From the President - Winter 2023
Greetings, Spartan alums and friends!
I am honored to serve as the interim president of this great university, following two years of leading our teaching, learning, research and outreach enterprise as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. I am and always will be all-in for MSU and a proud member of our vast family, from our 50,000 students to our 500,000 living degreed alums.
Engaging with our global family is one of the greatest pleasures of this job. I love that this issue of Spartan shines a spotlight on belonging and inclusion. Those who enjoy long associations with their alma maters certainly understand the importance of feeling connected and being in community with one another.
Instilling a sense of belonging is especially vital to the success of our students and is a key ingredient in a world-class university experience. As stated in our university-wide strategic plan, we are committed to “providing opportunity through education and building the future of Michigan and the nation with the talent and contributions of individuals from all backgrounds and communities.” Indeed, we are working on fostering a culture of belonging and opportunity though our new First-Generation College Student Initiative. This initiative is inspiring first-gen students to persist and graduate by offering them high-impact learning experiences, eliminating barriers and supporting their ongoing development. Belonging and opportunity are key words and the driving motivation for our campus multicultural center being planned for the northeast corner of North Shaw and Farm lanes on the south bank of the Red Cedar River. The work of creating community requires daily attention from all of us and will help us build a better world.
Addressing the 5000 graduates at our fall semester commencement ceremonies in December, I urged them to remain connected through MSU Alumni groups and activities. I know you will welcome them warmly into the many far-flung Spartan families and will sing together and more knowingly, “When from these scenes we wander, And twilight shadows fade, Our mem’ry still will linger, Where light and shadows played.”
I look forward to communicating with you frequently to bring us closer together as Spartans and advocates for the university and the students, families and stakeholders it serves. Thank you for your engagement with and love for MSU!
My very best wishes to all for a happy and fulfilling 2023.
Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D.
INTERIM PRESIDENT, MSU
MSU FOUNDATION PROFESSOR