With President Peter McPherson’s return to campus, I want to use a hockey analogy to reflect a bit on what the past five months have meant.
Each December, the International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Junior Hockey Championship beckons. One of our star players is chosen to contribute on the international scene. That individual will grow and be strengthened by the opportunity, and the experience will elevate his game to the next level.
Meanwhile, the team back home is expected to keep winning. In the absence of their star, other players have to step up and play a little better.
In this case, when the star player returns he is a bit different. Any of us would be after such a life-changing experience. Just like when students study abroad, they return and see things anew, through the prism of their international experience.
The team is different, too. They’re stronger. While their star was gone, everyone had to pick up some of the slack, to take their own performance to the next level.
When President McPherson left, the Board of Trustees and he had confidence that Team MSU would rise to the occasion and meet the challenges here. And we have confidence that Peter’s recent experiences, coupled with his ten years of stellar service to the university, mean that that together we’ll be an even better team than before. I believe we are.
It is always a privilege to serve Michigan State University, in whatever role for which one is chosen. It has been for me. I appreciate the confidence of the Board and the support of the entire community during these past five months.
I look forward to getting back to work with Peter. We’ll need all of our collective energies and strengths to handle the challenges that are ahead and to continue the work of building an MSU for the 21st century and beyond.
Lou Anna K. Simon
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs