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MSU by the Numbers

Interesting answers to questions you may have asked (or not) about MSU.

  • Published: 10/17/2011
300--Number in Spartan Marching Band

            Here at the MSU Alumni Magazine we often receive queries about specific numbers—how many acres does the MSU campus have, how many students are currently enrolled, how many alumni reside in Wyoming, and so on.   Here we present some numbers that answer the most common questions, as well as other numbers that  answer questions few—perhaps none—have asked.  In short, here we present “MSU by the numbers.”   



Rhodes Scholars from MSU. (In addition, MSU boasts 16 Churchill Scholars, 30 Goldwater Scholars—including 2011 winner Amy Pochodylo (pictured below), 16 Truman Scholars, 14 Marshall Scholars, nine Udall scholars, six Hollings Scholars, three Gates-Cambridge Scholars and one Mitchell Scholar.


Number of medical colleges at MSU—the only university in the country with three medical schools (Human Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine and Veterinary Medicine).


Acres in MSU’s East Lansing campus.  In addition, MSU owns more than 20,000 acres at 37 locations in 24 counties.


Seconds left on the Spartan Stadium clock in 2001 when Jeff Smoker threw a touchdown pass to T.J. Duckett to edge the University of Michigan 26-24.


Miles of walking paths on campus


Bicycle parking spaces on campus.  MSU boasts 12 miles of bicycle paths.


Number of MSU alumni worldwide (and growing).


Pounds of material recycled in MSU’s first-ever “Recyclemania” competition in 2011, which ranked No. 3 in the Big Ten and No. 18 nationally among large universities.



Official names for MSU (Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, 1855;
State Agricultural College, 1861; Michigan Agricultural College, 1909; Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science, 1925; Michigan State University of Agriculture and Applied Science, 1955; and Michigan State University, 1964).

5.7 million

Volumes held in MSU Libraries.  In addition, MSU has 592,024 electronic books, 79,026 serial subscriptions, 234,728 maps, 7,920 films and 70,425 audio files.


National championships in the Universal Cheer Association’s mascot competition won by Sparty, seen here with actor Gerard Butler (King Leonidas in 300) in 2010.


Cost of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams that MSU will design and establish to advance understanding of rare nuclear isotopes.


Number of years that John A. Hannah (1941-1969) served as MSU president, an eventful period when enrollment grew from over 6,000 to nearly 40,000.  It also marks MSU’s longest winning streak in football, achieved by Biggie Munn from 1950-53. 


Cubic feet of concrete in MSU’s new Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, along with 733.54 CF of steel framing and 12,600 square feet of wood flooring.


NCAA Final Four appearances by Tom Izzo, who in 15 seasons has earned one national championship, six Big Ten titles, four National Coach of the Year awards and 13 straight NCAA appearances (best in the Big Ten).  He has achieved all this while maintaining a graduation rate of 84 percent. Twelve of his players have been drafted by the NBA (six in the first round).


Average number of followers for MSU Alumni Association twitterers (Scott Westerman, John Hill and Tim Bograkos).


Official attendance of the 1966 “Game of the Century” between MSU and Notre Dame at Spartan Stadium—or 111 percent of capacity.


Members of the Spartan Marching Band (same as the number of Spartans who fought alongside King Leonidas at Thermopylae in 480 BC). The SMB was founded in 1870 with 10 students, all veterans of the Civil War.


Number of comic books in the MSU Libraries Special Collections.


Miles of superconducting wire wrapped around MSU’s two cyclotrons, the K500 and the K1200—just enough to reach Ann Arbor.


Television viewers who watched MSU beat Indiana State for the NCAA championship in 1979.  The game’s TV rating of 24.1 is the highest for any basketball telecast, college or NBA.


Tuition for one term at MSU in 1920.  (In addition, a one-time $5 fee covered admission to all home athletic contests, lectures, debates, etc.)


Teslas—the rating for MSU’s Low Energy Beam and Ion Trap magnet, a device that can help slow down rare isotopes for more precise study.  LEBIT is 150,000 times stronger than the Earth’s magnetic field.


Year the current MSU Alumni Association was founded.  The previous association, established in 1967, achieved “independent” status in 1979 but was disbanded two years later by the MSU Board of Trustees.  MSU alumni were first organized as the Society of Alumni of Michigan Agricultural College in 1868.


NCAA championships in team sports won by MSU:  Cross country (8), ice hockey (3), boxing (2), men’s basketball (2), men’s soccer (2), men’s gymnastics (1) and wrestling (1).  MSU also boasts six national championships in football (1951, 1952, 1955, 1957, 1965 and 1966).


The age of the oldest book in the MSU Libraries—Scriptores Rei Rusticae, printed in Venice in 1472.


Gold medals won by Spartan athletes in Olympic competition.  Spartans also won 12 silver medals and five bronze medals.


Phone call attempts made to alumni and friends this past fiscal year by the 200 students in MSU Greenline.  Last year the Spartan phonathoners raised $4,883.455 from 66,363 donors.


U.S. presidents who have visited MSU, beginning with Teddy Roosevelt in 1917.  Others wereWilliam Howard Taft (1919), Richard M. Nixon (1957), John F. Kennedy (1960), Harry S. Truman (1960), Dwight D. Eisenhower (1961), Gerald Ford (1965, 1974, 1998), William Clinton (five times since 1992), George H.W. Bush (1992), and Barack Obama ( 2008).  MSU was also visited by First Ladies Eleanor Roosevelt (1940) and Barbara Bush (1992).


Dogs that have performed in Spartan Stadium as Zeke the Wonder Dog.


Attendance—a world record for basketball—at the “Basketbowl” between MSU and the University of Kentucky at Ford Field, Dec. 13, 2003. 


Different plants in MSU’s Beal Botanical Garden, established in 1873 by botanist William James Beal.  It remains the oldest continuously-operated botanical garden of its kind in the U.S.  


Meals served daily by MSU dining halls.


Pounds of pasta served daily in MSU’s Brody Square.  They come in 13 different shapes and sizes, in flavors ranging from black pepper and broccoli to chocolate.


Number of bagels made by the MSU Bakery in 2009-10.  (Yes, someone kept a count.)


Number of gifts to MSU of $1 million or more during the Campaign for MSU (1999-2007), for a total of $680.5 million. In the 50 years prior to the campaign, MSU received 118 gifts that were in

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