Peter Secchia entered Michigan State University after serving three years in the United States Marine Corps. He graduated in 1963 with a bachelor's degree in Economics. The following year he married Joan Peterson (1964, Elementary Education). They raised a family of four in Grand Rapids; Joan taught school while Peter began a successful business career, highlighted by numerous corporate chairmanships. Peter was appointed the United States Ambassador to Italy from 1989 1993. Francesco Cossiga, former President of the Republic of Italy, called Secchia 'the best U.S. ambassador to Italy I have ever known.' Joan has served on various philanthropic and organization boards within the United States and abroad. Both have extensive board and trustee experience spanning more than half a century. Their accomplishments on behalf of the Michigan State University community are astounding. Recently, their $3 million gift endowed the defensive coordinator position for football. Over time, this endowment will prove just as invaluable as the existing Spartan Football Secchia Travel Fund for recruiting purposes. Peter and Joan also gave the lead gift to build the Secchia Stadium on Old College Field to support the softball program. Additionally, Peter co-chaired the fundraising campaign for the Clara Bell Smith Academic Center. The Secchias were visionary community champions of moving the College of Human Medicine to its current Grand Rapids location. They donated much of their time and also their financial support to the College of Human Medicine campus in Grand Rapids and its centerpiece, the Secchia Center. The new location and facilities give the college access to top-tier talent, a broad community base and the proximity for building strong partnerships with medical, research and economic resources. Among a plethora of memberships and board positions, Peter currently serves on the Athletic Director's Campaign Leadership Council and Joan is on the College of Education Campaign Committee. In these positions, they provide philanthropic leadership as well as valuable input and support for MSU programs. Both are honorary chairs of President Simon's Cabinet for Empower Extraordinary, the campaign for MSU. Taking a stroll around campus, one can see the tremendous impact the Secchias have had. Between their service and philanthropic leadership, Peter and Joan Secchia have made a profound difference in the story of Michigan State University.