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@MSU Newsletter | November 2017


It's the most wonderful time of the year

Who comes once a year to deliver autographs and hype to little Spartans sleeping soundly in their...tents? 

Why Coach Tom Izzo, of course. And this year's Izzone Campout brought in a record 2,500 students, waiting in anticipation to see Izzo and the rest of the basketball team. 

What’s the Izzone Campout, you say? It’s only the unofficial kickoff of the MSU Men’s Basketball season—at least for die-hard basketball-loving students. Students who purchase Izzone seats (season tickets) are invited to the campout to get a taste of MSU tradition. This year, nearly 1,000 tents were pitched on Munn Field. 

Coach Izzo and the team pumped up the crowd, signed autographs, and did a little good ol’ fashioned crowd surfing. It was an epic night.

Want to see what you missed, or relive the glory? Check out these photos.

When was the last time you went for a jog with a Wolverine?

Pretty much never. But even a rivalry this entrenched can be put aside when it really counts.

The Friday before the UM game, the MSU and UM ROTC squads joined together for Alex’s Great State Race, an annual event that raises money and community awareness for MSU’s Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities and U-M's Services for Students with Disabilities. They raised more than $5,000.

The squads started at 2 a.m. at the Sparty statue in East Lansing and ran until they reached "The Diag" in Ann Arbor, at around 11 a.m. 

The race first began in 2014, after the tragic death of Alex Powell. Powell was accepted to MSU as a senior at Lansing Catholic High School. Then he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer. 

But nothing was going to stand in his way to become a Spartan. He reached out to the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities, who helped ensure he had the ultimate Spartan experience, while undergoing cancer treatments at the UM Medical Center.

After Powell lost his battle with cancer, his parents and the Spartan/Wolverine community decided to honor his memory with a collaborative race. Every year, the two ROTC teams run the 64-mile journey in increments of eight miles, holding the two footballs and an American flag. Community members come out to support the runners, and raise money for MSU’s and UM's respective disability centers so more college students like Alex can find success and community.

This year, Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley and Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein ran the last five miles of the race with the cadets.

Alex wanted to leave a legacy and honor the universities that helped him fight his battle. Six years in and counting, it's hard to imagine a better tribute to his life.

Every day is a great day to be a Spartan...

But some days stick out more than others. Like this day, when we revel in the fact that MSU was ranked 81 out of 1,250 universities in U.S. News and World Report’s 2018 Best Global Universities ranking.

Top 100 out of more than 1,000. Psst. That means your university is statistically proven to be one of the best in the world. Boo to the yah.

We also ranked in the top 30 in four major programs: plant and animal science (#9), agricultural sciences (#17), economics and business (#26), and environment/ecology (#30). 

One Day. One Goal. $250K

Join Give Green Day

Set a reminder for #GiveGreenDay on Tuesday, Nov. 28. 

No matter where you are Nov. 28, you can support what you love about Michigan State. There are 30 projects that make a difference for students—but it's all up to you. What will you support? Check it out here.

College towns order the most late-night takeout

Thanks, Captain Obvious.  

But what might surprise you is that Spartans are the hungriest late-night snackers. We order 392 percent more late-night takeout than the rest of the country, according to a study. The personal finance site teamed up with food delivery giant Grubhub to analyze which cities are om-nom-noming the most after midnight. (Fun fact: One of Grubhub’s founders, Matt Maloney, is a Spartan. We're everywhere.)

The most popular late-night snack in East Lansing? Mac and cheese, aka, the perfect all-nighter sustenance. 

So we may not beat our Big10 peers in every sport or ranking, but we know what’s truly important in life. 

Spartans on the Move

What could possibly be more magical than Disney?

Getting a portion of your master's degree in the deserts and beaches of summertime Baja. Ahhhh. 

Myria Johnson, a 2002 graduate from the College of Natural Science, studied desert and marine landscapes through ecological and social field methods this past summer. Her experience was part of Earth Expeditions, an NSF-funded program through Miami University that allows students to travel and develop new approaches to key issues. 

Pretty sweet right? But it gets even better. Her day job? Zookeeper at the Walt Disney Company. Talk about having a magical day.

Get ready to be inspired by this unstoppable 19-year-old...

Jade Greear has packed a lot of experience and wisdom into not a lot of years on the planet.

She’s a sophomore, studying health and society in the College of Social Science. But she’s also a social justice activist, a dynamite Huff Post blogger and a world-changer.

Jade’s brand of activism isn’t just about one issue. According to her Huff Post bio, "Jade believes in the power of learning through dialogue. She aims to shed light on the tough realities often shoved aside and undermined."

She’s on the front lines of calling out racism, empowering youth, and making her world a better place to thrive. With her words, and her actions.

Jade’s activist spirit comes from her mom, Paula, who first inspired Jade to give back by planting a garden at her elementary school in Homewood, Illinois.

Today, the two share an inseparable bond, Spartan roots, and an insatiable desire to leave the world a better place than how they found it.

"My mom always told me that beauty is not on the outside, that it's on the inside," Greear said. "She has been a huge motivation for me helping people."

But why stop in the U.S.?

Next year, she’ll study abroad in Nepal as part of a public health study. There, she’ll research a disease and its impact on humans and their environments.

All we have to say is “watch out, world.” We've got another dynamic Spartan here who's ready to change you for the better. 

Ever feel like a hot mess sometimes? Our girl can help ya out

Meet Rachel Wilkerson Miller. She created a journal/to-do list/planner/magical guide that will help you stay organized and get your life together. It's called Dot Journaling (Idk where the dots come inyou may have to pick up the book just to find out!).

Rachel knows how hard it can be to juggle a working life. After graduating from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences in 2008, she moved to New York and started her career at ELLE Magazine, writing about weddings, health and fitness, feminism, food, beauty, race, social media, and home life. She’s the senior lifestyle editor for Buzzfeed. Oh, and she’s also been published in Huff Post, Yahoo! Shine,, Birchbox, The Nest, and A Practical Wedding

Sports News

Girls got game

And they’re not messing around.

Spartan Women's Basketball Head Coach Suzy Merchant and her team held their media day this past month. They chatted about goals for the season, how they’ll cope with the loss of some veteran players, the high hopes for new recruits, and their unstoppable drive for victory this year. 

Here’s a little snippet of the swagger and confidence that they plan to show out on the court this season, according to Merchant:

“The goal every year is to win a national championship and the Big Ten. We just saw the rankings today. Really, those aren't a big deal to us, but it's just going to fuel the fire. I think lots of people are going to be very surprised by us this year, and we're excited to surprise people.”

Some count us out. But MSU is no little brother. Or little sister, in this case. 

But don’t believe me—read Coach Merchant’s words for yourself. And then watch how the women crush it this season.