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Ethan Wingrove: Planting Seeds

Sept. 30, 2015

Ethan Wingrove is a sophomore from Okemos, Michigan who is majoring in accounting.

It’s important to plant seeds for the future, even when times are rough. No matter what the economic conditions, Michigan State University has helped three generations of my family build toward a better tomorrow.

Our Spartan journey began with my grandfather, Jerome Hull Jr. He grew up on a fruit farm in rural Ohio during the Great Depression and World War II. As one of nine children, he understood the value of a dollar and the worth of education. When he arrived at MSU in 1949, it opened the door to many opportunities. He eventually earned a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate here and spent decades at MSU as a horticulture professor.

The campus was the backdrop as he and my grandmother raised a family. Two of his daughters (including my mom) graduated from MSU and three of his four children married MSU graduates.

The legacy continues. Three of his grandchildren are currently enrolled at MSU. Two of us have lived in Shaw Hall, the same dorm my grandfather stayed in 65 years ago as an undergraduate.

It’s easy to take all of this for granted, but we should remember to be grateful. In my grandfather’s younger days, not everyone had the opportunity to attend college. Many families had limited resources. Some hopes were deferred.

But thanks to MSU, many dreams have come true. Throughout its history, MSU has worked to make education attainable. As a land-grant college, there has been a consistent focus at MSU to extend educational benefits to all economic classes. This is a place where the Jerry Hulls of every generation can learn the skills they need to succeed.

A lot has changed at MSU, but thankfully some things have stayed the same.

My grandfather helped build a foundation for the rest of us. He put down roots at MSU and things are still blossoming. Ever since we were children, he has helped pave the way for our college experience.

When I get back to Shaw after a day full of classes, it’s fun to think that Grandpa Hull once walked these same hallways. My cousins and I should do everything we can to follow in his footsteps.

Photo by Mimi Patterson