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Alma Matters

  • Author:
    Robert Bao
  • Published:
    Spring 2014
AUSTIN, TX—Sep. 28:  About 20 Spartans gathered at the Volunteer Event at the Capital Area Food Bank to give a hand in bettering their community.  
BENZIE COUNTY—Oct. 12: About 20 Spartans came together to participate in the Frankfort Fall Festival Parade. Special guests included Ann Loveless, an MSU alumna who had just won the coveted Grand Rapids Art Prize.  Oct. 19: Nearly 60 Spartans traveled by bus to East Lansing to watch the MSU football team defeat Purdue. Nov. 2: Nearly 103 fans came together to watch the MSU vs. U-M football game. The event was attended by both MSU and U-M alumni and the money raised went directly into the club’s scholarship fund. 
CENTRAL OHIO—Nov. 2:  Spartans gathered with the neighboring University of Michigan Alumni Club during the MSU vs. U-M football game this season.  After the game, 90 fans watched as the interclub trophy was presented to the local Spartans.  Nov. 23:  About 12 Spartans gathered during the MSU vs. Northwestern game to watch the MSU football team clinch their division title. 
EASTERN WAYNE COUNTY—Nov. 15:  Nearly 75 Spartans attended a lecture by Jeremy Wilson about the hidden dangers of product counterfeiting, titled “Is this Real?” Nov. 16:  About 30 Spartans gathered in Grosse Pointe to cheer the MSU football team to a win over Nebraska. 
GREATER CINCINNATI—Dec. 5:  Nearly a dozen Spartans attended a holiday party at Blue Wisp Jazz club where they participated in an MSU trivia contest while enjoying jazz music.  The Cincinnati SPCA was selected to receive their holiday donation of $100.00. 
GREATER NEW YORK—Sep. 26:  Along with more than 50 NY Area Spartans, Scott Westerman, MSUAA executive director, discussed how social media was able to create a positive response to the “Go Blue” skywriting by encouraging the Spartan Nation to contribute to the Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance. 
HAMPTON ROADS, VA—Oct. 29:  Dedicated Spartans gathered at the Virginia Beach Convention Center to represent the university and supply information to hundreds of prospective high school students.  Nov. 2: Nearly 25 people gathered during the MSU vs. U-M football game to support military families through the Armed Services YMCA of Hampton Roads Annual Holiday Food Assistance Program. MSU alumni donated green beans while U-M alums donated maize. 
MAINE—Oct. 19:  A dozen dedicated Spartans came together at Buffalo Wild Wings to cheer on the MSU football team in their victory over Purdue.
Oct. 27:  About 25 DC Spartans slipped on their Halloween costumes and helped hand out treats at National Zoo’s Boo at the Zoo event, which provides a safe and exciting way for families and kids to trick-or-treat.  
NEBRASKA—Nov. 2: About 30 area Spartans gathered to cheer the MSU football team to a key win against in-state rival U-M at Fox & Hound in Omaha.
NORTHEAST OHIO—Nov. 2:  About a dozen Spartans came together to cheer the Spartans to a win over rival U-M.  Nov. 23:  Nearly 12 Spartans joined to unpack and sort food that had been donated to the Cleveland Foodbank.
SPACE COAST, FL—Dec. 6:  Nearly 35 members of the MSU Space Coast Alumni gathered for the annual Pre Holiday Dinner.  Following the dinner was a raffle and auction with MSU themed prizes.  All proceeds were donated to the club’s endowment fund. 
TAMPA BAY, FL—Oct. 12:  To support the football team during Homecoming week, nearly 35 Spartans followed the theme by dressing up as their favorite Superheroes during the MSU football game.  
Dec. 10:  Seven Spartans came together to form “Team Smarty Sparties” and placed first in the weekly trivia competition.
WASHINGTON, DC—Nov. 20:  Nearly 12 Spartans worked hard this holiday season to help Bread for the City provide low-income DC residents with a turkey and all the trimmings.  Dec. 14:  About 30 Spartans joined together for the second year to help place wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery as part of Wreaths Across America.  Their mission is to remember, honor, and teach by placing wreaths on veterans’ graves. 
WEST MICHIGAN—Oct. 3:  More than 100 Spartans gathered at the Outstanding Junior Award Lunch to discuss a scholarship plan that grants $1,000 scholarships to deserving high school students.  The OJA Lunch invites the 36 winners, their parents and school representatives to learn more about MSU through guest speakers and interaction with Club Officers. 
