaque Dedication Speech

UM-Flint, Thompson Library


Before I begin, I would like to thank all of you in attendance for supporting this event, as well as the UM-Flint Thompson Library staff in aiding us on this occasion.   Dr. Houbeck and Dr. Rubenstein, I personally thank you for taking a part of this dedication.

As some of you may know I am the President of the UM-Flint Historical Society and have had the privilege to be so for the past 2 years.   One of the History Club’s missions over this time has been campus and community involvement, not just meeting once a week to talk about history- but to take part in it.

Last year we had the opportunity to tour such Flint landmarks as the Mott Foundation Building and the Capitol Theater.   More recently we have been attempting to give back more to the community that has done so much for us.

Recently, in October, we partnered with another student organization, Feminists for Global Equality to host a “Haunted Masquerade Ball,” at the Historic Kearsley Park Pavilion.   This event was designed specifically with the intent of inviting the community in providing a positive image for Flint, while embracing the idea that history is an inclusive subject.

So, when club member Jeanette Routhier, who we lovingly refer to as our “Sparkle Princess” told me about an historic plaque that directly ties to Flint history and suggested that we as a student organization oversee its placement, we were only too quick to align ourselves with such a cause.   This provided us with an interesting opportunity to take part in what is usually done by administration, mainly having input in the placement of the plaque while learning the general feel of the universities internal structure and how academia works beyond the classroom.

This also gave us a chance to experience extra-curricular research. Just last night and into the wee hours of the morning I sat with our Vice President, Shelby Blair as she put together the finishing touches of  her research into an exhibit for Alexis de Tocqueville.

Both Shelby and Jeanette have done an amazing job in helping to put this event together. It gives us a great sense of pride as a student organization to have partnered with the UM-Flint Thompson Library in this philanthropic venture. T

his is only 1 of 2 academic plaques on this campus I am told, and so am proud to say that we as a student organization played a major role in its unveiling. This is proof that the University of Michigan-Flint provides more than lectures but guides students into community involvement through academia.

We as an organization pride ourselves in giving back to the campus and the History Department that has nurtured us with our many endeavors.

I’m sure I speak for the History Club when I say I hope to continue working with the university not only in history but in student involvement. Thank you for all of the support. And if I may add, please, say good things about Flint.