Joel Ferguson and Bob Weiss, both MSU alumni and Democrats, were elected in November to serve eight-year terms--the second for each--on the MSU Board of Trustees beginning January 1997. Ferguson served on the board from 1987-95, while Weiss' current term ends Jan. 1.
Ferguson is owner of WLAJ-TV, Lansing's first ABC affiliate. He is president and co-owner of F&S Development Co. of Lansing, co- owner of First Housing Corp., and board member of Capitol National Bank. Very active in business, community and political affairs, Ferguson served two terms on the Lansing City Council (1967-75), including two years as mayor pro-tem, and has been a member of the Democratic National Committee.
Weiss is general counsel for Team Management, a Grand Blanc automotive consulting firm. Previously he was prosecuting attorney for Genesee County from 1979-93, was in private law practice in Flint, and was a special litigation counsel for the Democratic National Committee. Weiss is past president of the Practicing Attorney Association of Michigan and vice president of the National District Attorney Association.
Ferguson replaces David Porteous, who finished in fourth place. Members of the MSU Board of Trustess are elected in the general election. Two members of the eight-member board are elected every two years to serve eight-year terms.
On September 16, the NCAA made its long-awaited ruling regarding MSU's football program, under investigation the last two years.
The NCAA accepted MSU's self-imposed penalties (see p. 40, Summer 1996) but lengthened probation from two to four years, reduced football scholarships by seven for next season, and imposed some additional recruiting restrictions. No bowl or television limitations were imposed.
Calling the NCAA ruling "fair and generally consistent with our own determinations," President Peter McPherson, who led MSU's investigative team, stated: "We accept their conclusions. We will not appeal the penalties. We will move forward."
The ruling did not curb MSU's national exposure and revenue- generating potential in part because of MSU's cooperative attitude. David Swank, head of the NCAA infractions committee, praised MSU's "cooperation and thoroughness in their investigation" and noted that MSU "set a standard for self- inquiry that we want to be the example for our other institutions."
"We're really pleased to get this behind us," says head football coach Nick Saban. "They're tough penalties, but they are manageable. We're looking forward to the future, and we think we can improve our program."
Every semester, MSU faculty, staff and students garner kudos too numerous to list exhaustively here. Some recent examples:
*Bruce Fox, university photographer for 10 years, has been named vice president of the University Photographers' Association of America.
*The MSU Debate Team, two-time national champions, remains the nation's top debate team. In September the Spartans won the National Invitational Round Robin, with two MSU two-person teams--juniors Erik Cornellier and John Sullivan, and junior Ian Klinkhamer and sophomore Geoff Wyatt--reaching the finals. "We had a perfect tournament," noted Sullivan, who won the best speaker award.
*Stephen Lacy, professor of journalism, has been named president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
*Greg McNeilly, sophomore social science/integrated studies major, was a winner in the Mont Pelerin Society's "Friedrich Hayek Fellowship Essay Contest." McNeilly was the only undergraduate honored at the society's September symposium in Vienna, Austria.
*Paul Phillips, a senior criminal justice major from Midland, won the National Rifle Association's national collegiate championship in the high-power rifle long-range competition. Phillips bested some 5,000 competitors in Camp Perry, OH, during the week-long event.
*G. Marie Swanson (see cover story, Winter 1994), professor of medicine and director of MSU's Cancer Center, was awarded the St. George Medal by the American Cancer Society--a major national award for ACS volunteers.NEW FACES ON CAMPUS
Recent new appointees on campus include:
*Ronald C. Fisher, former chairperson of the Dept. of Economics, has been named director of Honor's College. He succeeds Don Lammers, who retired after serving as director for 15 years.
*Marsha K.S. Heil, chief fund-raiser for MSU's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources since 1990, has been named director of development. She succeeds Doretha Mortimore, who is now senior vice president of the Indiana University Foundation.
*Elba Santiago, superintendent of Jackson Public Schools since 1994, has been named assistant vice president for student affairs and services and director of student life.
Many consumers of chocolate will be bemused to learn that an MSU graduate student in engineering has discovered that melted chocolate is what physical chemistry scientists call a "smart fluid."
The New York Times reported September 24 that Christopher R. Daubert, and his MSU professor, James Steffe, found that melted chocolate exhibits the "Winslow effect"--it instantaneously transforms from liquid to stiff gel when subjected to high- voltage electricity. Just as quickly--within a few thousandths of a second--it reverts to liquid when the electric field is turned off.
This discovery in electrorheology has at least several potential applications in the auto industry--for example, for clutching in automatic transmissions, or for making quieter shock absorbers.
