Oct. 14, 2015
In a room decked out in Spartan flags, I watched my two interns talk with an alumnus who graduated decades before they were even born and has achieved tremendous success in his field. I watched them, on the cusp of their careers, use their best journalism skills to get their story. They were professional; he was charming and humble. I observed the two students work together seamlessly and immediately connect with a gentleman from a different world and age. All were enjoying the conversation and I was reminded just how vast and varied our Spartan family is yet how we are all bound together.
I stepped outside and into the middle of the Homecoming parade lineup. There were bands, dancers, students, administrators, athletes, sororities, fraternities, extra-curricular clubs and more. Each group was distinctly different, but all Spartans. The following day, I sat in the cold rain at the football game watching thousands of people from all backgrounds cheer on our team.
The next Monday, I attended a beautiful concert put on by MSU’s College of Music at the Fairchild Theatre. I saw deans, young students, older community members, international students, administrators, researchers, faculty and staff. Again, I sat in a diverse crowd brought together as Spartans. We watched an incredible group of individually talented faculty performers collaborate on stage to create an incredibly powerful piece that moved us to deliver a standing ovation.
The Spartan nation is as diverse as you can imagine. There are Spartans from all backgrounds living all over the world. There are scientists and doctors and artists and teachers. Spartans make discoveries, solve problems, fight challenges and affect change. We do things that we could never do on our own, but can accomplish when we work together. Spartans celebrate differences, knowing that it takes all kinds of people and talent to really make a difference. We are individuals, but we are stronger together.
Rachel Tang is an international student from Singapore majoring in journalism and arts/humanities. She says that being a Spartan has given her opportunities she never dreamed of. Recently, she participated in an advertising competition that paired MSU students with students from China. She found it interesting to see how collaborative her team was. She saw first hand how individual strengths could be used to create a better outcome. Read her STUDENT VIEW: Minds Wide Open, to learn more about her experience.
This Friday is World Food Day. The day marks a commitment to end hunger, one of the world’s most challenging problems. Achieving food security will take all sorts of individual talents and a heck of a lot of collaboration. By 2050, the world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion. To feed a population that size, food production will need to increase by 70 percent to 100 percent. At MSU, there are many researchers who are working to solve the problem, using their varied skills and research and partnering with others. Read the MSUToday FEATURE: Spartans Feed the World to learn how Spartans are working to solve this problem.
MSU is committed to making a positive impact in the world, and not just in one area. This week, it was announced that the university will accelerate key research areas through the recruitment of 100 new faculty members as part of the newly launched Global Impact Initiative. The program will bolster areas in which MSU already has a strong foundation, such as plant science, engineering, physical science and STEM education, while expanding research in genomics, cybersecurity, computational science and precision medicine. Read the MSUToday STORY, to learn more about this game-changing initiative.
Spartans might be from all different backgrounds and fields, but they do share similar traits. For instance, they never sit back and wait for things to happen. Spartans are bold and brave and willing to plan for a better, more productive tomorrow. Sanjay Gupta is The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Dean of the Eli Broad College of Business. He has big plans for the college. Watch his video in the FACULTY VOICE: A Historic Step Forward, to learn more about his vision.
Whether a young journalism student, accomplished alumnus, brilliant researcher, talented musician, focused scientist, motivated community partner, dedicated doctor or visionary administrator, Spartans know it takes all of us to change the world. Spartans Will.
Photo by Derrick L. Turner