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@MSU Newsletter | October 2016 Home » @MSU Newsletter


Past, present, or future, the Spartan connection is for life. Green and white, the Red Cedar, Spartan Stadium, all of these Spartan traditions have been creating lasting memories since 1855. Learn more about the “Spartans for Life” celebration among hundreds of fellow Spartans during Homecoming Week, Oct. 10-15.

Check out the Homecoming website to learn about Grand Marshals Tom and Lupe Izzo and all the activities taking place during our “Spartans for Life” Homecoming celebration.


Hangout with Sparty all year long. Be on the lookout for the Sparty calendar, featuring not only the world’s best mascot but also the lovely campus of Michigan State University.

Visit the website in mid-October to place your order.


For more than 60 years the Alumni Memorial Chapel has been a place of celebration and memorialization for Spartans from all faiths and backgrounds. Sitting on the banks of the Red Cedar River among beautiful gardens, it is known as one of the hidden jewels of the campus. Countless Spartans have tied the knot in the chapel.

For a look inside the chapel, click here.  

The chapel was originally funded by private donations from alumni, looking for ways to honor their alma mater and fellow Spartans who perished while serving in the armed forces. In 1952, MSU President John A. Hannah dedicated the chapel. 

“I know,” Hannah said in his dedication speech, “the alumni who built it had strongly in their mind their intention to promote the cause of universal peace by making young people increasingly aware of the realities of human brotherhood.”

To this day, the chapel proudly dons unique stained glass designs and stones from churches and other buildings of faith throughout the world. 

However, the pièce de résistance of the chapel is the original pipe organ, a one-of-a-kind Pels from Holland. However, it has been in need of repair for a number of years. The College of Music is raising $300,000 to buy a new pipe organ. Please consider donating to preserve this beautiful aspect of MSU history.  

Make a gift now.


Enjoy a winter adventure in what is known as the greatest snow on Earth, the Wasatch Mountains in Salt Lake City, Utah. Hosted by a local safety expert, mountaineer and Snowbird avalanche forecaster, this fully customized adventure presents an opportunity to experience three full days of skiing at world-renowned ski resorts Snowbird and Alta.

The trip will run March 4-10. Cost begins at $3,300 per person, double occupancy, plus airfare.

Along with days of skiing there will be a session on snow science and avalanche forecasting while working with avalanche rescue dogs. Open days will be available to select from à la carte activities at an additional charge.

Accommodations are at the Alta Peruvian ski lodge where hot cocoa or wine can be enjoyed fireside after a long day on the slopes. From snowshoeing and skiing to snowmobiling, exploration, tours and more, there is something for everyone, both young and old. This tour is open to ages seven and above.

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.


A land of sparkling glacial lakes, Renaissance cities and one of the world’s most influential ancient civilizations, Italy has a wealth of natural beauty and culture.

This journey showcases the best of Italy as you travel by train to four different regions. Begin in the Italian Lakes District in Northern Italy. Cruise Lake Maggiore, and travel to Milan to marvel at Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper.

Continue to romantic Venice on the Adriatic Sea. See the Piazza San Marco and other historic highlights. Travel south to Tuscany, and explore Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance.

Venture to Chianti to sample its renowned wine. The journey concludes in Rome, the Eternal City, where you’ll see the ancient ruins, including the Colosseum and Roman Forum. Enjoy a small group of fellow travellers, first-class accommodations and an extensive meal plan, plus wine with dinner.

The trip will run May 6-17. Cost begins at $4,595 per person, plus airfare.

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.


This past year, Caroline Kumm, a 2013 graduate from the College of Social Science, donated bone marrow through the Be The Match.

Here is her personal account of her experiences:

“Each year on my birthday, however many years old I am turning, I complete that many Random Acts of Kindness (RAK). When I turned 23, one of my RAKs was to register as a bone marrow donor.

Last November, I received a call that I was a possible match and was asked if I was interested in going through a series of tests to see if I was the best match. After months of waiting, I was ecstatic when I received a phone call from Be The Match asking if I was willing to undergo a bone marrow harvest within the next month. The person who I would donate to was in urgent need of a transplant.

After a series of tests, I was ready for the procedure.

A surgeon uses a special needle to withdraw liquid marrow, where stem cells and blood are made, from both sides of the back of your pelvic bone. I was given general anesthesia and felt no pain during the procedure. After the donation, my liquid marrow was transported to the patient’s location for their transplant. I stayed in the hospital from early morning to late afternoon and was able to go home the same day.

All I know about the recipient is that he is an older gentleman with pre-leukemia. Be The Match helped me anonymously reach out to him with a Get Well Soon card. I recently heard that he has been making great process faster and better than expected. He wrote me a thank you card that brought me to tears. I truly hope we have the opportunity to meet each other in the future.

I suggest that anyone who is interested should contact Be The Match and consider registering as a donor. When you join the registry, you are signing up to potentially save someone’s life. Who doesn’t want the opportunity to impact a person’s life in such a big way?

Every three minutes, someone in the United States is diagnosed with a blood cancer. When you think about it, what a donor goes through is so minor compared to what the recipient is facing — a life-threatening disease. I faced one surgery on one day; for me, this was minor but when I think about how much it affects my recipient’s life, it seems massive. I would tell anyone who has the opportunity to donate to do it. There’s no other reward like it.”


Nancy D. MacCreery, a 1979 graduate from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences recently published her third book in her "Scoops and Schemes" series. The book is entitled "Cinnamon Bourbon and Deception." 

