From the President - Fall 2021
A new academic year is underway, and you can feel the excitement across MSU’s campus. Following science and data, we’ve worked diligently—and made some difficult decisions—to offer a safe, in-person college experience and working environment.
I passed my second anniversary at MSU in August, pleased with the progress we’ve made to position the university for the opportunities in front of us. MSU’s new strategic plan will benefit from the work of two other important presidential initiatives that were recently released.
Although largely over Zoom, I have enjoyed the opportunity to meet with many alumni and donors throughout Michigan and across the country. I am grateful to all who have expressed tremendous confidence in us along with a strong commitment to MSU.
Reflecting that commitment, the gifts and pledges we received in the past year are a source of great pride, with $232.2 million contributed between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021.
Alumni stepped up and showed their Spartan pride, with a 39% increase in giving from the previous fiscal year. And of the 70,512 donors, approximately 15% were new donors to the university. My thanks to all who contributed.
The past two years prioritized health and safety while building the university’s momentum across our education, research and outreach missions. MSU increased its undergraduate graduation rate to 81.3% and this year had record applications for admission. We recently opened our impressive STEM Teaching and Learning Facility at the former Shaw Lane Power Plant, which will be a focal point for educational innovation.
We finalized a transformational partnership with Henry Ford Health System in Detroit that will benefit medical education and research and enhance health care opportunities while addressing health disparities. And a new partnership with Apple, the Gilbert Family Foundation and Rock Family of Companies is helping MSU establish North America’s first Apple Developer Academy in Detroit. The initial cohort of students enters this fall.
I enjoyed traveling across Michigan this year, with visits to Detroit, Flint and the Traverse City area. I truly value these opportunities to meet the MSU faculty and staff engaged in our communities. I always encounter many devoted alumni and students as well, and I look forward to more visits around the state and beyond.
I hope you always feel welcome to join us on campus, enjoying the sights and sounds of a vibrant place where living and learning thrive, and where our students demonstrate the true definition of Spartans Will.
Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.