MSUAA’S Scott Westerman, with his annual message to the Spartan graduating class. Listen to an audio version of this message.
The greatest joy I associate with my work as the head servant for the MSU Alumni Association is the many opportunities I have to get to know our students.
We may exalt the more familiar names who paint Spartan pride on the front pages of our sports sections. But the true essence of what Michigan State University is all about are the other 46,000 seekers; Kids who come here to find a passion, to find themselves and to become Spartans in the process.
If you are part of this year’s graduating class, you are about to turn a page in your personal Spartan Saga. Some of you will return to The Banks of the Red Cedar to further fill your brain with MSU wisdom. But the vast majority will launch into a world that desperately needs you.
A funny thing happens if you fully commit yourself to the Spartan ethic.
You literally absorb the unstoppable power of 500,000 other Spartans who are out there living Spartan lives and are changing the world in the process.
Spartans populate thousands cities and towns across this great country and hundreds of MSU outposts around the globe. And I can tell you if you are a true Spartan, your power will be felt, wherever you decide to express it.
It happens wherever there is need, and a courageous person in Green and White stands up to help.
It happens wherever there is hurt, and a Spartan who has known pain is there with comfort.
It happens wherever a there is a dream and a Spartan challenges us all to help make it come true.
As human beings we know fear, suffering, loss and loneliness, but as Spartans, we are part of so very few who refuse to let that define who we are.
Spartans may have been hurt, yet we are determined to heal. Spartans may have known emptiness, but we seek experiences and role models to fill it.
Spartans are imperfect. We have bad days. We can be angry, sad, and feel like we’re not making enough progress. We stumble along the way. And because of our single minded devotion to what we think is right, not everyone will follow us.
That’s what makes us human.
But because we are Spartans, we are committed to the belief that life isn’t about how many times you fall. It’s about how many times you can get back up.
It’s the knowledge that finding true success, true happiness, true love and sustaining relationships requires courage, tenacity and being open to it, even if it includes setbacks and heartbreak.
At the center of your Spartan being, you realize that the only way we can really transform the world, is by transforming ourselves.
And model the behavior for others.
This is what it means when you make the commitment to become a Spartan. It’s why all of us in the MSU Alumni Association will always have your back. We will catch you when you fall, hug you when you hurt, and throw you onto our shoulders to cheer your inevitable success.
We come from many races and many nations. But we all running the human race and OUR nation is the Spartan Nation.
Our specialty is winning. We are never beaten. And we WILL always win.
We are one. We are Spartans!
Now you’ve heard it. Go out and live it.