July 25, 2017
Whoosh. It gets me every single time. Without fail, it takes my breath away no matter how many times I look out over the bluffs at Lake Michigan. No matter where I wander in the world, and I’ve wandered quite a bit, the site of the lake from the Sleeping Bear Dunes will always be one of the most beautiful sites I’ve set my eyes on. What makes it even better is that it’s home. I mean, I don’t technically live right there, but I claim everything in Michigan as my home. And there are plenty of amazing things about the Mitten State — including Spartans.
Since our esteemed crew is on their Great State Road Trip, I figured I’d take one myself. I needed to come to Frankfort, Michigan, to visit my sister and meet my new baby grand-nephew. I just put him down after holding him for more than an hour – time well spent. I mean, he’s really adorable. Even if my sister is a Wolverine. Spartans don’t care where allegiances lie – we’re committed to the entire state of Michigan and all of its residents.
Frankfort is just down the road from that awe-inspiring view of Lake Michigan. I had planned on heading there and writing this note while gazing at that incredible sight, but the weather had different plans for me. Currently, I’m still in Frankfort sitting in my sister’s restaurant waiting for the rain to stop. But, I’ll get my view at some point. There’s no way I’ll miss that.
Frankfort is also just down the road from Traverse City, where our #MSURoadTrip crew is currently working on covering MSU’s involvement in the Traverse City Film Festival. I’ll be catching up with them a little later to see how they’re doing and cheer them on. They’re doing awesome work on this trip.
They just finished spending a few days in Detroit covering our work in composite materials for the auto industry and our program that serves the homeless population in the city. MSU’s reach is in every corner of this great state and its impact is incredible. You seriously need to follow along on social – you won’t be disappointed.
Spartans really are everywhere. I parked next to a car with a Spartan plate. When I walked into the restaurant, my sister introduced me to a young man in an MSU shirt who she discovered was headed to campus in the fall as a freshman. I chatted with him a bit, found out he’ll be an English major, and handed him my card so he can look me up when he starts thinking about internships. I noticed a man in a Spartan jacket and struck up a conversation. He, his wife and his daughter are all alumni. In addition, he informed me that he has six siblings who also graduated from MSU. He joked that there should be at least a door dedicated to their family.
The daughter, a James Madison alumna who was dining with them, was on vacation from where she’s currently living in South Africa. She spent time in the Peace Corps and now works for a non-profit organization dealing with human rights. She’s a super cool Spartan doing really amazing things. I picked up her card – don’t be surprised if you see a story about her sometime in the future. We were talking about the road trip and MSU’s impact in Michigan and she mentioned the huge impact she’s noticed all over Africa. She said it makes her so proud to be a Spartan when she learns about what we’re doing there.
Naomi Kamitha knows all about MSU’s work in Africa. She has traveled thousands of miles from her home in Kenya to come to MSU. A Master Card Scholar, she hopes one day to return home and advocate for gender-inclusive policies using what she’s learned at MSU. Check out her video and STUDENT VIEW: Pursuing women’s equality in Africa, to learn more about this inspirational Spartan.
But, back to Michigan. I really do love my state. I’ve written about it plenty before – specifically in my notes, Pure Michigan and Waterblogged. I’ll never run out of things to say about this place just like Spartans will never run out of ways to work toward making it better. As I mentioned, I’m headed up to Traverse City shortly where Spartans have a strong showing at the film festival. The College of Communication Arts and Sciences posted this great picture of three of my favorite deans, Prabu David of ComArt Sci, Jim Forger of Music and Chris Long of Arts and Letters along with the world’s best mascot, Sparty.
Dean Long is marking the beginning of his third year as dean. He recently took time to reflect on that and the role of a liberal arts education. Check out his FACULTY VOICE: Public education rooted in the liberal arts, to learn about his vision.
Well, the rain is finally tapering off. I might just get my view yet today. I do truly love this state. It’s no secret how much I love MSU. But what I really love is that Spartans are completely determined to making life better for all Michiganders. From Detroit to Munising and Holland to Flint and everywhere in between, Spartans will help make this state great.
Photo by Hayley Mulcrone