From the editor:

Hope springs eternal

April 4, 2018

Let me get this straight. A few weeks ago it was 60 degrees. Yesterday, we had a thunderstorm. Today, I woke up to yet another snowy morning. Yep, it must be April in Michigan where Mother Nature likes to tease us with spring and then yank it away with a laugh. Needless to say, my puppy was a lot more excited to see the white stuff than I was.

This winter hasn’t even been that horrible, but it still seems like it is never-ending. Just when I think spring might never come, once again the daffodils behind the Main Library poke through the cold ground and reminded me that warmer days really are just around the corner – and then are blanketed with snow. Those perky yellow flowers seem to get the same treatment every year but no matter what, they keep coming back to announce spring’s arrival. Those hardy little flowers refuse to stop blooming.

I think with everything else that’s been going on, this winter has seemed especially long and dreary. In the very middle of it, it was hard to believe that under that frozen ground, those long-ago planted bulbs were hunkered down, just waiting to burst through the earth. On the darkest days, it would have been important for me to remember that when good things are planted, eventually they bloom. Even in the harshest of conditions, beauty is just waiting to make itself known.

Here on campus, Spartans do a lot of research and work to make things grow. We have some of the best plant scientists around who are dedicated to figuring out ways to feed our ever-growing world. That includes finding ways to grow plants in places that you wouldn’t expect using technology to recreate nature. At MSU’s new Controlled-Environment Lighting Laboratory, faculty, staff and students are studying vertical farming that uses LED lights to optimize crop production.

Check out the MSUTODAY FEATURE: Growing food without sunlight or soil, to learn more about this colorful and important lab. It’s such an innovative space that the USDA secretary toured it just yesterday, along with other key spots on campus. There's even a short video so you can see inside the purple and pink lab -- it kind of looks like a club instead of a highly technical research facility.

Ronald Hendrick, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, was on hand to host the secretary as he and his team toured the university. Hendrick also recently gave an opening talk during the annual ANR Week Luncheon. He noted that it’s normally where he speaks about accomplishments of the college, but this year wanted to address how he, along with others, might inspire needed change in the world. Read his honest and powerful FACULTY VOICE: Assessing our cultures to create lasting change, to learn why he feels “a strong sense of responsibility to others to ensure that people aren’t left out or disadvantaged just because they’re different. And to respect their value as human beings, worthy of dignity.”

Gavin Kata is a senior in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. As a Spartan, he’s grown his creativity that will be on display for many years to come. Last fall, he participated in a contest to have his artwork featured on the bridge between Spartan Stadium and the Main Library. His artwork became the winning design, which is now installed on the bridge. Read his STUDENT VIEW: When designs come to life, to learn more about his experience.

Even though I’m looking at more snow on the ground, I am inspired by those defiant daffodils. I have hope in tomorrow and know that there will be beauty to be found. Henry David Thoreau once said, “Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed... Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.” I know that there are amazing seeds of knowledge and ideas sown all across this campus just waiting to bloom. I, too, expect wonders. Spartans Will.  

Lisa Mulcrone
Editor, MSUToday
twitter bird@LMulcrone

"Hope Springs Eternal" is a phrase from the Alexander Pope poem "An Essay on Man"