Published: Dec. 6, 2012

Staff profiles: Kathy Lindahl

By: Courtney Culey Media Communications courtney.culey@cabs.msu.eduContact(s): Jennifer Orlando Media Communications office: (517) 353-4355 cell: (517) 980-0076

Fun. Adventuresome. Challenging. Rewarding. Fulfilling.

These are the words Kathy Lindahl, assistant vice president for finance and operations, used to describe her 34 years at Michigan State University.

And with the end of her Spartan career fast approaching, Lindahl hopes she has made a difference.

“As I tell folks, I think I’ve been successful here. Of course that will be the judge of others, not myself,” she said.

Lindahl is retiring at the end of December.

“You work a lifetime to get to this point and then people begin to ask you what you’re going to do after that,” she said. “I would like to transition to a life of significance and see if I can make a difference in other peoples’ lives.”

Lindahl said she had two different stages at MSU: the 20 years she spent in athletics and the 14 she has spent in finance and operations.

Lindahl said the first stage of her career wasn’t easy but there was pioneering to do. She worked to get more visibility for women’s sports and lived through the challenges of Title IX.

But it wasn’t all challenging. In 1988, Lindahl decided the Sparty paper mache head that was being used as a mascot needed to be benched. She helped reincarnate the Sparty mascot costume into the one we know today. He was unveiled at a football game during the 1989 football season.

Lindahl took the same pioneering approach in her second stage at MSU. She looked for new opportunities for the university to expand and tried to find solutions to challenges along the way

“I’ve tried to mentor people along the way,” Lindahl said. “I hope those lives that I’ve touched in some way can pay it forward.”

Lindahl doesn’t know what the future holds, but knows the memories she’s made MSU will never be forgotten.

“There’s nothing more spectacular than campus at early evening, when the sun is setting, in the fall,” she said. “And sitting in a stadium or an arena watching a sporting event when everyone is excited, it gets me excited.”

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Kathy Lindahl, assistant vice president for finance and operations. Photo by G.L. Kohuth

Kathy Lindahl, assistant vice president for finance and operations. Photo by G.L. Kohuth

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