Nov. 20, 2019
A mere 48 hours from now, I’ll be sitting down to a traditional Thanksgiving spread at my sister’s house. All the usual suspects will be there – turkey, potatoes, stuffing, pie and more. More important than the food, however, will be the faces around the table, especially my dad. A few months ago, it wasn’t a given that he’d be sharing Thanksgiving with us, so — this year — giving thanks is especially poignant.
I’m profoundly grateful for the doctors, nurses, aides and therapists who have gotten him this far. I’m thankful that there are engineers and scientists who created medicines and machines to maintain and heal him. (I’m certain some are Spartans!) I’m appreciative of friends and family and an understanding employer. There aren’t enough thanks in the world for my incredible sisters, Jill and Lori, who weathered the unexpected storm with me every step of the way. Mostly, I’m grateful for the spirit and determination of the awesome man who raised us and refused to give up. Truly, giving thanks this year has a whole new meaning.
Change any one of the people above and the outcome might have been different. Luckily, an extended group of people, more than I even know about, provided something to help my dad on a road to recovery. Not one of us could have done it alone; we had to do it together, as one.
That’s exactly the spirit that drives Spartans around the globe every day. Individually, we are a formidable group finding cures, teaching students, cleaning our environment, fighting hunger, creating art, leading business, exploring the unknown, making discoveries and changing lives. Together, as one, we’re changing the world.
This year campus is wrapping up a capital campaign that raised more than $1.75 billion in gifts to help students, increase research capacity, improve infrastructure, attract brilliant faculty and become stronger, as one. To celebrate the campaign success, Spartan alumnus William T. Langford IV performed a moving poem he wrote to be shared with all in gratitude. Check out the MSUTODAY FEATURE: As one, to watch a video of the inspirational work.
A week from today, MSU will celebrate Give Green Day to offer a chance for Spartans to give back and change tomorrows for students, researchers and campus programs. Gifts help fund important research, like the kind Cheryl Kerfeld, a Hannah Distinguished Professor of Structural Bioengineering, does. Her work with photosynthesis and cyanobacteria can lead to solutions of food and fuel insecurity. Read her FACULTY VOICE: Inspired by nature, to learn more about her research.
Nate Kauffman is a first-year medical student in the College of Human Medicine and an alumnus of the Lyman Briggs College and the Honors College where he majored in genomics and molecular genetics, psychology and human biology. He’s already banding together with other Spartans to change lives. Recently, he traveled to Peru to provide care to rural families. Check out his STUDENT VIEW: Providing for people in Cusco, Peru, to learn more about this future doc and his life-changing experience.
I’m constantly inspired and energized by our students. Students like Brianna Makaric, a junior majoring in kinesiology with a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation. She also is already the CEO of her own company, BRITE bites. Read her STUDENT VIEW: Becoming an entrepreneur, to learn about the opportunities she’s had working in the MSU Hatch, a student business incubator.
Brianna is just one of the student entrepreneurs whose business you can find on the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Student Marketplace. If you’re looking to support some young Spartans this holiday season, you might want to check it out. It’s student successes like these that landed the MSU program in a list of top 25 undergraduate entrepreneurship programs in the nation.
I’m thankful for every single inspiring Spartan who is working every day to make a positive difference. Singularly, we are exceptional. Together, as one, we are extraordinary. #SpartansWill.
Photo by Derrick L. Turner