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@MSU Newsletter | February 2015 Home » @MSU Newsletter

Trio of African-American Notables to Headline 2015 Slavery to Freedom Series

Dr. William G. Anderson Lecture Series Offered by MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine

For the past 14 years, the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine has brought a number of dynamic and thought-provoking speakers to East Lansing as part of the William G. Anderson Lecture Series Slavery to Freedom: An American Odyssey.
The 2015 all-star lineup features three nationally recognized figures: U.S. Rep. John Lewis, Harry Belafonte and the Rev. Al Sharpton. The series opens at noon, Feb. 6 in the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center Auditorium.
The first guest will be Lewis. A seminal leader in the American Civil Rights Movement, Lewis was a keynote speaker at the March on Washington and a founder and chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He is also an author and winner of the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, and the only lifetime Profile in Courage Award ever granted by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.
At 5 p.m. Feb. 12, activist, singer, songwriter, Broadway and screen actor and producer Harry Belafonte will share his story in the Kellogg Center’s Big Ten rooms. Born in Harlem and raised in Jamaica, Belafonte is widely known for his artistic work as a singer, stage and screen actor and producer. His album Calypso was the first to sell more than 1 million records. 
The series will conclude at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26 with the Rev. Al Sharpton, who will take the stage at Wharton Center's Cobb Great Hall. An activist, author, radio and TV personality and Pentecostal minister, Sharpton heads the National Action Network, an advocacy organization with more than 60 chapters nationwide.
Each lecture will be followed by a reception, during which time audience members can meet and talk with the speaker. There is no registration required. Full bios and more information are online. For more details, call the College of Osteopathic Medicine’s office of external programs at (517) 432-4979.
Unable to be on campus? The College's YouTube website will upload the complete series of talks. 

Experience Something New and Exciting

Register now for a variety of in-person activities offered through the LENS program

Whether it's fine wine, writing murder mysteries or discovering more about the world's religions, you will find a number of upcoming in-person events through the Alumni LENS program taking place in the Lansing area.

Registration opens at 10 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 2. Named Featured Offerings, the in-person activities are sponsored by MSU Alumni Association and cover a wide variety of topics and interests. Space is limited.

Visit the Alumni LENS website for course descriptions, additional information and registration.

Morrill Plaza Kiosk Honors More than 130 MSU Faculty

By Tom Oswald, Communications and Brand Strategy

It was about a year ago, on a cold February morning, that Michigan State University dedicated Morrill Plaza, a park-like piece of land that pays homage to Morrill Hall, which once stood on that spot. The plaza also pays tribute to MSU faculty, both present and past, in the form of a kiosk.

Located at the southeast end of the plaza, the interactive kiosk allows visitors to learn about the faculty member and his or her contributions not only to MSU, but also to the state of Michigan and beyond. Equipped with assistive technology, the kiosk contains two touch-screen panels.

All a visitor needs to do is touch the screen and follow the spoken and written instructions. When the plaza was formally dedicated on Feb. 11, 2014, there were perhaps a dozen faculty featured. Today there are more than 130.

The faculty range from Maude Gilchrist, who served as dean of women in 1901 at what was then known as Michigan Agricultural College; to Barnett Rosenberg, a professor of biophysics who in the 1960s developed cisplatin, one of the most successful cancer treatment drugs in history; to Rodney Whitaker, currently a professor in the College of Music who helped build MSU’s jazz program into one of the top in the nation.

Morrill Plaza features benches and trees, as well as a walkway that sits almost exactly where the hall’s main hallway existed.

Read short bios and view photographs of the inducted faculty members online.

Visit the Emerald Isle with Fellow Spartans

Prepare to be enchanted by Ireland

It’s a beautiful, magical land, where the gentle green landscape dazzles and the people delight; where warmth and hospitality are national traits and poets are national heroes. From Dublin to Galway and Killarney to Kilkenny, this upcoming MSUAA travel tour will showcase Ireland’s many charms – both old and new.

The trip will take place from Aug. 27 to Sept. 8. Cost per person, including airfare from select cities, starts at $4958. Visit the MSU Alumni Association’s travel website for more information on this exciting trip. To request a travel brochure, simply fill out our online form.