Cisplatin, developed at Michigan State, is the world's leading cancer- fighting drug. Since it was patented in 1979, it has yielded royalties for the university. Last fall, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a new patent on the drug. That means will will continue to generate an estimated $14 million a year for MSU for the next 15 or 16 years.
"It's very significant for the university," says Robert Gast, vice president for research and graduate studies. "With any patent, there is always some uncertainty about being continued."
A platinum-based drug, Cisplatin was developed by MSU biophysicist Barnett Rosenberg and researchers Loretta Van Camp and Thomas Krigas. The drug's original patent has yielded $48 million in royalties for MSU.
In the first post-Phantom season, the Wharton Center has embarked on a "Legends" theme, brining in some of the biggest names in the performing arts today. As the new season unfolds to continued success, a study showing the full impact of "The Phantom of the Opera" was completed by Jeff Guilfoyle, an MSU graduate student of economics.
The Guilfoyle study found that some 138,000 people--nearly 40 percent from outside the Lansing area--attended the show, generating about $3.5 million in spending in area businesses. As reported previously, Wharton's income from Phantom of about $7.6 million topped every other Phantom production, as well as every other show on Broadway.
Among many great shows coming up in 1997 are the Moscow Festival Ballet (Jan. 22) performing Giselle, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra (Jan. 29) with conductor Kazimierz Kord and pianist Zoltan Kocsis and the all-newly-staged Damn Yankees (Feb. 4-9) with Jerry Lewis as the Devil.
For tickets, call the Wharton Center box office at 800-WHARTON or 517- 432-2000. You can also download the order form (http://web.msu.edu/wharton).
This summer, the Michigan Capitol grounds in Lansing erupted in colors evocative of Victorian splendor. Much credit for the grounds restoration goes to MSU people--including faculty, alumni and students.
In 1992, Miriam Easton Rutz, landscape architect and assistant professor of geography at MSU, began to implement a master restoration plan by William Johnson, an MSU alumnus, and architect Richard Frank. The plan was based on the original vision of Adam Oliver, a Victorian-era gardener who designed some of MAC's gardens.
Rutz and then MSU graduate student Jennifer Hanna designed 150- foot perennial borders with 60 varieties of plants and flowers, carpet-bedding along walkways in intricate patterns, and other turn-of-century features. Some 30 students from MSU's Lawn Care/Athletic Turf Management Program replaced all the old bentgrass with a mixture of Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass and fescue. The resultant rainbow of colors will charm the 30,000 yearly visitors.
"Gardens are never finished," says Rutz, whose daughter Kristi Rutz- Robbins, a history student, is helping to develop new plans for next year. "They are an evolving process--and if you ignore them for even one year, they are gone."
photo caption: Jennifer Hannah (left), '94, now at Cornell, and MSU history graduate student Kristi Rutz-Robbins, '93, played key roles in the dramatic restoration of Michiga's Capitol Grounds.
High-tech learning technologies on campus rose another step with the advent of customized technology carts.
A truly powerful yet convenient design, each cart features a computer with Ethernet connection and a VCR linked to a high-tech projector, and accomodates a laptop computer (with dynamic addressing), a scanner, and space for more traditional teaching tools. MSU now has carts in 13 classrooms across the campus.
"This represents a significant step forward in providing advanced technology in classrooms," says William Latta of the Office of Facilities Planning and Space Management (OFPSM). "It's the first phase of a large and important effort."
The effort was coordinated by Instructional Media Center, the Computer Lab, the Client Advocacy Office, the Physical Plant, and OFPSM, and represents one achievement by an ad hoc group formed by President McPherson to modernize classrooms.
photo caption: Erik Lunde, professor of American Thought and Language, uses the advanced customized technology cart to teach a history class.
photo credit: Photo Courtesy of Instructional Media Center
MSU has joined an international consortium to build a state-of- the-art telescope in the Chilean Andes.
MSU is teaming up with the University of North Carolina, Brazil, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatories to build the first high-resolution telescope in the southern hemisphere. The images from the Southern Observatory for Astronomical Research, near La Serena some 9,000 feet high, will likely rival those of the Hubble Space Telescope.
"(The SOAR telescope) will be the most advanced optical telescope of its type," says Horace A. Smith, MSU professor of physics and astronomy. "It will provide superb images."
