From the President's Desk

Welcome, Spartans!

08-27-2015

The start of a new academic year—as we welcome, and welcome back, to campus some 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students—is a time of possibilities and potential. This is especially true for this year’s incoming freshmen, who represent Michigan State University’s 158th class.

The prospects for discovery and growth are exhilarating. And, as I remind new students gathered at the annual Fall Welcome Convocation, while we expect their lives to be influenced by their time here at MSU, they too will be difference makers who will have an impact on this place and its people. They will contribute much through the individual paths they create on their journey through Michigan State.

With our deans and other leaders assembled, I tell new Spartans that we will do everything possible to help them succeed at MSU, reminding them that they were chosen with the belief that each of them will achieve with hard work, passion, and commitment.

I urge these students to make the most of all we have to offer, both in and outside the classroom. And I conclude my part in the convocation by formally inducting the new class into the MSU community of scholars, conveying my hope that their time here will be infused with rewarding academic challenges and inspiring experiences.

Each year at convocation we host an author who is part of an MSU and East Lansing collaborative program called One Book, One Community. This year we welcome Bryan A. Stevenson back to campus. He is founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, a memoir that focuses on a troubling death penalty case and unequal justice in America. It is a timely, recommended read for our incoming students, and hearing from the author is a great way to start off a year of critical thinking. Visit the One Book, One Community site for more selections and the schedule of events.

And again this year we’re tapping the generosity of Spartan students, faculty, and staff to help “fill the bus” with notebooks, backpacks, and other school supplies for school children in need in our community. Last year we collected nearly 3,500 pounds of school supplies, and we’re hoping to surpass that this year.

May 2015-16 be a year in which we all—as individual Spartans and working together as a powerful force for good—make an extraordinary impact on campus, in our communities, and around the world. Spartans Will.