Scott Westerman is the executive director of the MSU Alumni Association. On Feb. 11, 2018 he wrote a letter to the community regarding recent events at the university.
Over the past weeks, I have communicated with hundreds of Michigan State University alumni in every corner of the world.
Out of those conversations, two common themes have emerged: A loss of innocence and a renewal of resolve. We found it hard to believe that something like this could happen here. But it has. It has become part of our history and we must own that. The most important question now is, “What will Spartans do?”
We will forever hold the survivors, all survivors of sexual assault and relationship violence, in our hearts. We will look inward and do what we need to do to get our own houses in order, to make this a safer, more vigilant, more compassionate world.
We will champion awareness, support, research and action. Inspired by the courage of brave women, we will focus our power in the direction of a profound, meaningful, lasting metamorphosis. We will transfigure anger into endeavor, realizing that redemption can emerge from the deepest sorrow and our setbacks can show us the way to extraordinary accomplishment. We will reclaim our inheritance and resolve, here and now, to personally contribute to the outcomes we expect.
These things will take time. The “what” and the “how” will continue to evolve. But we will never, ever forget the “why”. Through steadfast commitment and tenacious effort, Spartans Will again shine brightly; a beacon of hope in a world that sorely needs us.