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Dec. 14, 2018

Board recognizes 4.0 students, Rhodes Scholar

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees presented 21 awards for academic achievement to students earning a 4.0 GPA at the close of their last semester at MSU. Recipients included students from Maryland, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania as well as three international students.

“Receiving an undergraduate degree with a perfect GPA is truly an amazing accomplishment,” MSU Interim President John Engler said. “I have no doubt these highly accomplished Spartans will one day change the world.”

In addition, Nikkita Ngalande, an Honors College senior majoring in actuarial science in the College of Natural Science, was named a Rhodes Scholar from her home country of Zambia. The 19th Rhodes Scholar from MSU, Ngalande is the university’s first international student to earn the recognition.

Trustees at their last board meeting of 2018 also approved the beginning of a process to replace the current Student Information System with a more modern platform. The $31 million project is expected to be completed by 2021. Developed in the early 1990s, the current system uses outdated technology and is unable to address current and future needs. The new system will eliminate escalating repair costs, improve functionality and allow students, in consultation with their advisers, to better track academic progress and plan for degree completion in four years.

Recognizing that modern teaching and learning practices require new types of spaces to better accommodate technology and student engagement, the board authorized an $18 million renovation to portions of Wonders Hall. The former cafeteria will be transformed into a teaching and learning space including an engineering “toolbox” providing greater support for MSU’s high-demand engineering undergraduate programs. The project also includes repurposing first-floor classrooms and infrastructure improvements to the living areas.

Trustees also approved construction of the Grand Rapids Research Center Phase II facility. MSU will now enter into a private-public partnership for the continued development of the site. When completed, the project will foster innovation in health care by ensuring that discoveries capable of improving human health are brought to patients and families more rapidly.

Other board activity included:

Board members also recognized the final meeting for trustees Brian Breslin and Mitch Lyons as well as the service of Trustee George Perles and the retirement of MSU Police Chief Jim Dunlap.

“Trustees Breslin, Lyons and Perles, as well as Chief Dunlap, have demonstrated unwavering devotion, visionary leadership and stalwart professionalism in the execution of their roles. Their legacies are the many contributions they’ve made this university,” Engler added.

The next full board meeting is scheduled for Feb. 15, 2019, at 8 a.m. There will be an organizational board meeting on Jan. 9, 2019, at 10 a.m.