May 2, 2018
Just like magic, it’s summer in East Lansing. We had the winter that wouldn’t end and now have skipped spring and landed right in the middle of 80-degree weather. Grass is green, flowers are blooming, Frisbees are flying and students are graduating. It really is a magical time on campus, and I never get tired of being a part of it.
I had a preview of warm weather and a lot of magic when I visited Florida last week. For the first time in a long time I felt the sun on my shoulders, never needed a coat and smelled flowers at every turn. Through the magic of flying, by way of airline travel instead of a broom, I went from icy chills to humid heat in just a few hours.
I spent my time off with my daughter and a bunch of other Muggles enjoying an incredible theme park experience rooted in magic. And though we waved wands, walked through walls, made fountains spout, rode rides and hung out with wizards, the most magical part was simply spending time with my kid. There’s no one on Earth I would have rather been with, and we had an absolutely perfect time. For me, seeing the incredible young woman she’s become is probably the most magical thing of all.
But, eventually we had to leave the wizarding world and head back to reality. And that’s when I realized that magic happens here every day. Not just the overnight transformation into summer, but in the work that Spartans do. A wizard needs a wand, but Spartans only need their will to make incredible things happen.
This weekend, nearly 8,000 Spartans will receive their degrees from MSU. They’ll leave here with a fierce determination to succeed backed up with the skills needed to make the world a better place for all. They’ll heal, teach, create, perform, discover, study, speak and lead. They’ll find solutions, overcome challenges, work hard and change lives. They’ll make sick people well, grow food where there is none, form policy that works, make music never heard before, uncover scientific solutions thought too difficult and so much more. If that’s not magical, what is?
The MSUTODAY FEATURE: Spartan graduates are a force for good, explores how awesome our graduating students are. For instance, did you know that MSU grads earned the top ranking in the Big Ten for employability? Check out the feature for some other great pride points.
Sydney Kruse isn’t graduating just yet. She’s a junior human biology major in Lyman Briggs College who plans on attending pharmacy school in the fall of 2019. Watching her mom live with ALS and losing her at a young age, helped form her desire to help people through medicine. While drugs and medicine can seem like magical potions, becoming a pharmacist takes a lot more than waving a wand. Read Sydney’s STUDENT VIEW: Why I study science, to learn more about her hard work and passion.
For me, words are magic. They can transport me to far-off places, teach me new things, create emotional journeys and make me think. Prabu David is the dean of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences and certainly has a way with words. Read his FACULTY VOICE: Resilience, to be inspired by “new hopes and new beginnings.”
While I know that what is thought of as traditional magic is just an illusion, I am still a firm believer in the magic of nature, science, education, goodness and people – especially Spartans. The German writer and poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.” So get out there, Spartans. Never give up. Never stop believing. Make the magic happen. Spartans Will.
Photo by Derrick L. Turner