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Director's Message: Built to Last



  • Author:
    Scott Westerman III
  • Published:
    Summer 2016

I recently had a chance to take an insider’s tour of the mind-boggling Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) being constructed on campus. The area where subatomic particles will be created for scientists around the world to analyze will be encased in cement 30 feet underground.

It has to be built to last.

I contrast this with my visit earlier this year to Cuba, where I led an MSUAA tour across a country that has been locked in an economic environment in which maintenance and repair take a back seat to daily survival. Buildings were literally falling down around us.

To be sustainable, the elements of creation and conservation must always exist in eternal embrace.

In this issue of our magazine, you’ll see how everything we do at MSU is built to last. Before any foundation is poured, we’re thinking about how the things we construct can serve the needs of future generations of Spartans.

Michigan State’s energy plan balances an ever-increasing need for electricity with emerging technologies that can help create it with minimal environmental impact. And the amazing pros at the Infrastructure Planning and Facilities department spend each day keeping every inch of campus in shape for the long haul.

When I returned to MSU in 2010, I had the eerie Back to the Future sensation of being dropped into a familiar place that looked much the same on the outside but was transformed on the inside. Telephone landlines were gone from our residence halls, replaced by gigabit Ethernet connections and broadband cellular networks. High-definition television equipment and digital audio transmitters replaced the old cathode-ray tube equipment used when I was a student working on air at WKAR’s TV and radio stations.

And anyone who has dined on campus knows that new vistas of culinary delight emerge from behind walls that were originally built more than 50 years ago.

We live in an evolving world where the best new ideas are encased in strong shells, conceived by brilliant minds and constructed to survive and thrive, no matter what the future may bring.

The leaders of your Alumni Association incorporate sustainability into every decision we make. Our planning process is one of continual re-evaluation and improvement. We rest on a strong foundation created by those who came before us, centered in the now but always thinking about how we can serve you better tomorrow.

Service is our objective. Sustainability is our strategy. And our dreams will always be built to last.

W. Scott Westerman III
Executive Director, MSU Alumni Association