May 21, 2014
“Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.” I stumbled across this quote the other day, attributed to Minor Myers Jr., who was the president of Illinois Wesleyan University.
He might have run another university and he may not have been a Spartan but, to me, that phrase captures the essence of what being a Spartan is all about.
I know that Spartans go into the world and do well. I know lots of them and I know many have incredible success in their careers and lives. That’s a great thing. They came to MSU, got an excellent education and were able to go out and do well. Who can ask for anything more out of a university?
Well, Spartans do. It simply isn’t enough to just do well. If you’re a student, it isn’t enough to just do well in class and learn from lectures and books and graduate. If you’re a professor, it isn’t enough to just be a good instructor in the classroom. If you’re an alumnus, it isn’t enough to graduate from MSU.
Real Spartans really do go into the world and do good. I’ve been around campus as a student and employee for a while and there’s something in the ethos that drives Spartans to do good. To make differences, to cause change, to give.
Spartans like Kirk Mason. Kirk graduated from MSU in May. I first met Kirk when he was assigned to SPARTANS WILL. 360 crew. I traveled with him to China, Costa Rica, Malawi, Rwanda, Bangladesh and India. I was pretty much in awe that someone so young could handle the rigors of the project with such grace, maturity and professionalism.
I think that trip gave him a taste of travel that he began to crave. Shortly after we returned, he headed back to India on a study abroad trip. While there, he filmed a series of short videos. Check out his STUDENT VIEW: Reverse Acclimation, to learn more about his experience.
I’ve kept in touch with Kirk since the trip (traveling like that pretty much bonds you for life) and he recently sent me a note to let me know what he’s up to. He continues to amaze and inspire me.
Like I said, Kirk just graduated. He’s a smart kid and any employer would be lucky to have him. But going out into the world and doing well just wasn’t enough for him.
He let me know that in the fall he’ll be traveling with another recent MSU graduate to Uganda for two years to assist with the building of a primary school. That, my friends, is how you do good.
He learned about the need through his friend, who had done a study abroad project there. A local man who had served as a guide for the project passed away at a young age leaving behind young children. And here’s where Spartans again do good. With the help of Jeanette McGuire, the MSU instructor who co taught the study abroad course, students, former students and faculty banded together to help the man’s community and family.
Read McGuire’s FACULTY VOICE: Study Abroad Changes Lives, to learn more about how she’s doing good for students and not just doing well.
But you don’t have to go to Uganda to do good. Spartans do good wherever they can.
Recently, the second annual SPARTANS WILL. POWER Global Day of Service, was held. Spartans all over the globe were invited to do good in the world. Projects were created all over including some in Detroit, Royal Oak, Mich. and Chicago. Check out the videos about each project:
Spartans Will. Power 2014 Detroit
Spartans Will. Power 2014 Judson Center
Spartans Will. Power 2014 Chicago
So whether you’re a student, alumnus, instructor or employee, go. Do well. But don’t ever forget to do good.