The telescope boasts infrared capabilities and will dramatically extend MSU's outreach programs, which currently center on Abrams Planetarium. MSU scientists are already planning projects to get SOAR findings into the hands of K- 12 students.
photo caption story:
MICHIGAN PARTNERSHIP 2000--In late June, MSU hosted a tourism seminar for a delegation of both Jews and Arabs from Central Galilee in a partnership program sponsored in part by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. Faculty from MSU's Institute for Public Policy and Social Research and the Office of International Studies and Programs will participate, helping to develop strategies to accomodate the massive tourist wave expected in the Nazareth region in the year 2000 A.D. Pictured are (l to r) Bob Aronson, Steve Wieland, Susan Bernstein, Sam Bernstein, Provost Lou Anna Simon, President McPherson, First Lady Joanne McPherson, Michael Serling, Elaine Serling, Charles Ellstein, Carol Ellstein and Roger Hamlin.
Frank Biocca--a global leader in "virtual reality" systems--has been named as MSU's first Ameritech Endowed Chair in Telecommunications Technology and Information Services.
Biocca, director of the Center for Research in Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina, comes with a preeminent reputation in virtual reality research. At MSU, he will teach and coordinate computer science, education, virtual reality and Internet courses.
"His intellectual guidance will help assure that the university will be regarded as a prominent leader in the communication revolution," says Provost Lou Anna Simon.
The Ameritech Foundation granted MSU $1.5 million for the endowed chair. "With this endowment," says Thomas Muth, interim chair of the Dept. of Telecommunication, "MSU will specifically start moving more rapidly in the research and development in virtual reality."
MSU POWER CONNECTION '96, billed as "the biggest ice breaker team- builder event ever," was held Aug. 21 for MSU's 6,000 first-year students. Residence hall staff members and volunteers from the MSU Alumni Association and other faculty, staff and student organizations helped, along with members of the Spartan Marching Band and MSU Cheerleaders, who taught the MSU Fight Song. "The event created an environment for active learning, embracing diversity, teaching social skills and relation to the University," says Cathy Newman, coordinator of MSU's Alcohol and Other Drugs Education Program. The event replaces the "Alcohol and Decision-Making" session previously held during Welcome Week.
MSU and the Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan, Mexico, approved a partnership Oct. 3 that will benefit both institutions.
President McPherson and UAY president Carlos Pasos Novelo signed a linkage agreement that will facilitate MSU's first semester- long Mexican study program. Beginning Spring semester, some 40 MSU students will study in Mexico and live with Mexican families for the same cost as a semester in East Lansing.
The agreement opens to door for many opportunities for internships, graduate level exchanges, cooperative research and faculty exchanges, says John Hudzik, acting dean of International Studies and Programs.
The linkage is also in concert with President McPherson's goal of dramatically expanding MSU's Study Abroad program.
The MSU Museum, a natural and cultural history museum in the heart of the MSU campus, has received a General Operating Support grant by the Institute of Museum Services.
Kurt Dewhurst, museum director, says the $112,500 grant will help the museum "extend its resources throughout the state and enhance public awareness of our collections, research, and public programs."
Because the grant was awarded after a comprehensive peer review, it also provides national recognition for the performance of the MSU Museum. The IMS is the only federal source of operating support for museums and other educational institutions.
Ahmed Kathrada, a veteran of the South African liberation struggle, donated part of his microfilm collection of prison correspondence, personal notebooks and documents to the MSU Library.
Now a member of Parliament and advisor to South African President Nelson Mandela, Kathrada was imprisoned along with Mandela and others for some 25 years until his release in 1989. He is appreciative of MSU's support during the struggle to end apartheid. MSU was the nation's first university to divest its holdings in South Africa.
Robert Vassen, associate director of MSU's English Language Center, was instrumental in having MSU receive the collection.
MSU President M. Peter McPherson and former MSU President Clifton R. Wharton were among 14 national leaders named to the Commission on International Development, Cooperation and Trade.
"There are about 800 million people in developing nations--most of those are in Africa and north Asia--that are not getting enough food in," notes McPherson, who formerly was head of the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Wharton has served as Deputy Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton and has done much to promote international agriculture.
The commission is sponsored by the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy.
As the Peace Corps celebrates its 35th anniversary, it seems clear that Michigan State University alumni volunteers have played a great role in the organization's success.
"The (MSU alumni) commitment to global volunteerism should not go unrecognized," says Jennifer Ostermeier of the Peace Corps.
Indeed, currently 64 Spartans are serving in 41 countries spread across four continents. They include one volunteer, Rosemarie Gould in the Eastern Caribbean, who is 74 years old.
Over the years, 1,450 MSU alumni have served in the Peace Corps- -the 6th largest number from any university. MSU's contingent includes President M. Peter McPherson, who served in Peru.