The book is about Sophia, a young women who loves her job, her boyfriend Chuck and even his huge slobbering dog. But Chuck moves out of town to start a new company; and develops a strange addiction. Sophia’s life is further complicated by a new boss, an opportunistic former college roommate, and a wily new friend.

MacCreery has written two action mysteries prior: The Essence and the Unexpected Impact. She is known for complex characters and intriguing writing. 

Her most recent book can be found on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble


Four Spartans worked to make a difference in a small Virginia town.

Richard Hiipakka, a 1972 graduate of the College of Natural Science, and his wife Cheryl worked alongside fellow Spartans, Bob Mullally, a 1972 graduate from the College of Social Science, and his wife Barbara.

The four volunteered with HistoriCorps, an organization that works to restore historical landmarks across the United States. The Hiipakkas and Mullallys worked on the Summerseat Field School in Ettrick, Virginia. Sitting on the University of Virginia campus, the small, unique building was constructed in 1882 and has served many purposes over the years.

The four Spartans worked in the first session of the project to restore the small town landmark to it’s original charm and glory. 


Bruce Fabricant, a 1964 graduate from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences recently published a book entitled, “Remembering Mount Vernon, NY” about his childhood in a New York City suburb.  

Come back to Mount Vernon, NY of the 1940s and 50s and hear what it was like growing up and going to school in "The City of Homes" located 30 minutes north of Manhattan. Hear how it was to grow up in this New York City suburb where no one was obliged to do anything more than go to school, play and stay out of trouble.
The book was written by men and women 50 years after they graduated from A.B. Davis in 1960. "Remembering Mount Vernon, The Place We Called Home" recalls warm and vivid memories about all things Mount Vernon of a bygone era.

Fabricant assembled the essays into the book, which is available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble


What does it take to keep a small business operating for the past 40 years in an uneasy economy like Michigan’s? Dedication, tenacity, resourcefulness, and strong family ties. The first three qualities might not come as a surprise, but for the Chapman Agency of Lansing, three generations of Broad College of Business graduates have gotten their insurance agency through the worst of economic times.

More than 170,000 small businesses didn’t survive the economic recession and in the past decade, nearly 25 percent of the counties in the U.S. with the highest rates of business failure were in Michigan. What the Chapmans believe helped their company through these times are accessibility and flexibility.

After weathering the worst period of small business history, the Chapman Agency continues growing. Ryan Peterson,’14, grandson of David and nephew of Bob, joined the family’s tradition as the third Broad alumnus in the family business. With him comes a new generation of professional expertise. “There are new things we can bring into the business. With respect to the traditional way we do business. There are fresh perspectives a new family member can bring,” Peterson said.

Regardless of the family’s career tradition, one thing the three generations of Broad graduates share is a mutual respect for working together. All three recognize the strengths the others bring to the table, and as Bob said, putting the business before personal interests is what keeps the Chapman Agency a Lansing – and small business – success story.

Click here for more. 


Jeremy Redman, a 2012 graduate from the College of Business, left his Lansing home after graduation and moved out to Los Angeles.

“When I first moved to LA, I didn’t know a soul. It was just too time consuming searching through 500+ connections, but I began thinking there has to be others out there like me, others that would like to connect with fellow Spartans and alumni,” Redman said.

Redman felt frustrated that he couldn’t seem to connect with other Spartans in his area. So he decided to marry his problem with his entrepreneurial training. He launched AirFive, a social network specifically for college alumni who share an alma mater looking to connect, find mentors, and build personal and professional relationships in new cities. 

“I love nothing more than grabbing coffee and reading the room, reading the person across from me,” said Redman. “There’s no substitute for in-person meetings and with AirFive, there’s a technological gateway to meet in-person, and to establish real, meaningful connections. It all starts with your fellow Spartans,” he said.

The app can be downloaded through the Apple App Store and through Google Play. 


Jim Kalin, an acclaimed author and Ohio State University alumnus, just penned a book featuring two legendary Spartans. Kalin’s book Mustang documents Mike Milkovich, one of the most legendary wresting coaches and a National Wrestling Hall of Fame member. He coached his sons, two of which are MSU alumni.

Thomas Milkovich, a 1974 graduate from the College of Business, was a member of the Wrestling team during his college days and was an NCAA champion in the sport.

Patrick Milkovich graduated from the College of Education in 1976. He received his Master’s degree from the same college in 1978. He was also a seasoned member of the MSU Wrestling team and was the first college wrestler ever to appear in four NCAA finals. He was and still is the youngest ever to win a title.

The book about the Milkovich and his decorated career can be found on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble


Michigan State’s 1965 and 1966 football teams transcended college sports, having led the integration of college football in the turbulent 1960s with the Civil Rights movement as background.

Bob Apisa, a two-time All-American fullback who played for the Spartans during the era has combined experiences with his Hollywood skills—he did some acting after football—to create Men of Sparta, a documentary film about the teams, the players and the times.

The showing will begin at 6 p.m. Thurs., Oct. 13 in Wells Hall room B115. Doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets are $12.50 and will be sold at the door. A select guest panel will be available for a Q and A following the presentation. 

Read more and order a DVD online or at the event.


On Sept. 9, MSU Head Basketball Coach Tom Izzo joined a list of stars including Shaquille O’Neal, Yao Ming and Allen Iverson, in Springfield, Mass, as the latest class inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Izzo, 61, is entering his 22nd year as the Spartan's coach and his accolades include a national championship and multiple Final Four tournament appearances.

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