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Michigan State University

Director's Message

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            Relax, Tom Izzo, this isn’t about putting more pressure on you. Years ago I wrote a column (“Give Us A Ring,” Winter 1987, p. 40) recounting how we recovered a class ring someone lost in the Grand Canyon. It was found by a Native American, who wore it around his neck. Years later, he sold it to an alum from Tucson, who reported his find to the MSU Alumni Association. With only two initials and a graduation year, the MSUAA and University Development, using their combined database, eventually pieced together the puzzle and found the original owner, who—then living in Southern California—was pleasantly nonplussed. It was some piece of detective work.

            Over the years, we’ve reunited many lost rings with their owners. In 1965, an alum lost his ring in a hotel, where it stayed in the safe for years. When the hotel was sold, the new owners found it and sent it to us. Tracking through initials and graduation year, we eventually returned it to its astounded owner. Just recently, we had another incredible story, where Kurt A. Singer recouped an MSU ring lost 21 years ago!

            These stories are more than merely interesting. First, they speak well of the folks at the MSUAA and Development, who display such creativity and persistence in meticulously searching for the owners. But more importantly, these stories reveal the quintessence of your MSU Alumni Association. We’re not here just to find your lost rings. But we do, when called upon by extraordinary circumstances, and we’re delighted to see the sheer joy of those we’ve helped. What we do is far more important—we bring people together. With each other, and with their alma mater. Friends who lost track of each other for years, and then are able to reunite, sometimes via class reunions, Homecoming, or Patriarch’s Day, sometimes via letter or email. We bring together former classmates who have circled the world in opposite directions, and then decades later had the urge to reconnect. We provide opportunities for alumni to reunite with former professors who influenced their lives. Just as importantly, we also reconnect you to your alma mater.

            Many of you reach a point, after gaining career success and stability, where you want to remember MSU and all the marvelous memories from your youthful years and this magnificent campus. We’re the ideal vehicle. We honor your success, we lavish you with opportunities to revisit the campus, and, above all, to serve Michigan State—whether through student recruitment, volunteer efforts with our clubs and constituent associations, providing internships for MSU students, or serving on the national alumni board. And we don’t care whether you’re lost in the Grand Canyon. Just give us another ring.


            Keith A. Williams

            Executive Director

            Michigan State University Alumni Association

Author: Robert Bao

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