Nearly 27 Spartans joined together at Boyne Mountain for the College of Engineering Golf Outing and Donor Dinner. Special guests included Acting Dean Leo Kempel. 
Oct. 18:  More than 120 Spartans met at the annual MSU Women in STEM conference. This conference is an opportunity for MSU alumnae and friends working in the STEM professions to expand their professional network and acquire tools and knowledge. 
MEDICINE—Sep. 14:  Over 500 alumni from the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine gathered on campus for a tailgate celebration prior to the MSU football game against Youngstown State.  MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon made a guest appearance along with Tom and Lupe Izzo.  Oct. 4:  Spartans were among more than 7,000 who attended the 188th Osteopathic Medical Conference & Exposition in Las Vegas. Oct. 9:  About 25 alumni attended the Annual American College of Osteopathic Internists Convention and Scientific Sessions in Indian Wells, CA. 
BEIJING, CHINA—Jul. 27:  Nearly 50 Spartans welcomed students and their parents for a Spartan Talent career-oriented event at Haworth in Beijing.
JAPAN—Nov. 8:  Nearly 70 Spartans met for the Annual Meeting of MSU Alumni Club of Japan.  The club added new leaders in Toichi Takenaka and Hiroo Saionji. Nov. 9: About 22 Spartans came together to hold their annual meeting and reception in Kansai. Special guests included Claire Brender, director of International Alumni Relations and Jeff Grilliot, associate vice president of University Development.  Members also participated in a guided tour of “The Knowledge Capital.” 
KOREA—Sep. 12:  Over 90 Spartans gathered in Seoul, Korea, for the MSU Korea Alumni Annual Meeting.  The club honored four alumni—Wan Koo Lee, Young-Pyo Hong, Young-Joo Moon and Yun Woo Choo. 
MALAYSIA—Nov. 5:  Over 100 MSU Malaysia Alumni held an in-country graduation event for families of new grads.   
MUMBAI, INDIA—Jul. 20:  About 45 Spartans came together for a Meet and Greet hosted by Milind Agarwal, Dean Stefanie Lenway of the Broad College of Business and Scott Westerman, executive director of the MSUAA. 
SINGAPORE—Jul. 19:  About 20 alumni and friends of MSU joined a study abroad group from MSU for a gathering in Singapore with Professor Richard Helfer.
TURKEY—Nov. 5:  Nearly 20 Spartans gathered in Istanbul for the MSU Green and White Evening.  Special guests included MSU Vice President Satish Udpa. 
TAIWAN—Sep. 22:  Over 150 Spartans attended the MSU Alumni Charity Concert in Taipei, Taiwan. 
GLBT ALUMNI—Nov. 22:  
The MSU GLBT Alumni held their first event outside of Michigan with over 75 Spartans celebrating at Chicago’s Crew Bar & Grill.  Sparty was a special guest.
SPARTANS IN TIBET—Last summer, MSU students (l to r) Can (Aiden) Wang, Xinyu(Jacky) Yang and Haochen Han embarked on an ambitious bicycle trek through China from Dali City, Yunnan, to Tibet.  “It’s something we wanted to do for ourselves and also as a way of promoting the MSU brand in China,” says Jacky Yang.  The trio had to cross numerous mountains before finally reaching Lhasa, Tibet, where they showed the MSU flag by the iconic Potala Palace.
SPARTAN MOOSE KILL—Oct. 14:  Erica Peterson (right), ’00, shot this 700-pound bull moose in Kokadjo, Maine, last fall.  Hunting with her were her brother Andrew, father Bob (co-shooter) and grandfather Bob—all helping to show the S flag in the photo.  The moose boasted a 40-inch spread and 17 points and took more than two hours to transport out of the woods.
Alumni Distinguished Scholarships attract the brightest and the best
Each year, more than 1,100 of the brightest high school seniors around the country are invited to campus to compete in MSU’s annual Alumni Distinguished Scholarship (ADS) competition. The scholarships, which cover full tuition, room and board, are considered among the most competitive awards in the country. 
To date, more than 600 exceptional students have received Alumni Distinguished Scholarships.  Many more have decided to enroll at MSU after experiencing the breadth of the university during the competition.
“The longstanding tradition of the ADS competition, MSU’s preeminent award program, has helped to bring thousands of exceptional high school students to campus since 1956,” says MSU Honors College Dean Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore.  “The scholarship has supported the early careers of many MSU alumni who have since contributed deeply and widely to society in nearly every imaginable field.”
