For the second year in a row, Michigan State University colleges, units and student organizations across campus are celebrating Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, a Latin American tradition dedicated to honoring loved ones who have departed and reuniting them with the living. This celebration takes place from Nov. 1 to 2 in various forms depending on the locality.
Dia de los Muertos is widely observed with home altars that feature gifts and “ofrendas,” or offerings, such as the favorite food and beverages of the departed, marigold flowers, sugar skulls and more. Families use the marigolds to attract souls and make “papel picado,” or paper cutouts, to represent them. In most areas, it is a time for families to come together to honor and share a meal in memory of their departed loved ones. In urban areas, the holiday is full of festivities in the streets with parades, dances and other celebrations.
Across campus, ofrendas are popping up in preparation for Dia de los Muertos. From the College of Veterinary Medicine’s ofrenda dedicated to beloved pets to the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities’ exhibit of mini ofrendas, each location features unique offerings with their own story to tell.
Campus ofrenda locations
This list will be updated as more locations are added.
Dean’s Office Room 102
The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources features a community ofrenda, where anyone can add a picture to remember a loved one.
The MSU Graduate School hosts this location, featuring a community ofrenda where anyone can add a picture in honor and remembrance of a loved one.
College of Law
First floor lobby
The College of Law and the student organization, Latino Law Society, are featuring a community altar where participants can add a picture in honor and remembrance of a loved one.
College of Veterinary Medicine
The MSU College of Veterinary Medicine and students from the Latinx Veterinary Medical Association are hosting a pet ofrenda where community members can add a picture of a departed pet they wish to remember and honor.
Communication Arts and Sciences Building
First floor WKAR rotunda
The College of Communication Arts and Sciences hosts this location, which features a community ofrenda where anyone can add a picture in honor and remembrance of a loved one.
The Honors College ofrenda features an altar to honor and remember loved ones.
EL 101 Kobiljak Room
This location is hosted by the Latino Medical Student Association and features a community ofrenda where anyone can add a picture in honor and remembrance of a loved one.
Migrant Student Services, Room C249
This location hosts two different altars, one by Migrant Student Services and the other by the student focus group, Mujer a Mujer. The ofrenda constructed by Migrant Student Services is dedicated to migrant farmworkers. The ofrenda constructed by Mujer a Mujer is dedicated to “mujeres,” or women, in history.
Office for International Students and Scholars
This location is hosted by the Office for International Students and Scholars and the student organization La Comunidad Latinoamericana. It features a community ofrenda where participants can add a photo.
First floor César Chávez Collection
The MSU Library ofrenda highlights labor leader and civil rights activist César Chávez and a local Michigan migrant farmworker who lost his life in the fields.
Natural Science Building
DEI Office Room 154
The College of Natural Science is hosting a community ofrenda in honor of those that have departed.
The Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion is featuring an ofrenda honoring activists that have impacted IDI staff members.
South Kedzie Hall
Chicano/Latino Studies Office Room 200
The Chicano/Latino Studies altar features pictures in honor and remembrance of loved ones that have passed.
Student Services Building
OCAT Office Room 339 and The Gender and Sexuality Campus Center Room 302
The Student Services Building hosts two altar locations, one by the Office of Cultural and Academic Transitions and the other by The Gender and Sexuality Campus Center. Both feature a community ofrenda where participants can add a picture in honor and remembrance of a loved one.
Dia de los Muertos events at MSU
All events are listed in Eastern Time.
Wednesday, Nov. 1
90.5 FM, During regular programming
12 p.m. – Chicano/Latino Studies Dia de los Muertos Open House
South Kedzie Hall, Room 200
4 p.m. – EGRID Dia de los Muertos Celebration
Engineering Building, Room 1109
7:30 p.m. – CRU X UAB presents Dia de los Muertos: Music, Food and More!
Thursday, Nov. 2
9:30 a.m. – Dia de los Muertos hosted by the Graduate School
Chittenden Hall, Room 110
Noon – Latino Law Society presents Dia de los Muertos: Food, Games, Arts and Crafts!
College of Law, Castle Board Room
5 p.m. – Honors College Day of Remembering: Dia de los Muertos
Eustace-Cole Hall, Room 207/208
Friday, Nov. 3
4 p.m. – Dia de los Muertos Coffee Hour hosted by the Office for International Students and Scholars
International Center food court, Spartan Rooms B and C
Wednesday, Nov. 8
Dia de los Muertos mini ofrendas exhibit by the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities
Snyder-Phillips Hall, second floor, LookOut! Gallery