Hear the Conversation 11:16 min – 15.4 mb mp3
Carey Mitchelson, a 1979 graduate of the Turfgrass Management program at Michigan State University, is the director of operations at College Fields Golf Club and the president of the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation. While at MSU, he played on the Spartan golf team. Hitting the books, however, wasn’t in his bag. “I’ll be honest. I probably wasn’t the best of students. Thank you Joe Vargas and Dr. Rieke for putting up with me.”
As president of the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation, Mitchelson oversees the partnership between MTF and MSU. “Michigan State has an unbelievable turfgrass program. The Foundation, what the purpose is—is to serve the professors and funding them for their research on Michigan State’s campus.”
The smell of freshly cut grass puts a smile on Carey’s face. “In the early morning, when the sun is just rising and the dew is out there, and sometimes you get a half-haze—when you have the smell of grass clippings everywhere, it’s a refreshing feeling.”
Carey is an accomplished runner, having completed nearly 30 marathons and roughly 60 half-marathons. His joy in running comes with a painful purpose. “I enjoyed running as an athlete, but the real turn in my life came about 15 years ago, when my daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. I had just finished running a marathon and had just signed up for an event to run in honor of somebody else, not knowing that my daughter was going to be diagnosed soon after that.” The two of them ran marathons together, and helped raise more than $250,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
What does Carey Mitchelson love best about MSU? “MSU presented me an opportunity to visit places, meet people, and do things that I never thought I’d be able to do. I was the very first person to graduate with a college degree in my family and I was very proud to do that.”
Ehmpressions of MSU is a podcast devoted to all things Michigan State University produced by Kraig Ehm.