The beginning of a new year marks a time when many of us pause to look back at the achievements of the past year, and then forward to the promise of the year ahead. It is a time when we reflect on our blessings, and give thanks to those who have made a positive difference in our lives. For many of us, it is also a time when we look deeply into our own lives and find ways we can improve both ourselves and the world around us.
Over the years, Michigan State has made conscious efforts to develop in strategic and innovative ways. We have remained firmly rooted in our land-grant heritage as we have reached out globally – with our teaching, with our research, and with our outreach ventures. From our focus on experiential learning in our classrooms, to our innovative partnerships with local businesses and multi-national corporations; from our countless outreach initiatives in counties across Michigan, to our world-grant commitments in countries around the globe, MSU has demonstrated its proven ability – and follow-through – to respond to the ever-changing needs of society, and to provide solutions that work.
I frequently refer to the strength and fortitude of Team MSU. While those references may seem commonplace to some, each is derived from some real and praiseworthy achievement. Like any good team, our strength and fortitude arise from a depth and breadth of diverse factors, all working together, and collectively driven by shared goals and values. With these shared goals and values as our solid base, one critical factor that continues to make Team MSU a winning team is a sustained ability to reinvigorate our lineup.
As we look forward to the new year ahead, there is much that holds promise for Michigan State. As this issue of the MSU Alumni Magazine notes, we recently welcomed Mark Dantonio as MSU’s 24th head football coach. We welcome him not only as our new coach, but also as a great teacher and role model for our players, as someone who embodies and reflects back the values, passion, and work ethic necessary to achieve success at this level.
Another story in this issue features MSU’s new Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, slated to open in fall 2007. This innovative living/learning opportunity for our undergraduates will not only enhance the student experience, but also equip students to live and work effectively as global citizens of the 21st century.
Each year, there are many substantive ways in which we continue to strengthen Team MSU. And each and every member of the team can contribute to its overall success. As we welcome 2007, I thank you for your support of Team MSU and wish you great success and joy in the year ahead.
Lou Anna K. Simon, Ph.D.
President, Michigan State University