Aug. 28, 2019
And just like that — they’re back. I swear summer just started yet crowded sidewalks, filled parking ramps and general buzz around campus means that the fall semester has begun. For many, it’s a return to campus as they continue their studies. For some 8,500 freshmen, it’s the brand-new start of something incredibly special. For everyone, it’s a trip home. Sure, it might be a second home, but there’s no doubt about it, once you’re here, this place becomes your home.
Whether you’re tripled up in a corner room in Campbell, sharing a suite in Wonders, moving to the top floor of Hubbard, renting a room on Stoddard or moving into a newly constructed high-rise, this new place is home. You may be here for only four years, but it becomes your home forever and you’re always welcome back at any time. Or, if you’re like me, it became my permanent home (after a couple of detours).
And what a home it is. Excitement, hope, discovery, learning, friendship, fun, exploration, opportunity and experience are all wrapped up in one of the most beautiful campuses in the world. A walk along the Red Cedar in the fall can take your breath away, give you time to think and inspire you to try something new. When the world seems like it’s moving too fast and you start to panic, there are countless gorgeous quiet places that offer a time out. Or, if crowds are your thing, there’s nothing like packing in to Spartan Stadium to shout “Go Green!” with 75,005 of your closest friends. Honestly, this is a magical place.
A few of my colleagues captured the magic of starting a new year at MSU in an awesome new video that we launched last week. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re missing out. In fact, I’ll just leave it right here so you don’t have to go searching for it.
Did you hear some familiar voices? See some familiar faces? One of the faces you might have seen is Chris Long, the dean of the College of Arts and Letters. He’s a super active dean on campus (and social media) who is very proud of his students and the university. He’s a wonderful writer who takes the time to pen inspiring messages in his blog. Check out his welcome note for the year in the FACULTY VOICE: Embrace the adventure, and learn about his own first-year college experience and how it shaped who he is today.
Because Spartans never stop improving, even returning students will find new things on campus. We’re constantly building, renovating and changing to better fit the needs of students for living and learning. Recognizing that food allergies can be a huge issue for students away from home, there’s now a dining hall that is certified free from the Big 8 allergens plus gluten. Senior Zach Richardson, an intern of ours who has 16 major or minor allergies, made a visit there to check it out. Read his STUDENT VIEW: Thriving at MSU, to see what he had to say about this new dining option on campus.
There is so much here to explore and so many opportunities for personal growth, incredible scholarship and a whole lot of fun. For any student needing a little help taking advantage of them, last year we created a Spartan bucket list to help them out. Students should start now and if any alumnus missed out, they’re always welcome back to check a few more off. Take a look at the MSUTODAY FEATURE: Spartan bucket list, to see how many you’ve done.
Our new president, Samuel L. Stanley Jr., has already gotten into the Spartan spirit to start checking them off himself. You can follow his progress on the list and everything else he’s doing on Instagram.
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Number 44 on the list is “conduct research.” Fortunately for the world, Spartans are literally doing that every second. We’re making discoveries that change things for the better. My guess is, most people have no idea how widespread MSU research is.
Planning the annual Labor Day walk across the Mackinac Bridge? Well, if you are, take a look up and you might see some Spartan research. Well, my guess is you actually won’t be able to see them, but MSU engineers have installed sensors on the bridge powered by traffic vibrations that detect structural issues before they become a problem. It’s a test site that can potentially keep bridges throughout Michigan and beyond safer for everyone. Check out the short video in the MSUTODAY FEATURE: Monitoring bridge safety with wireless sensors, to learn more about this cool and important work.
No matter how many things you check off the list, where you live, what you study, who you meet or what career you choose, being part of the Spartan family will always be a part of you. Even after leaving campus to go out and make your mark on the world, this place will always be home. Stay for a while and take advantage of every incredible opportunity this university has to offer. Come back and visit often. And when you leave, go do amazing things that make your Spartan family proud. #SpartansWill.
Photo by Derrick L. Turner