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Upon the untimely passing of long-time News/Talk 760 WJR president and general manager Mike Fezzey, this edition of MSU Today highlights the unique relationship between Michigan State University and WJR – a relationship Fezzey was passionate about and helped facilitate.

Fezzey, just 58 years old at the time of his passing, also served as a Huntington Bank Regional President and was a great friend to Michigan State University. MSU Today on WJR was the brainchild of Fezzey and MSU Athletic Director Mark Hollis.

Mike was the very first guest on the very first edition of this show back in September 2010. We revisit that conversation between Fezzey, Hollis and Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon. And we hear additional comments from Tom Izzo and Mark Dantonio.

Simon and Hollis welcome MSU’s Vice President for Communications and Brand Strategy Heather Swain to the MSU Today microphones for a conversation on branding and marketing MSU. Read more »

renewalsp.jpg Hear the Conversation 14:09 – 8.1 mb mp3

Upon the untimely passing of long-time News/Talk 760 WJR president and general manager Mike Fezzey, this edition of MSU Today highlights the unique relationship between Michigan State University and WJR – a relationship Fezzey was passionate about and helped facilitate.

Fezzey, just 58 years old at the time of his passing, also served as a Huntington Bank Regional President and was a great friend to Michigan State University. MSU Today on WJR was the brainchild of Fezzey and MSU Athletic Director Mark Hollis.

Mike was the very first guest on the very first edition of this show back in September 2010. We revisit that conversation between Fezzey, Hollis and Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon. And we hear additional comments from Tom Izzo and Mark Dantonio. Read more »

WJR's Mike Fezzey (right) Amid the joy of MSU’s return to the Elite 8, there is sadness in the Spartan Family this morning. We lost long time WJR Radio general manager and Huntington Bank executive Mike Fezzey this weekend to a heart attack. Mike was the architect of the partnership that orchestrated MSU’s move to News Talk 760, and a great friend to Michigan State University. He was 58.

MSU Alumni Association Executive Director, Scott Westerman, said,  “To hear MSU Spartans football  and Basketball amplified by WJR’s legendary 50,000 watt voice was a powerful affirmation that our athletic program had grown to become one of the most respected in the nation. We’ll miss this visionary broadcaster.”

In addition to play-by play, Michigan State produces the award winning monthly “MSU Today” for WJR. The program is also heard on WDBM, WKAR and in podcast form at SpartanPodcast.com

Hear Mike Fezzey tell our Russ White how the WJR deal came about in this 2006 Spartan Podcast.

zsp.jpg Hear the Conversation 20:52 – 11.9 mb mp3

We all know by now that zombies are popular. Like really popular. TV shows, video games, movies and, yep, even college courses revolve around the intriguing and mysterious world of the undead. But what IS it about them that keeps us interested?

Jennifer Orlando talks with a group of Spartans who may have the answer, as they’ve had a few years’ experience dealing with zombies.

Glenn Stutzky, senior clinical instructor with the School of Social Work, and instructional designers Keesa Johnson and Chris Irvin make up part of the group collectively and affectionately known as the Z-Team at MSU. Z, in this case, stands for zombies.

Three years ago, the Z-Team started a unique online summer course called “Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse: Disasters, Catastrophes, and Human Behavior.” Read more »

wjr_logo.jpg Hear the Show 53:30 min – 30 mb mp3

In this edition of MSU Today on News/Talk 760 WJR, Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon talks with Russ White and provides a mid-semester update on all things MSU.

Topics include proposed budgets from President Obama and Governor Snyder and their potential impact on MSU. President Simon talks about the state of Michigan State University at its 16oth birthday, too, reflects on her recently-completed role as chair of the NCAA Executive Committee, and reminds listeners about the importance of private giving in today’s higher education climate.

Then MSU’s vice president for governmental affairs joins President Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis for a more detailed conversation on budget issues.

“In Washington our primary areas of concern related to funding are for research and student financial aid,” says Burnham. “In Lansing it’s more about our core funding. Overall we get about $300 million from the state to support our general operations, MSU Extension and MSU AgBioResearch.”

HSsp.jpg Hear the Conversation 22:35 – 12.9 mb mp3

Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon engages Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis and Communications and Brand Strategy Vice President Heather Swain in a conversation on branding MSU and the roll social media plays in the process.

All agree that MSU’s genuineness drives the university’s brand.

“Whenever you’re doing branding really well, you are as much declaring what you are not as you are declaring what you are,” says Swain.

They talk about the decision to use both the Block S and the Spartan helmet in branding MSU. Read more »

asb photo.jpg Hear the Conversation 13:59 – 8 mb mp3

Spring Break.

For many college students, those two words mean sandy beaches, warm weather and a break from spring semester classes. But for others – for a group of Spartans – spring break takes an alternate meaning. To them, the week in March offers the opportunity to hit the road, roll up their sleeves and get to work bettering communities all across the United States. They are members of MSU’s student-service organization, Alternative Spartan Breaks, which is part of the Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement.

With 18 trips taken during spring break and three trips taken during winter break, members of ASB participate in service trips that touch on 12 different social issues. Everything from urban farming to indigenous rights, Spartans have a hand in improving during their experiences with ASB. Read more »

mbsp.jpg Hear the Conversation 32:39 – 18.6 mb mp3

“In Washington our primary areas of concern related to funding are for research and student financial aid,” Mark Burnham, MSU’s vice president for governmental affairs, tells Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today. Burnham joins Simon and Hollis to analyze recently-proposed budgets from President Obama and Governor Snyder, and they assess the impact of both on MSU and higher education.

“In Lansing it’s more about our core funding. Overall we get about $300 million from the state to support our general operations, MSU Extension and MSU AgBioResearch.”

Burnham explains how the cost of an education hasn’t really gone up much when adjusted for inflation. It’s who’s paying that’s changed.

“The growth beyond inflation from 2001 to 2012 was only $65.” Now students pick up more of the cost of an education.

The trio talks about the need for a reinvention of education in Michigan that would lead to a more educated workforce.

russmic.jpg Hear the Conversation 17:46 – 10.1 mb mp3

“We’re optimistic about FRIB because we’re now in the stage where it’s not a new thing,” Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon tells Russ White in her mid-semester update for MSU Today on all things MSU. Their first topic is her reaction to recently proposed budgets by President Obama and Governor Snyder.

“And we’re on the trajectory for funding to get the project done on time. At the state level, the tax credit issue genuinely took a lot of people by surprise. In the world of this budget, two percent is viewed as a very good number. It’s not what we planned, but it’s a very good number.”

MSU marked its 160th birthday on February 12, and President Simon says MSU “is committed to be better tomorrow than it is today” and she describes the hyper-competitive world of “recruiting 5-star faculty who can go anywhere.” Read more »

MSU Today on News/Talk 760 WJR

February 5th, 2015

wjr_logo.jpg Hear the Show 53:30 min – 30 mb mp3

Michigan State University Provost June Pierce Youatt sits in for President Simon on this edition of MSU Today.

Youatt and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis talk with Spartan Football returning leaders Shilique Calhoun and Connor Cook. Then they introduce you to the new dean of MSU’s College of Communication Arts & Sciences Prabu David.

The show concludes with a cogent discussion on the state of media and public relations in the digital age with MSU’s top two PR guys: Kent Cassella from Communications and Brand Strategy and John Lewandowski from Spartan Athletics.

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