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From the Editor - Fall 2020

Spartan Alumni Magazine Fall 2000 Cover

From the Editor - Fall 2020

From the banks.

Each day we decide. We decide to embrace or resist, to lean in or to walk away. Ultimately it is up to us—to live our values and be truly who we are meant to be.

Inside this issue you will find stories of resilience, grit, curiosity, and the opportunity to make a choice. My favorite came to life one afternoon, well before we were all working from home.

During a typical conversation with a colleague I was told a story about a bold MSU scientist and his passion for experimentation. My co-worker said, “We’ve got to do a story about this experiment.” His enthusiasm inspired me, after all he was talking about William James Beal. The whole conversation filled me with hope.

Beal’s bottle experiment perfectly characterizes his ambition and curiosity. It was his grand attempt to advance science, contribute to understanding and to unlock some of nature’s mysteries. But that is only the start of the story. The far more interesting pieces are about the time in which he lived, the people who influenced his work, and his resolve to defy convention while adhering to a set of values.

You will find that Beal’s story explains how many of our Spartan values began to take hold. It is one of our origin  stories. What he built more than a century ago persists today. He was a Spartan before we were Spartans. He shows us we can do anything we set our minds to—together we will—and with resolve we can move forward through our challenges and into the future.

Stephanie Motschenbacher signature



Stephanie Motschenbacher. 
Executive Editor, Spartan Magazine

Author: Stephanie Motschenbacher, '85, '92