Fall Welcome, 2010

08-27-2010

On behalf of Team MSU, I am pleased to welcome—and welcome back—the student body for the 2010–11 academic year.

I look forward to meeting many of our freshmen during move-in day and in the busy days of Fall Welcome.

If you are new to Michigan State University, you will learn about our rich history and celebrated traditions. You also will become part of the narrative that stretches back many generations to our founding in 1855 and will continue for many, many more. Your Spartan Saga begins now, and you are the author.

You need to know that great universities such as MSU are rooted in fundamental values that define their contributions. At Michigan State, quality, inclusion, and connectivity are the core values that define our engagement with one another and the society we serve.

Our commitment to these values is unwavering—as is our commitment to you and the education we offer. These are themes to which you and I will return often as the days unfold. Your opportunities for growth and fulfillment here are vast, and I urge you to seize them.

MSU has a long history of service throughout the state, indeed the world. You will have many opportunities to contribute to the greater good—from “filling the bus” this week with donations to local assistance organizations to joining the Be Spartan Green environmental stewardship effort—the sort of commitment we hope you’ll maintain through a lifetime.

We will learn from and about one another in our time together. You will grow in understanding and, I hope, in your sense of community and capacity to trust. That’s a theme explored in our One Book One Community reading selection this year, Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. It’s the account of one extraordinary individual in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a compelling study of the human capacity for faith and for good in the face of tremendous adversity.

Creating change—making a difference—requires a measure of faith and trust, of curiosity and passion, of vision beyond oneself . . . and no small amount of tenacity and grit. It requires that you think beyond your assumptions and recognize value and potential in every person.

This is the essence of our land-grant philosophy - that all of us hold extraordinary potential and are deserving of the opportunity to fulfill it, but also that all of us must use this potential to contribute to the greater common good.

So again, welcome Spartans.

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