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Spartan Newsletter | March 2020


Spartans make the world a better place

On April 18, Spartans worldwide will come together to make a difference in their communities.

From cleaning up beaches, to interacting with shelter animals, to distributing food to those in need, the MSU community’s impact will be felt around the world.

Here’s how you can help:

Mark your calendar for April 18 and plan to participate in a service project near you. All projects will be registered on

Consider planning a service project in your community. Do you have a need in your community or cause you’re passionate about? We made several handy resources to help you through the planning process.

Lavender Life service project soothes children in foster care

During last year's Global Day of Service, the West Michigan Spartans organized a service project where volunteers worked with the Lavender Life Company to prepare therapy stuffed animals for children in foster care. The Lavender Life Company based in Caledonia, Michigan, sells all-natural and organic lavender products with the mission of comforting at-risk children. For every stuffed animal sold, Lavender Life gives a stuffed animal to a child in foster care.

Full Story.

Celebrating love with service

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes volunteering for a Detroit Spartans' service project?

To celebrate their first wedding anniversary, Brian Lane, '05, and his husband Clinton decided to give back to their community and joined the Detroit Spartans' 2018 service project at Wolverine Human Services. Wolverine Human Services aims to support children suffering from abuse and neglect, and to help those involved in delinquent activities overcome social and economic barriers. Together Spartans worked to clean up their community garden and orchard. Lane explained, "It's always fun to be around other Spartans, but in this setting, it had a little more meaning."

Read the full story. 

Alumnus brings millions to tears with Google's 'Loretta' ad

“Hey Google, show me photos of me and Loretta. Remember? She always snorted when she laughed.”

Hearing an elderly man tell his Google Assistant to remind him of happy memories of his late-wife, Google’s “Loretta” Super Bowl LIV commercial had nearly 115 million people feeling collectively emotional for 90 seconds.

Behind the advertisement was Jesse Juriga, creative director at Google Creative Lab and 2004 alumnus from Michigan State University.

Full story. 

Spartan takes "Old Town Road" from meme to GRAMMYs

Melissa Larsen (far right in photo), '96, executive produced Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" music video, which won a 2020 Grammy for Best Music Video.

The song originally gained traction through a series of TikTok memes created by the then-unknown Lil Nas X in 2018. Following a meteoric rise in popularity and a remix with Billy Ray Cyrus, the single went on to spend a record 19 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart. As it stands the music video has over 400 million — yes, million — views on YouTube. 

Acceptance speech. 

"Old Town Road" video. 

Guide the next generation of Spartans and support your own personal growth

Supporting MSU student success and building your professional network of Spartan alumni just got easier! MSU Career Services and the MSU Alumni Office are excited to announce the launch of MSU Connect, a professional networking and mentorship platform. 

Unlike LinkedIn, MSU Connect provides direct opportunities to mentor MSU students and connect with other alumni to support your own career advancement and development.

Become a valued mentor at: and experience the impact it will make on you and others!

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