It’s no secret that 2020 was an incredibly challenging year for most of us. I think when 2021 rolled around, many of us thought it would be some magical moment when things got better. But as we’ve seen, it could easily be said the first few weeks of the new year were as difficult, or even more so than the year before. COVID-19 cases kept increasing, more people were dying, businesses were hurting, our Capitol was attacked and our country was more fractured than ever.
It would be easy to give up. But that’s not who we are. That’s not who we are as Americans, and it’s not who we are as Spartans. What kept us going was hope. Hope for better tomorrows. Hope for peace and acceptance. Hope for beating an insidious virus. Hope for all who were hurting. Hope for unity. Hope for us all. As the Roman author Pliny the Elder said, “Hope is the pillar that holds up the world.” And while it seemed to some that pillar was crumbling, it is still as strong as ever. Hope continues to spring eternal.
Yet, hope alone is not enough. It is the actions we take that truly cause change. Jonas Salk said, “Hope lies in dreams, in imagination and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.” As Spartans, that is our charge — to use our incredible imagination and to have the courage to change reality and make our world a better place.
Our leadership at MSU is taking those courageous steps to make this place we call home better, more equitable and safer for all. Recently, President Stanley sent a letter to the MSU community addressing the recommendations of the Task Force on Racial Equity. Also, he, Provost Teresa Woodruff and Executive Vice Presidents Melissa Woo and Norman Beauchamp issued a letter discussing relationship violence and sexual misconduct and the actions to create “a campus climate that is safe, inclusive and one we are proud of...”
These are not easy topics nor are there any easy answers. But we can imagine great things and have the resolution to find solutions. Hope for a better campus for all drives them and all Spartans to be determined in their actions and work hard at seeing them through. We can always be better, and I know all of us hope that we will be.
Hope is certainly what drives students like Zachary Morehouse, a third-year student in the College of Osteopathic Medicine to use his education and skills to fight COVID-19. He wasn’t willing to sit on the sidelines. Read his Student view: Creative problem solving to learn about his time with Omni International, working day and night to tackle testing shortages.
Matthew Anderson, associate professor of accounting and information systems and senior adviser to the dean for diversity, equity and inclusion in the Broad College of Business, must have hope for a more just future for all as evidenced by his commitment to education and diversity issues at MSU and beyond. Read his Faculty voice: Defining relationships and place to learn more about his work and his induction into the Ph.D. Project Hall of Fame.
There is work to be done all around us. We only need to imagine what we might do to find answers to questions and solutions to problems. Then, we need to take actions that bring us together, in all our differences, to make our hopes become reality.
The nation's first-ever youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman said, “For there is always light, if only we're brave enough to see it. If only we're brave enough to be it.” Be the light, Spartans. Spartans Will.
Lisa MulcroneEditor, MSUToday