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Director's Message



  • Author:
    W. Scott Westerman III
  • Published:
    Summer 2014

            How things have changed! 

            That’s the common exclamation I hear when alumni return to “The Banks of the Red Cedar.” They marvel at reinvented residential dining experiences that are the alchemy of culinary magic, customer focus and artful architecture. They study the ever-evolving Facility for Rare Isotope Beams that is taking shape west of the Wharton Center, contemplating the confluence of art and science where breakthrough discoveries are made. They survey the new student athletic facilities at the north end zone of Spartan Stadium, a testament to Mark Hollis’ vision of an elite program that seeks to develop the mind in parallel with the body. And they listen, in awe, as today’s undergraduates tell stories of participating in world-class research around the globe. Our Spartans are applying their knowledge everywhere and are truly transforming lives.

            At the same time, alumni reflect on what hasn’t changed at MSU: The majesty of Beaumont Tower, the thundering roar of the Izzone and our unquenchable desire to feed the world, generate new sources of intellectual and mechanical energy, and teach us all how sustainability and resilience go hand in hand.

            This is the essence of the Spartan Spirit. It inspired alumnus John Shinsky to ride a bicycle 2,000 miles to help make his dream of an orphanage in Matamoros, Mexico, come true. It motivates rising senior Jolisa Brooks to leverage her overseas study experience in Madagascar to drive revitalization efforts in her Detroit hometown. And it’s at the heart of the commitment that Spartan teachers like Ellen Closs have made to help the next generation see more clearly, care more deeply and engage more directly to address our most pressing problems.

            Yes, much is changing at MSU. But one thing hasn’t changed. The land-grant values that first created our beloved institution endure. We remain dedicated to the proposition that the most satisfying aspect of the Spartan Life is being able to make it possible for others to share in our bounty and enjoy more rewarding lives.

            This is the firm foundation that nourishes Spartans Will; today, tomorrow and always.