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Oct. 14, 2014

Constructing a better future

More Spartans will build the structures we live, work, recover, travel, vacation and play in — thanks to an endowment for the Construction Management Program being created through the estate plans of Steven and Kristine Black (both ’91, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources).

Motivated by MSU’s Construction Management Program that provided the foundation for Steve’s success in the industry, the Barrington, Illinois couple has seen the important role construction plays in driving the local, state and national economy.

“There is much at stake in a construction project beyond the dollars; there is the environment, people’s lives and livelihoods, relationships with all manner of entities from municipalities to contractors, to owners, to design and engineering firms and professionals, to suppliers and vendors. It is a complex and challenging industry.” Steve says.

Steve and Kris met on campus and got married at the Alumni Chapel. Steve was a player on two Big Ten Championship football teams. He says the team experience at MSU translated directly into his career in construction—lots of hard work alongside people with different backgrounds and experiences, all working toward common goals.

“Education is a key ingredient to a successful life. Learning how to learn is what education is truly about and MSU provided that for both of us. A degree is not the finish line. It represents a major milestone along the road of lifelong learning,” Steve says.

Kris’s passion for MSU started at an early age when her dad worked as an officer and detective at the MSU Police department.

“It is beautiful, the people are awesome and I had no reason to look elsewhere. There is nothing more breathtaking than north campus on a crisp fall day, especially football mornings—it simply cannot be duplicated, anywhere!” Kris says.

Kris says her two passions are MSU and Mystic Lake YMCA Camp, where she was a staffer during high school and college summers and currently serves on the alumni committee.

“We are happy to support those things which hold importance and meaning for us,” Steve says. “I would say my MSU experience was the foundation of my adult life, which sounds a bit over the top to some when I look back. We’re both proud Spartans and are fortunate to be able to ‘pay it forward’ for future Spartans.”

By: Christine Schaffer

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