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By Hannah Watts

Bob Bao has been editor of the MSU Alumni Association magazine for more than 30 years. He’s retiring in April.

He reflects on his time at MSU with Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and MSU Alumni Association Executive Director Scott Westerman.

“Over the years I feel like I’ve come to know MIchigan State through you, not from my own personal experience, from the articles you’ve written,” says President Simon.

Two Spartan Rose Bowl victories have served as bookend memories for Bao’s career at Michigan State. “I think it’s great timing that I came here on a Rose Bowl year and I’m retiring on another Rose Bowl year,” Bao says.

Of all the time Bao’s spent at Michigan State and the individuals he interviewed, Bao says his favorite was none other than basketball superstar, Magic Johnson. “The most fun I ever had was going to Magic Johnson’s New Years Eve party,” Bao says. “Magic is obviously larger than life, and he’s the guy I’d really enjoy spending more time with just because of his love for Michigan State.”

Since Bao first started as an assistant editor of the Alumni Magazine in 1970’s, the world of desktop publishing has evolved. “Back then, the magazine was typeset by hand,” Bao says. “Today everything is done via computers. With programs like InDesign, its so easy. It’s been an amazing transformation.”

“I will always remember you as Michigan State’s quintessential storyteller,” Westerman says of Bao. “You made it possible for people who weren’t there, even in situations when you weren’t there, to feel like they were there, and they were there with Spartans.”

“You’ve done an incredible job of giving other a lens through which to see Michigan State and to feel what’s special about Michigan State,” adds President Simon.

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