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Michigan State University

From the President - Spartan Alumni Magazine, Winter 2024

Foundations for Continued Success

Since I began my service as Michigan State’s interim president, Spartan friends, I have urged all of us to look upward and see in ourselves and the university the unlimited possibilities for growth and greatness. Over the 16 months of my tenure, we have shared many circumstances that saw the sun shine on our work—and some that broke our hearts.

MSU’s excellence in student engagement, undergraduate and graduate academic programs, faculty research, stakeholder outreach and sustainability continue to be validated by external rankings as we march toward the goals in our 2030 strategic plan. Those ambitions include raising our graduation rates and research profile, lowering our environmental footprint and building a university that feels safe, welcoming and supportive for all.

Today, our students are asked to think in terms of their life missions in addition to their majors. We are broadening access through financial assistance initiatives and supporting success by expanding our advising resources.

We created a university-wide Health and Wellbeing division to better care for students, faculty and staff. We directed additional financial resources to employee compensation and invested in our Office for Civil Rights. We boosted our research output by $49 million, rising to $759 million in expenditures dedicated to discovery and innovation.

We saw shovels in the ground and cranes in the air as we shaped the campus skyline through the renovation and initiation of facilities that will support MSU’s excellence for generations to come. Today, we continue work toward completion of a multicultural center and a new student recreational and wellness center, reconstruction of the Farm Lane Bridge and upgrades to our football facilities.

We will commence major upgrades to our research greenhouse, dairy facilities and the MSU Museum. We will continue planning for an engineering and digital innovation center, a new health education building and a new plant and environmental science building. A new medical research facility in Detroit and additional grant funded public health research in Flint also are in the pipeline.

We celebrated institutional milestones with the 150th anniversaries of our first international enrollments and the establishment of the W.J. Beal Horticultural Garden; the centennials of WKAR and Spartan Stadium; the 60th anniversary of Abrams Planetarium; and the 50th year of the MSU Research Foundation.

And we are elevating the arts, which create new ways of knowing by shifting perspectives and helping us see complex issues from illuminating angles. MSU is celebrating its own 360-degree approach with Arts MSU,a platform to uplift the arts as an essential part of what it means to be a Spartan. I think you will enjoy reading more about it in this issue.

We have much to look back on with pride, and much to look forward to with anticipation. I am excited for the arrival of the 22nd president of MSU, Kevin M. Guskiewicz. An exceptional researcher, educator and leader, he gives me confidence in the ever upward trajectory of this great university.

I am grateful to the entire Spartan family—students, families, faculty, staff, leadership colleagues, alums, donors and friends—for their support of Tom, myself and this great university we share.

As ever, keep reaching upward and Go Green!


Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D.


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