Michigan State University

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Michigan State University

Michigan State Logo

MottoThe Pioneer Land Grant College
SloganAdvancing Knowledge. Transforming Lives.
Established 1855
School type Public Land Grant University
President Lou Anna Simon
Location East Lansing, MI, USA
Enrollment 44,836 total
35,408 undergraduate,
9,248 graduate
Faculty 4,500
Campus Suburban
5,200 acre (21 km²) campus
2,000 acres (8 km²) in existing or planned development
Alumni 389,500 worldwide
Mascot Spartans
Rivalries Michigan (all sports)
Notre Dame (football)
Duke (basketball)
Website www.msu.edu

Michigan State University is a university in East Lansing, Michigan near the state capital of Lansing. Michigan State University is known for its programs in education, agriculture, Hospitality Business and veterinary medicine. Michigan State University was founded as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan in 1855 as an act of the Michigan Legislature; the school was the first agricultural college in the United States and served as a prototype for future agricultural institutions as would be defined by the Morrill Act. In athletics, the university competes in the Big Ten Conference.


The Michigan State University historic campus is located in East Lansing on the banks of the Red Cedar River; the campus is bordered by Michigan and Grand River Avenues to the north, Mount Hope Road to the south, Harrison Avenue roughly west, and Hagadorn Road to the east. The southwest corner of the university has access to Interstate 96.

The W. J. Beal Botanical Garden is a notable botanical garden on campus. Other gardens include the Old Horticulture gardens next to the Student Services Building, the new Horticulture gardens off of Bogue Road, and the adjoining 4-H Children's Garden.

Lake Lansing is nearby in Haslett, Michigan. The lake is approximately 500 acres (2.0 km²) in size. It has a beach that is a summer favorite of MSU students for swimming, sunbathing, boating and fishing. The Michigan State University Sailing Club is located on Lake Lansing.


Name Changes

  • Agricultural College of the State of Michigan (1855) - This was the name by which the 1855 legislation referred to the nascent college.
  • State Agricultural College (1861) - After a massive reorganization in 1861, the name was changed to something less unwieldy.
  • Michigan Agricultural College (1909). By 1909 there were many agricultural colleges in the US. The name was changed to M.A.C. to remove ambiguity about what state the college was in. M.A.C. is almost always spelled with periods after each letter, which not only reflects early 20th Century spelling practices, but also lets readers know that the acronym is always pronounced M-A-C, and never "mack".
  • Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science (1925). M.A.C. wanted to remove the word "agriculture" from its name, but the University of Michigan opposed the name change. This name was created as a compromise, but M.S.C. rarely used the "Agriculture and Applied Science" part of its name.
  • Michigan State University of Agriculture and Applied Science (1955) On its hundredth anniversary, M.S.C. became a university, but wasn't allowed to remove its "agriculture" moniker.
  • Michigan State University (1964). With the Michigan Constitution of 1964, MSU finally dropped the words "Agriculture and Applied Science" from its name. Unlike M.A.C., MSU very rarely uses periods in its acronym.

2005 Sesquicentennial

As of 2005, Michigan State is celebrating its 150th anniversary Sesquicentennial events include:



MSU continued its excellent record of students earning prestigious scholarships with the naming of Truman and Goldwater winners in 2003. The scholarship count now stands at: Rhodes, 16; Churchill, 14; Truman, 13; Goldwater, 11; Marshall, seven; and Mitchell and Gates, one each. The university has had more Rhodes Scholars than any other Big Ten Conference university in the past generation.

U.S. News & World Report ranks 10 of MSU’s graduate departments in the top 10 in their field nationally. The College of Education’s elementary and secondary education graduate programs have been ranked No. 1 for eleven consecutive years, and eight of the College of Education's programs rank in the top ten nationwide. A leader in research and headquarters for several international programs, the College of Education is considered one of the world's best.

The criminal justice program is the largest such program in the nation. Established in 1935 as a school of police administration, it is a world leader in cyber security, forensic science, and the study of youth violence.

The university's Study Abroad program is the largest of any single-campus university in the nation; 1,819 MSU students studied abroad in 2001-02. Study Abroad offers more than 190 programs in more than 60 countries on all continents, including Antarctica.

MSU is home to a world-class particle accelerator, the National Superconducting Cyclotron. In 2004 a new isotope of the element germanium was produced and observed at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory. The new germanium isotope is Ge-60.

Michigan State University is also credited with developing cisplatin, a leading cancer fighting drug, and homogenization of milk amongst many other recent innovations.

Academic programs

Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs are offered through MSU's colleges:

Rankings & Notes

  1. ^ Top 500 World Universities (2005). Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Ranked #77 University in the World
  2. ^ http://thecenter.ufl.edu/research2004.html The Top American Research Universities (2004)]. TheCenter.
  3. ^ The Top American Research Universities (December 2004). TheCenter.


The school's sports teams are called the Spartans. The mascot is Sparty. They participate in the NCAA's Division I-A and in the Big Ten Conference; its hockey program competes in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

Michigan State has been involved in the most-attended hockey and basketball games in history. On October 6, 2001, the Spartans set up a hockey rink in the middle of their football stadium, Spartan Stadium, and played their historic archrival (see below), the University of Michigan before a crowd of 74,554. On December 13, 2003, Michigan State and Kentucky played basketball in front of 78,129 at Ford Field, a domed stadium in Detroit. Michigan State is also home to many teams that may be less well known such as Varsity Rowing and Kendo. The MSU women's rowing team has made it to the NCAA championships for the last 6 years. Michigan State University Sailing Club is located on nearby Lake Lansing and competes in MCSA sailing regattas across the country.