An ADS Student
Craig Pearson attends MSU on an Alumni Distinguished Scholars full scholarship.  He is an Honors College senior from Bloomfield Hills, majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology, English and neuroscience. 
A 2012 Goldwater Scholar, Pearson was recently awarded the Marshall graduate scholarship, making him the 16th Spartan to receive the honor.  The award will allow him to pursue his doctorate in clinical neurosciences from the University of Cambridge. He also represented MSU as a regional finalist in competition for a Rhodes Scholarship and he is a nominee for a Churchill scholarship. Craig says he chose MSU over many other offers—including from Ivy League and other Big Ten schools—because the quality and connectivity of MSU stuck with him. 
 “I came to feel that this was the place that was going to give me the greatest range of opportunities—academically and personally,” Craig says.
Craig is a lead undergraduate researcher working on an interdisciplinary, multi-university project to design a drug delivery system to treat a genetic blindness disorder. He is also the undergraduate lab manager for another team analyzing brain scan data to explore the neuroscience of reading. 
Craig was also selected as a 2013-2014 College of Natural Science (CNS) Dean’s Research Scholar (DRS). The DRS are an elite group of outstanding undergraduate students who have experience conducting research, proven academic success and exemplify the traits of true Spartans: hard-working, intelligent, problem-solvers.  The DRS are selected annually through a competitive scholarship program. As part of their experience, they commit to represent CNS at events and speaking opportunities on campus and around the country. 
“Undergraduate research has been the most impactful experience I’ve had at MSU,” Craig says. “Research has supplemented my education, introduced me to crucial mentors and collaborators, and inspired my passion to pursue a career in visual neuroscience research.”
In addition, Craig volunteers at the MSU Neurology and Ophthalmology Clinic. And he’s the student managing editor for ReCUR, the Red Cedar Undergraduate Research Journal, and founder and managing editor of Exceptions: The Art and Literary Journal for Students with Visual Disabilities. He’s published in national literary magazines, attended conferences at Harvard and Yale, and went on study abroad at the University of Cambridge.  This fall, he stood on the field at Spartan Stadium as a member of the 2013 Homecoming Court.
“Every single class and experience I’ve had here has been a challenge and an opportunity to expand my skill set and my world view,” says Craig.
Craig plans to complete both doctoral and medical degrees for a career in the clinical neuroscience of vision, working toward treatments for blindness or visual impairments and to develop a better understanding of how the eye works. 
“It’s really exciting because one topic informs another,” he says.  “I’ll be able to approach my work from the neuroscience of perception to the biochemistry of the retina to me being the leader of this literary journal that publishes creative work by students who are blind or visually impaired.”
An ADS Alumnus
Greg Hauser remembers well his first trip to campus.  A native of Rochester, NY, he arrived after a particularly heavy snowfall to undertake the Alumni Distinguished Scholarship test.
“We all have a mental image of what college is,” he says.  “I looked around at the beautiful blanket of white all across campus and I realized this was the place I always imagined myself being.”
Greg (’75, B.S., Honors College/Natural Science; ’77, M.S., Zoology) aced the test, received the full scholarship and began his MSU journey intending to become a zoologist.  Along the way he discovered an affinity for law over science, completed his J.D. at New York University, and found a unique niche utilizing his MSU minor in German.  As an attorney, he represents German, Austrian and Swiss corporations with disputes in the U.S.
A life member of the MSU Alumni Association, Greg served as president of the New York City MSU Alumni Club for more than a decade, and has also served as a member and head of MSUAA’s National Board. He has remained committed to his fraternity (Delta Chi) as well, highlighted by a presidency of the North-American Interfraternity Conference, the umbrella group for all national and international men’s college social fraternities.
He also honors a promise he says he made to himself to “pay MSU back.” He has been a consistent contributor to the club’s scholarships and many other MSU initiatives, joining MSU’s Kedzie Donor Society.  Through his estate plans, Greg established a charitable bequest directed to support the MSU Libraries, the Department of Zoology and the Joseph John Hauser Endowed Alumni Distinguished Scholarship, named in tribute to his father. 
“When I think of how much MSU did for me and the other ADSers (Alumni Distinguished Scholars), it underlies my certainty that this institution is essential to the world,” he says.
?For more information on the Alumni Distinguished Scholarship Program, contact Senior Director of Development Jennifer Bertram at or call (517) 432-7330.