Letter to alumni: COVID-19 update

Dear Spartan:

As we face the global impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak — from health threats to social isolation, food insecurity, racial disparities and economic instability — so many Spartans have found comfort and purpose in being there for others. Each day, I hear stories about how you are stepping forward — to care for your neighbors, re-tool your factories, adapt your businesses, and offer help when and where it’s needed most — not just because that’s what great Spartans do, but because that’s what great people do.

While we cannot gather in the ways we usually do, the outreach from and between members of our community has been extraordinary to witness. Your contributions to the health and safety of our world have been inspiring. I hope you will continue to share these stories with us

Many of you are also asking what Michigan State University is doing to help respond to the crisis. As you know, we have a tremendous amount of talent within our faculty and staff, and I want to let you know that they’re still hard at work. They continue to adapt, evolve, and find ways to make a difference as the needs of the community and the world are ever-changing. A few examples include:

Gathering and donating personal protective equipment and medical supplies to local health care workers and first responders

Making available hundreds of MSU health care students to facilities around the state

Helping develop the National Convalescent Plasma Project for the study of the use of convalescent plasma in COVID-19 treatment and prevention

Setting up a drive-through testing facility on MSU’s campus for the general public

Partnering with hospitals to decontaminate and reuse N95 masks to protect health care workers

Developing new solutions for a rapid COVID-19 test and seeking FDA approval for new COVID-19 testing processes

Raising hope and resources for students through #GivingTuesdayNow, a campaign taking place on May 5.

So many different areas and units have shown creativity and flexibility in their responses to these unprecedented times, and I couldn’t be more proud of these efforts. As revenue and cost impacts of the novel coronavirus continue to grow, Michigan State will address those challenges while maintaining our commitment to our mission and keeping safety our top priority. You can read my April 16 message to faculty and staff on this subject.

Finally, to members of the Spartan community who are on the front lines:
…to first responders in the areas of clinical care, emergency medicine or law enforcement;  
…to those actively pursuing new treatments and vaccines for COVID-19;
…to those whose public-facing work is essential to the sustenance of life;
…to those on our own staff who are providing support to students whose lives are upended;
…and to all of you who have generously offered financial support to students and our nation’s effort to combat the global pandemic

Please stay safe and be well.


Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.