MSUToday
Published: March 20, 2020

Tower Guard induction ceremony postponed

Contact(s): Kamryn Romano University Communications romanok2@msu.edu, Beverly Stehlik RCPD bhs7@msu.edu, Angela Sebald sebaldan@msu.edu

For nearly 90 years, Tower Guard has provided invaluable services and resources to students with disabilities at Michigan State University.

The sophomore honorary and service society's main function is to devote at least four hours a week to assist students at MSU who are visually impaired or have another reading-related impairment.

Approximately 80 applicants will be inducted as official members during a ceremony previously scheduled for April but now postponed until the fall semester.

There will be remarks from current Tower Guard Vice President Fay Hargrove, Vice President for Student Affairs and Services Denise Maybank and Interim Provost Teresa Sullivan, as well as a performance by MSU’s Capitol Green acapella group.

Tower Guard President Mackenzie Desloover will speak, as well as an RCPD-registered student and a parent of an RCPD student.

The induction ceremony is a secret each year, and the inductees are not informed ahead of time that they have been accepted. Their friends and family members are recruited to accompany them to the tower without their knowledge.

Tower Guard is one of the oldest continuously active, campus-based student organizations at MSU and is the only student organization to hold the keys to, and an office within, Beaumont Tower. It was founded in 1932 by May Shaw, the wife of former MSU president Robert Shaw.

Originally called the Q Girls, the all-female honor society was designed to be a service-oriented organization that would help to meet the needs of visually impaired students at MSU.

Today, no longer an all-female group, members of Tower Guard each spend approximately 120 hours total, producing alternative formats, reading and scribing for students, or orienting new students with visual impairments to the layout of campus.

Over 85% of the reading for the blind at MSU is done by Tower Guard, thus helping to maintain the university’s outstanding service to students with disabilities.

The Tower Guard class of 1999-2000 began the tradition of the annual Shamrock Run, Walk and Roll 5K race, which raises proceeds for the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities reading and electronic-text programs. This year’s Shamrock 5K also is postponed, and likely will take place in August.

Though Tower Guard has evolved over the years, it continues to serve as a prominent model of leadership, scholarship, service and character for the MSU community.