MSU Today with Russ White

Sundays at 4 p.m. on 105.1 FM and AM 870 and 7 p.m. on AM 760 WJR

MSU Today is a lively look at MSU-related people, places, events and attitudes put into focus by Russ White. 

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Michigan State University is involved in Detroit and Michigan’s effort to land Amazon’s second headquarters. Whether we land the bid or not, Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon likes how this effort “shows the state’s capacity to come together for big things and let’s us be a place that can compete with anyplace in the country.”


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“Water is the hidden ingredient in so much of what we do every day that we don’t even notice—hence its secret life,” Charles Fishman tells me on Greening of the Great Lakes. Fishman is the author of The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water, one of the best books on water and water resources management I have read.


Russ White

“I used to think that we were having an argument about climate change and if we just wrote more books, eventually our leaders would be persuaded. But that’s not true; the argument ended a long time ago,” renowned environmentalist Bill McKibben told me on Greening of the Great Lakes. “Science is very clear about what’s going on.”


“Sparty is the mascot for the entire university,” says Clint Stevens, director of the Michigan State University Alumni Association’s Sparty Mascot Program. “A lot of mascots are born out of athletic departments. Sparty was born in the alumni association.

“We’re not an athletics-only mascot. We represent MSU across the state and nation.”


Russ White

“I was a poor boy from Alabama coming to a great institution – Michigan State University – and we fell in love. It was magnetic, and I just couldn’t leave here,” Clarence Underwood tells Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today. Underwood is a member of the 2017 class entering MSU’s Athletics Hall of Fame.


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“President Simon often says that what makes Michigan State special is not what we do, but why we do it and how we do it,” MSU Broad College of Business Dean Sanjay Gupta tells Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today. And he says the new Broad Business Pavilion currently under construction addresses the why and the how.


Russ White

“This is my eighth year in the role, and it feels like the first. Things are going so quickly,” MSU Alumni Association Executive Director Scott Westerman tells Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today. “We’re never on auto-pilot at the MSU Alumni Association. We really exist to create mutually-beneficial relationships between the institution and our Spartan Nation for a lifetime.”


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A team of MSU luminaries will gather at a unique fundraiser tomorrow that unites the Spartan Nation in raising money to fight Parkinson’s disease.  The Gibby & Friends vs. Parky pregame tailgate will be hosted in MSU’s Kellogg Center at 4:00 tomorrow.

Gibby is MSU’s renowned Kirk Gibson, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2015 and in 2016 made a decision to go public with his journey.


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Members of Michigan State University’s Communications and Brand Strategy office embarked on the Great State Road Trip this summer to see how Spartans make Michigan a place of opportunity, innovation, and prosperity.

“The Great State Road Trip was a social first, real-time campaign to really get at the impact Michigan State University has here in Michigan,” says team member Jennifer Orlando. “And we wanted to share pride-worthy content with Spartans.”


Russ White

“There’s a need for us to acknowledge and talk more about our differences,” Paulette Granberry Russell, senior advisor to the president for diversity and director of MSU’s Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, tells Jennifer Orlando on MSU Today.

“How do we, across differences, engage with each other effectively? We’re seeking ways to bridge our differences and ways we can build on the strength of our differences as opposed to seeing them as things that divide us.


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More than 230,000 alumni and friends have brought Michigan State University to a significant milestone: surging past the fundraising goal of $1.5 billion more than a year before the “Empower Extraordinary” campaign is set to conclude.

“One of the hallmarks of a successful campaign is meeting your goal early, says Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon. “Meeting the goal essentially almost a year and a half early is really great.


Russ White

Alan Haller is the newly named chief of staff for Spartan Athletics.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to work closer with our internal staff, and I’m very excited about connecting with our community and campus partners,” he tells MSU Vice President and Secretary of the Board of Trustees Bill Beekman and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today.


Amy Fouty and Her Team Keep Spartan Turf Green

Sep 6, 2017

Amy Fouty is athletic turf manager at MSU.

She says the toughest field to maintain isn’t the one many would expect – Spartan Stadium.

“It’s really the baseball field. That’s probably the most challenging field we have to take care of if you want to maintain a pristine standard,” she tells MSU Vice President and Secretary of the Board of Trustees Bill Beekman and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today.


Russ White

“I’m really honored to be in this new position. I’m looking forward to being a part of the great community here at MSU and working with our outstanding students,” new Spartan Marching Band Director David Thornton tells MSU Vice President and Secretary of the Board of Trustees Bill Beekman and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today.


Russ White

MSU AgBioResearch is a major research arm of Michigan State University.  Administered by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, MSU AgBioResearch spans the entire University, supporting over 300 scientists in seven colleges.  Research topics include food safety, environmental stewardship, childhood obesity, community development, alternative energy generation and sustainable agricultural production. 


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