The Spartans have several athletic rivalries. Their traditional archrival, particularly in football, is the University of Michigan. The ascent of the Men's Basketball team under Tom Izzo, coupled with the recent struggles of the U-M men's basketball program, has rendered this rivalry less competitive, and other Big Ten schools such as Illinois and Wisconsin have gained greater prominence as rivals. However, the Spartan rivalry with U-M remains important, as it dates back to the days when U-M was still the state's largest university, and MSU (then M.A.C.) was a small agriculture college aspiring to be a rival Big Ten university. Their ice hockey rivalry has been referred to as "the fiercest rivalry on ice."

MSU has several other rivalries. MSU is one of three Big Ten teams, along with the University of Michigan and Purdue University, to have an annual non-conference football game against the University of Notre Dame. In recent years, MSU's men's basketball team has had an annual faceoff with an Atlantic Coast Conference school (Georgia Tech in 2005) as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Many MSU hockey fans consider Lake Superior State a big rival, and a growing rivalry in football is taking hold with Penn State - like MSU, a land grant college - as since Penn State's addition to the Big Ten the teams have met annually in their last conference football game of the season.

Fight Song

MSU's fight song was written in 1917 by Francis Irving Lankey. The original lyrics reflected the school's role as an agriculture college. The lyrics have since been changed several times. The lyrics had to be modified when the school changed its mascot from the Aggies to the Spartans. In addition, whereas the original lyrics refered specifically to an American football game against the University of Michigan ("line of blue" refers to the Wolverine defensive line), the modern lyrics can be used for any opponent in any sport.

Current MSU lyrics Original M.A.C. lyrics
On the banks of the Red Cedar,
There's a school that's known to all;
Its specialty is winning,
And those Spartans play good ball;
Spartan teams are never beaten,
All through the game they'll fight;
Fight for the only colors:
Green and White.

Go right through for MSU,
Watch the points keep growing,
Spartan teams are bound to win,
They're fighting with a vim.
Rah! Rah! Rah!
See their team is weakening,
We're going to win this game,
Fight! Fight! Rah! Team, Fight!
Victory for MSU!
On the banks of the Red Cedar,
There's a school that's known to all;
Its specialty is farming,
And those farmers play football;
Aggie teams are never beaten,
All through the game they'll fight;
Fight for the only colors:
Green and White.

Smash right through that line of blue,
Watch the points keep growing.
Aggie teams are bound to win,
They're fighting with a vim.
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Michigan is weakening,
We're going to win this game.
Fight! Fight! Rah! Team, Fight!
Victory for M.A.C.!

Student Life

With about 45,000 students, MSU has a wide variety of campus activities. ASMSU is the undergraduate student government. It is known for its unusual bicameral structure, which includes the parallel Student Assembly and Academic Assembly. The State News is the nation's most widely distributed campus newspaper. Other important campus groups include GEU[1], the Graduate Employees Union, COGS, the Council of Graduate Students, RHA, the MSU Residence Halls Association, and the Greek System, which has had a moderate but loyal following compared to other major universities. There is a co-ed collegiate A Cappella group called Capital Green.


  • The Aud: MSU Auditorium, where the "Party at the Aud" is held at the beginning of each semester for student organizations to convene and recruit new members.
  • B-Dubs: Buffalo Wild Wings (BW3), a chain restaurant and bar.
  • B-Squared: Beggar's Banquet, a local restaurant and bar.
  • The Pit: Any alumni from the 1960's-1970's at MSU would know the term used for the location of class registration before the days of computers. Students in the 60's-70's would be cramped on the floor Demonstration Hall running from one side to the next with cards containing small magnetic strips incasing class codes that would be used by the registration system. Long lines, humid air and problems with the frantic registration system led to the coining of the term.
  • The Rape Trail: Unfortunate nickname for a dirt path through the woods near Van Hoosen Residence Hall, so-called due to its few lampposts and infrequent attacks on female students late at night.
  • The Rock: A large boulder, approximately five feet high, located east of Farm Lane, outside the MSU Auditorium. It is a 'venue' of sorts for student groups (an invitation would read: "Wednesday, 7pm at the Rock") and is routinely graffitied by those groups.
  • The Shark: The Landshark, a local bar.
  • The Tundra: An athletic field north of Jenison Field House and east of the Kellogg Center, so-called because of the speed at which wind blows through the area during the winter (many freshman students live in the nearby Brody Complex and walk across the field as a shortcut).
  • Weasel: A wolverine (the mascot of the University of Michigan).


Board of Trustees

As of 2005:

  • Lou Anna Simon (ex officio member)
  • David L. Porteous — Chairperson
  • Joel I. Ferguson — Vice Chairperson
  • Dolores M. Cook
  • Melanie Foster
  • Dorothy V. Gonzales
  • Colleen M. McNamara
  • Donald W. Nugent
  • G. Scott Romney

Presidents past and present

Notable people


  • Darling, Birt. (1950). City in the Forest; The Story of Lansing., New York: Stratford House. LCCN 50008202.
  • Kuhn, Madison. (1955). Michigan State: The First Hundred Years, 1855-1955, East Lansing: Michigan State University Press. ISBN 0870132229.
  • Miller, Whitney. (2002). East Lansing: Collegeville Revisited (Images of America), Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0738520454.
  • Stanford, Linda O. (2002). MSU Campus: Buildings, Places, Spaces, East Lansing: Michigan State University Press. ISBN 0870136313.


  1. ^ Top 500 World Universities (2005). Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Accessed October 1, 2005.

External links

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es:Universidad Estatal de Michigan