Jan. 9, 2019
And…just like that it’s 2019. Another year has gone by and I’m struggling to make sure I put the right date on things. January is here and my house is in a sad, in-between state of disarray with stragglers of Christmas decorations taken down but not yet put away. And somehow, 2018 feels like it went by in an instant but also went on forever. There were highs and, wow, were there some lows – both personally and within my Spartan family.
But, 2018 is behind us and only the future is ahead. A future that seems to be picking up speed the older I get. When I was a kid, days dragged on and on, and it seemed like I would never be a grownup. Now that I am one, days, years and decades are gone in a blink of an eye. I swear, I was just starting my career at MSU and all of a sudden I’m the “seasoned professional” in the office, (aka old). Last month, I clocked in two decades of employment at my beloved alma mater, and it hardly seems possible.
While that seems like a long time, it’s nothing compared to the nearly 50 years of service Jim Dunlap completed with the MSU Police Department. The recently retired police chief, who began his career with the police department when he was only 20 years old, says he landed in the department by way of an accidental calling. Read the MSUTODAY FEATURE: Fulfilling a promise, to read his reflections on his career and how he kept his promise to solve a homicide case 35 years after it happened.
You might say Stacey Camp is an expert in the passage of time. An associate professor of anthropology and director of the MSU Campus Archaeology Program, she lives for finding artifacts from the past, like a teacup fragment from the time of Ireland’s Great Famine. The hands-on experience of digging in is key to her discipline. Read her FACULTY VOICE: Field-based learning, to learn more about her experiences and MSU’s archaeological field school opportunity for students.
Autumn Painter is one such student who took advantage of the field school as an undergraduate. Now, a doctoral student studying anthropology and campus archaeologist in the Campus Archaeology Program, she still counts it as one of her favorite experiences. Read her STUDENT VIEW: Still playing in the dirt, to learn why she says, “There is nothing like digging in the dirt, uncovering artifacts that haven’t been seen for hundreds or thousands of years and learning new things about a very distant past.”
It’s my belief that it’s very important that we mark the past but always in an effort to improve the future. Such is the goal behind the numerous campus activities set to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. beginning next week.
As we Spartans look toward the future, we know there are many ways we can improve it. In fact, that’s what drives so many of us. Spartans are working hard across disciplines and around the globe to learn from the past and create better tomorrows.
It’s no secret that 2018 brought challenges and heartache to so many in the Spartan community and beyond. That past will not be forgotten, but all of the Spartans I know are committed to fixing what’s wrong and doing what’s right to create brighter futures for everyone. Time may be flying but to quote King, “The time is always right to do what is right.” Spartans Will.
Photo by Derrick L. Turner