You're Invited to the Annual SpartyBall in Chicago

Beat the winter blahs at this green-tie fundraiser in late February

Join the Chicago Spartans and more than 400 MSU alumni for a night of food, fun, drinks and dancing at the 10th Annual SpartyBall event. This green-tie fundraiser brings together alumni and friends from across the country for an evening of philanthropy and fun.

The festivities will take place Feb. 28 at Morgan Manufacturing. The VIP reception begins at 6 p.m. and will feature remarks from special MSU guests and distinguished alumni and will wrap up with a champagne toast. The main event features a hosted premium bar, strolling dinner buffet, live band, silent auction and more.

All net proceeds benefit the Chicago Spartans endowed scholarship, which directly helps students from Illinois attend Michigan State University. For more information on the 2015 SpartyBall event, or to purchase tickets, visit the SpartyBall website.

Grandparents University Registration Opens March 18

Save the Date for the 2015 Grandparents University program, which will take place on campus from Tuesday, June 30 through Thursday, July 2.

MSU’s Grandparents University is a program for grandparents and their grandchildren (ages 8-12) to come together for a three-day educational experience. Registration will begin online March 18, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. ET.

For the first time this year, you may select the courses you wish to attend on a first come, first served basis.

Please note, we’re unable to guarantee availability within specific class sections, as capacity and demand vary for each course and many courses fill quickly.

Be sure to check the Grandparents University website for a complete class listing, as well as program updates. 

"Building Winning Teams: A Quest for Excellence" Accepting Participants

Ever wonder how Spartan leaders like Tom Izzo and Suzy Merchant are able to build successful programs year after year?

Find out at MSU's Broad College of Business Executive Development Program. With its partner, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, the program will present  Building Winning Teams: A Quest for Excellence, a program promoting leadership and management skills useful to any organization or business.

Join MSU head coaches and world renowned management faculty June 2-4 at The James B. Henry Center for Executive Development in Lansing to cultivate your ability to promote accountability, encourage creativity and manage conflict.

For more information, or to register, visit the Building Winning Teams website.

College of Music Alumna Charts Path as Professional Soprano

Courtesy MSU College of Music

Although musical conservatories, composers and conductors increasingly seek her out, Lindsay Kesselman never overlooks the people and places that set her on her path to success. Since graduating from the MSU College of Music in 2006, the professional soprano and advocate for contemporary music has frequently visited campus to perform with MSU ensembles and talk about life as a professional musician, most recently through the College’s Running Start program.

“I am so grateful for the variety of experiences I had here,” says Kesselman. “I had the opportunity to sing with so many groups and ensembles, and to take on leadership roles that helped shaped who I am as a musician.”

Raised in a musical family in the Chicago suburbs, Kesselman came to MSU for a dual major in music education and voice performance. She originally had her sights set on being a choral director, but fell in love with performance the longer she attended MSU. She sang in the University Chorale, Women’s Chamber Ensemble, and State Singers, and performed with Musique 21. She also took to the stage through the MSU Opera Theatre, singing roles in Cosi fan tutte, Nine, and A Rake’s Progress.

“My life took a different turn because of all the wonderful opportunities I had at MSU,” says Kesselman. “It made me decide to perform and focus more intensively on my singing career.”

After graduating from MSU, Kesselman went on to earn her master’s degree from Rice University, and embarked on a journey that has led to recent tours with the Philip Glass ensemble for a production of Einstein on the Beach, and to an upcoming premiere of a new opera by Louis Andriessen.

All along, she’s appeared with several orchestras across the U.S., and has captured the imagination of contemporary composers like John Mackey who is composing a work for her to premier next season.

Read the rest of the story.

Three Spartan Soccer Stars Sign with Major League Teams

Courtesy of MSU Athletics Communications

Three Spartan standouts have signed with Major League Soccer teams. On Jan. 15, midfielder Fatai Alashe was selected as the fourth pick overall by the San Jose Earthquakes and midfielder Jay Chapman signed with the Toronto FC as a homegrown player. On Jan. 20, forward Adam Montague signed with the MLS'  Vancouver Whitecaps. He was selected as the 58th pick in the third round of the SuperDraft.

Read the full story and see photos of the Spartan stars.

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