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  • Author:
    Robert Bao
  • Published:
    Spring 2005


            Your cover story "Milestones of MSU's Sesquicentennial" in the Winter 2005 issue by Dr. Fred Honhart was great reading.  The historical rendition was interesting as well as substantive.  It will make any true Spartan even prouder of the university.

            One minor correction.  During the 1930s, we beat the University of Michigan in football four consecutive years (1934, 1935, 1936, and 1937)...not just "three out of four." 
            Thanks for the fine historical treatment of our Sesquicentennial.

            Bruce McCristal, '54, Bloomfield Hills

            We stand corrected.  It is not surprising that Mr. McCristal detected an error.  He recently authored The Spirit of Michigan State(InnerWorkings, 2004), a comprehensive history of the university.  Visit to buy a copy (all proceeds go to benefit MSU scholarships).  –Editor.


            I thought my James Madison College study abroad program in Brussels would be hard to beat.  After all, we sat in on Slobodan Milosevic's trial, learned from an adjunct professor who was NATO’s Director of Information, and studied first hand the expansion of the EU.  These would have been the highlights of my college career, had it not been for the Antarctica program (Winter 2005).

            Antarctica was a dream for this boy from the southern tip of India, where the average low temperature is 77 degrees.  As a budding scientist, I had the chance to study the deterioration of icebergs in their environment and field test existing models, the most exciting session of differential equations ever!  I also had a chance to develop an amazing photography portfolio.  Words cannot describe how I grew philosophically and spiritually from this unique and almost surreal experience.

            Thanks, MSU, for this life-changing experience.

            Kannan Raghunathan, '05, India

            Your story was very informational and well reflected the experience that we had in Antarctica.  I have been interviewed in the past for small newspaper articles and yours was by far the best descriptive article that I have read.  My experience in the Antarctic was one of utter amazement.  Our first steps in the continent are truly a surreal experience.  My favorite moment was on a zodiac in Paradise Bay, when we saw a glacier calve into the ocean with a great “boom” and a Minke whale swam right under our boat. It was absolutely amazing and a trip that I will never forget. I loved the pink sunset on the icebergs at two in the morning, and the albatrosses and petrels following our boat as we cut through a glass ocean. I will certainly never forget the smell of fresh guano!

            Since my trip to Antarctica I constantly apply what I learned to my environmental classes. I have continued to learn about Antarctica by doing many additional projects in my classes any chance that I get.  Right now I am writing a legal research paper about the Antarctic Treaty and subsequent laws that regulate the Southern Ocean.  I find the Treaty system very interesting, and learning about Antarctica and the Antarctic Treaty System has given me a great appreciation for global environmental issues.

            Thanks again for the wonderful article.

            Jaclyn VanOverbeke, ‘06, East Lansing


            What an exciting March our families had!  We were getting packed for a long-anticipated vacation to Cancun, Mexico, when the MSU Men's basketball team defeated Kentucky and made it into the Final Four.  Being diehard Spartan fans, we quickly added our MSU flag to our suitcase which was already filled with Spartan hats and t-shirts.  Once in Mexico, we hung our flag from the balcony to show our spirit and pride.  Although the women's Elite Eight game wasn't on TV in Mexico, we intently watched the ESPN ticker and celebrated when we saw that our MSU women had also moved into the Final Four. 

            To truly celebrate the occasion, we brought our Spartan green and white to the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza in the Yucatan.

            Kevin, ‘87 & Sue Deacon, Livonia

            MSU is very fortunate to have both Tom Izzo and Joanne McCallie as head basketball coaches of the men's and women's teams.  Izzo is a proven winner and nears iconic stature.  McCallie is proving to be a winner as well, and could one day also attain iconic stature.  Both are terrific role models, helpful to both the sport and to the community, and advance the image of the university in a positive manner.  I hope that Spartan fans realize how unique our situation is and that MSU officials do everything within their means to keep both Izzo and McCallie.  You can't do much better.

            Hal Lewis, ‘88, Scottsdale, AZ


            I live in Florida but follow the Spartans with the ESPN Game Plan.  I am so irked that we have our fans wear white.  It just does not look impressive on TV.  We should ask our fans to focus on the "green" in green and white, which will look much better on TV and will be more intimidating.  I think I was watching the last Notre Dame/MSU game last fall and saw a sea of green, thinking it was Spartan spirit in action, but alas, it was Irish spirit.  

            Gina Farris, ‘84, Orlando, FL

            Some years ago the Izzone wore all green, but the overall effect was muted.  Green, unlike, say red, tends to fade into the background. When the Izzone switched to white, the result was noticeably brighter, more dominant and, to use your word, more “intimidating.”  --Editor. 


            Re "Michigan State Moments 150," which was on page 5 of your Winter 2005 issue.  I respectfully state that it should be referring to MAC.  As my father-in-law, Arnold M. Hopperstead, '20, used to say, "I didn't go to MSU, I didn't go to MSC, I went to MAC and am proud of it."

            James R. Carr, '50, Grand Rapids