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From the President’s Desk

Welcome to our Spartan community

08-27-2014

This week, Michigan State University welcomes 7,800 freshmen to campus, where students from Michigan, across the United States, and all over the world walk in the footsteps of generations of Spartans before them.

The activities of Fall Welcome mark the start of a new chapter in an exciting community that offers an exceptional array of high-caliber opportunities.  We do all we can to help students make the most of those opportunities by mastering challenges and creating their own paths to a powerful undergraduate experience. It’s just the beginning of a lifelong Spartan experience that is shared by a global network of more than half a million Michigan State alumni.

Spartans are proud of MSU’s big, beautiful campus, which is home to a diverse group of students from a range of locations, backgrounds, and experiences. With inclusiveness as one of our core values, we believe that diversity is an important component of the student experience in an increasingly connected, collaborative world.

To help ensure that all students find a sense of community and access to a network of support, we’ve created the MSU Neighborhoods initiative. It’s a holistic solution designed for the ways today’s students think, learn, and live. Each of five residential hubs offers support services and resources that encourage success in every aspect of student life, from academics to health and fitness to career guidance.

As a community of scholars, we understand that students come to MSU with individual experiences that may sometimes impede their success. We need to appreciate that such burdens are rarely made apparent by appearance or casual acquaintance. And we need to ensure that this campus is a safe haven for all.

Spartans can act to increase our collective wellbeing and prevent threats, including racism, sexism, and bullying. All can find their way into any community, but let’s resolve that there can be no place for such affronts to humanity here. Spartan empowerment extends to preventing and confronting sexual intimidation and potential sexual assault, which rightly are the focus of increasing national attention.

I urge Spartans to help take care of each other and to promote a healthy, vibrant community. That’s one reason MSU sponsors the One Book, One Community program with the city of East Lansing.

To coincide with the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this year’s One Book program features a documentary film, a graphic novel, and a memoir illuminating the subject of race in America.

Another important avenue for healthy dialogue is MSU’s Project 60/50, a yearlong initiative to engage the MSU campus and greater community in a broad range of civil and human rights discussions. Visit project6050.msu.edu to join the conversation.

Spartans have long worked to advance civil rights at MSU and beyond. In fact, former MSU President John Hannah’s commitment to diversity and inclusion were made clear during his tenure from 1941 to 1969. Among his first acts as president was desegregation of residence halls and striking racial information from student records. And when President Eisenhower needed someone to lead the new United States Commission on Civil Rights in 1958, at the difficult dawn of the civil rights era, he turned to Hannah.

Building a greater community is part of our Spartan legacy, the values and strengths upon which we continue to build today. It’s an exciting time to be a Spartan. I wish all of our new and returning students success in making the most of their Spartan experience and in making a difference by supporting and participating in a healthy, open, and inclusive campus community in the coming academic year. Spartans Will.

Featured Links

Photo thumbnail from video of President Simon at Move-In 2014.
President Simon at Move-In 2014

Photo thumbnail from video of President Simon visiting The Hatch.
Meeting student entrepreneurs

Inside Out

President's Report

Take an in-depth look at the MSU student experience—from the inside out.

2014 State of the University

View video of the president's address

Bolder by Design

Bolder by Design is a continuation of the Boldness by Design strategic framework President Simon created to advance MSU as one of the world’s best public research universities.

Senate Appropriations Higher Education Subcommittee

February 13, 2014 Testimony of Lou Anna K. Simon, President, Michigan State University

Michigan State University and East Lansing: A Close Working Partnership

TownGown Michigan blog post by Diane Goddeeris and Lou Anna K. Simon 

Energy Transition

President Simon received the plan in April 2012 and it was approved at the April Board of Trustees meeting. Now under implementation, the plan will be reviewed every five years to review assumptions, goals, and technology. Learn more

World Grant Ideal

Cover artwork from World Grant Ideal.The World Grant Ideal Monograph is President Simon’s vision for MSU and higher education in the twenty-first century.