June 21, 2013
It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood…it truly is. The sun is peeking out behind the clouds and casting shadows across campus. There is a warm breeze blowing the Spartan flag in front of the Administration building, the flowers are in bloom at Beaumont Tower, the ducks are playing in the Red Cedar and everywhere you look it’s lush and green.
And while there’s no disputing that we have one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation, great neighborhoods are more than just scenic views. Great neighborhoods are about people and friendships. They’re about comfort and familiarity. They’re about services and helping each other. They’re home.
I’ve lived in many neighborhoods in my life. I grew up in one in metro Detroit with swimming pools, barbeques, lots of kids and games of Red Rover that stopped only when the streetlights came on. I was part of a South Dakota military neighborhood where no one was a local. I’ve lived near a river, in an apartment or two and finally in the house I live in now. They were all different, but they were all home.
Students who come to MSU come from all different neighborhoods, but are welcomed with open arms to be part of the Spartan one. I lived in Campbell when I was a student and I loved the old architecture and beauty of West Circle. It was a great neighborhood to be a part of.
Nowadays, campus neighborhoods are even better than they were when I lived here. More services like tutors, health practitioners, advisors, fitness centers and some really delicious dining options have been brought right to the doorsteps of students living on campus. If you get a chance, you have to eat at Brody Square—you will be amazed at the offerings and environment. This is not your father’s dining hall.
MSU Live On, Residence Education and Housing Services, is getting ready to welcome new students to campus in August. They’ve put together a short video to introduce students to all the benefits that come with living in a campus neighborhood. Even if you’re not an incoming student, it’s well worth a watch just to see how neighborly Spartans are. Watch>>
But you don’t have to actually live on campus to be a part of the Spartan neighborhood. I feel like I’m with friendly neighbors every day I come to work. Just yesterday a young man stopped on his bike to ask if I needed help carrying a bulky frame. That’s downright neighborly. And that type of thing happens all the time.
Students, staff and faculty are all part of the greater campus neighborhood. Talk about some great neighbors—President Simon, Tom Izzo, energetic students and brilliant faculty like neuroscientist A.J. Robison, who’s currently studying the epigenetics of drug addiction. (Epigenetics…see the cool words you can learn when you have Spartans for neighbors?) To learn more about his work, read his faculty voice >>
And once you’re a Spartan, you can find a neighborhood anywhere you go. You’ll find other Spartans in Chicago, L.A., Houston and D.C. You’ll find them in London, Berlin, Beijing and Lilongwe. You’ll find them in Frankfort, Mich., where I recently spent some time with a lovely group of alumni.
Trust me—wherever you live, if you look for other Spartans, you will find the best kind of neighbor.
Please won’t you be my neighbor?