To the class of 2010


To our Spartan graduates in this season of celebration, I offer my congratulations and, indeed, my thanks.

I hope all of you believe that your decision to earn a diploma at Michigan State University was a good one. I am confident it will serve each of you well as you move through your career and your life.

I would like to remind you that through your actions and decisions over the years, you will have opportunities to enhance further the value of your MSU degree.

You will be an ambassador for this university, and you will influence many others. The quality of Michigan State will be reflected in the quality of your work and of your character. You will help pave the way for Spartans yet to come, and you will have many opportunities to make a positive difference in the world—because Spartans don’t stop advancing knowledge and transforming lives once they graduate.

At commencement, I’m fond of quoting former MSU President John Hannah, who noted that until now, your relationship with Michigan State has been somewhat tenuous. We might have parted company for any number of reasons as you worked your way toward your degree. Had we done so, you would be merely a former Spartan—someone who once spent time here.

Now, however, your degree acknowledges that you are—and forever will be—a part of the amazing Spartan network that spans the globe. Your degree is not just a hard-earned recognition of your achievement. It’s a bond not easily broken or disavowed, let alone forgotten. You are part of this university in our annals and, I hope, in your heart forever.

This is a big, enduring institution. Yet, if you look closely, there is a distinct pattern to our fabric and it is our people that are the threads of this cloth. Have no doubt—you are a very important thread within the weave. You have helped define this university in ways you probably don’t even know. You certainly have exerted influence on your classmates, your professors, and on a very proud Team MSU. And you have before you the opportunity to extend your positive influence into the wider world for years to come.


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