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@MSU Newsletter | September 2017


Houston Spartans rescue stranded hurricane victims

As historic floodwaters take over Houston after Hurricane Harvey, Spartans are lending a helping hand. In some cases, they're even working alongside Wolverines to get the job done.

The Houston Spartans Alumni Club has facilitated rescues for hurricane victims through their Facebook group.

 “We hear about people who are stranded in high water and 911 is inundated with calls so they can’t get to them," said David Astrein, vice president of the alumni club. "So there are a whole bunch of alternative ways of getting help through social media that people are resorting to and actually getting rescued through. There are groups of people that have their own personal boats, and people coordinate and tell them where to go to pick up people who need to get rescued.”

To find out more on how to help the Houston Spartans aid hurricane victims, read this blog post, or email the club at

Read the whole story here.

Prepare to be mesmerized

Before you do anything, watch this video.

It’s okay if your mouth is still gaping. That was a mix of childhood gaming nostalgia and edge-of-your-seat-awe wrapped into one video. I know. It was awesome.  

Spartan alumnus Steve Price was part of the team that made it happen. You may have heard of him. He broke the American record for domino toppling for the last three years. This year, he joined the Incredible Science Machine team to beat the record again. As they say, team work makes the dream work.

The team is made up of 19 members, ages 13 to 31. Price is the team leader and spent about a month designing the set up. During the event on July 30, a total of 245,732 dominoes fell, displaying designs from video games and sports through the ages. But the pièce-de-résistance was the final section of the topple: a tower of dominoes that spelled “Game Over.” The tower included more than 12,000, the largest domino structure ever to topple in the U.S.

It took the team 1,200 hours of combined work to build the record-breaking domino field in a middle school gymnasium in Taylor, Michigan.

Can’t get enough of Price’s dominoes? Check him out on America’s Got Talent.

Spartans know how to brunch

According to a Lansing State Journal Article "Lansing's best brunch spots: 5 places we missed," Brody cafeteria is one of Lansing’s best brunch spots.

Brody’s hard to miss. It’s one of the largest university dining facilities in the U.S.

So if you long for the days of sitting in the dining hall for an all-you-can-eat-nom-nom-nom experience, grab your squad and come on down for brunch.

There are 10 different food stations, and a rotating menu of French toast sticks, potato pancakes, crepes, quiches and made-to-order omelets, waffles and breakfast sandwiches.

Don’t forget about the burritos, burgers and freshly made desserts. Come to think of it, you may want to pencil it in for the whole day. You have a lot of eating to do.

Bust some rhymes

The MSU Sidewalk Poetry Project gives the MSU community the opportunity to submit their poems to a competition by poets of note. The project makes the creative spirit of our Spartan community visible by including community members’ work in permanent displays of public art on campus.

Selected winners will have their poems etched into spaces and sidewalks throughout campus.

Think you have what it takes? Submit an entry anytime up until Dec. 31 to be considered. Winners will be notified in March.

For more information email

Spartans on the Move

Scott Westerman's got game

Scott Westerman, the executive director of the MSU Alumni Association was honored with a Varsity letter jacket. He’s the first non-athlete in the history of Michigan State to do so (though he’s got a pretty sweet jump shot).

“For a guy who is usually never at a loss for words, I was speechless," he said. “The honor of serving is, itself a gift. To be able to wear the mark of a Spartan athlete is a humbling honor.”

Music of the future

If a piano is played in New York, and there’s a crowd in Tuscaloosa waiting to hear it, does it really make a sound?

Yes. Yes it does.

Edisher Savitski, a 2013 Ph.D graduate from the College of Music, has been a pioneer of the Disklavier, a Yamaha piano that can be played remotely.

In essence, Savitski can play a piano from a concert hall in the Big Apple, and students assembled at the University of Alabama can sit in a similar concert hall and watch the keys and pedals move up and down on a player-less piano.

How, you ask? The internet, of course.

And so the students don’t miss out on the body language pianists show during a performance, there’s was a live-stream of Savitski’s performance in sync with the remote performance.

The technology can allow top musicians to instruct students from afar. So if you’ve been dying to get a piano lesson from an Austrian music savant, look no further.

This is not a drill. Run, don’t walk, to this link to check out more. 

Sports News

Remembering Jud Heathcote

On August 28, MSU lost a legendary Spartan. Former men’s basketball coach Jud Heathcote passed away at age 90.

He served as the head coach from 1976-1995, coaching Magic Johnson and leading the Spartans to the historic 1979 NCAA Championship title.

He officially passed the torch to Tom Izzo, then an associate head coach, after his 19 years of coaching the Spartans, and moved to Spokane, Washington. But his presence was always felt back in East Lansing as he continued to counsel Coach Izzo and his players.

“Michigan State has lost one of its icons today,” said Izzo. “And yet nothing can erase his impact on the program, the players he coached and the coaches he mentored. Spartan basketball is what it is today because of Jud Heathcote.”

Read more here.

When was the last time you called mom and dad?

If your parents or grandparents are golfers, you may want to give them a shout. The MSU Retirees Association is holding a golf tournament on September 19. The funds go toward an endowed scholarship for MSU undergrads whose parents or grandparents are retirees of the university. If they maintain their GPA, the students are eligible to receive funding from the association every year.

So grab the golfer in your life and head out to Forest Akers for a go on the green (tee hee). Registration starts at 10 a.m., and the fun starts at noon. The cost is $100, $25 of which goes towards the scholarship. Includes lunch, hors d’oeuvres, 18 hole scramble with cart, hole contests and door prizes.