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Dec. 3, 2014

A will and a way

 Dec. 3, 2014

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. My guess is you’ve probably heard this Old English proverb once or twice or even said it yourself. It’s one of those phrases that gets repeated so often, I’m not sure people even think about the meaning. It might be uttered by a parent to a child, a coach to an athlete, a teacher to a student, an employer to an employee or one friend to another.

It’s used as a way to bolster spirits, provide encouragement and promote confidence. We say it to urge someone to reach deep inside and find the will to make something happen that seems impossible. It implies that the stronger the will, the more likely a challenge will be met.

Having the will to find a way is what being a Spartan is all about. I see it around me every single day. Spartans just don’t give up. They are tenacious and passionate about making this world better. Spartans don’t shrink from a challenge; they tackle it with unshakeable fortitude.

I’ve watched Spartans find ways to feed people, clean water, save the environment, treat disease, create art and change lives. I’m humbled every day by the work I see going on around me and feel incredibly proud to call myself a Spartan.

It’s impossible not to feel proud when watching the latest video produced by the university. You’ll see how the will of Spartans leads to discovery and answers. Spartans don’t just talk about will; they use it every single day to make something happen that seems impossible.

You can see the video by visiting You’ll also find some really cool graphics that demonstrate the will of Spartans that you can share on social media. We’ll keep adding more, so check in often to see what other problems Spartans are solving.

Stephen Esquith, dean of MSU’s Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, has incredible will. He wants to affect change in Mali through a local dialogue project on truth, justice and reconciliation after brutal conflict. It would be easy to sit back and hope things would improve, but that’s not enough for Esquith. He created a partnership with a school and took RCAH students to Mali to help with the project. Read his FACULTY VOICE: Compassion in the Time of Ebola, to learn more about his work.

One of those students is Sean Fitzpatrick, a senior year in RCAH, majoring in the arts and humanities. He is pursuing a second degree in interdisciplinary studies in social science with a focus on community, governance and advocacy. He was part of the group who traveled with Esquith to Mali. Even as a student, he has the will to make a difference. Watch the video and read his STUDENT VIEW: Live Your Learning, to learn more about his life-changing experience.

Whether you’re a professor like Esquith, a student like Fitzpatrick, an alumnus or an employee, show the will you have as a Spartan. Push the boundries. Be a game changer. Never give up. Spartans are half a million strong. Imagine what we can do.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Spartans Will.


Lisa Mulcrone
Editor, MSUToday


Photo by Derrick L. Turner


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