With an impressive 52-point lead and a chance for many lesser-known seniors to play a part, today’s Senior Day was nothing short of admirable. Already the school’s winningest senior class in history, the Spartans are now in the clear for the first-ever Big Ten Championship Game and just completed their second straight undefeated home season.
They also secured the Old Brass Spittoon, the oldest of our three in-conference rivalry trophies. The trophy has an interesting history and though it became the symbol of the rivalry in 1950, it is actually almost 190 years old, believed to outdate the founding of both universities.
Back in 1950, the “Biggie” Munn’s Spartans were 5-1 and coming up on a big game against Indiana. Wanting to inspire fans to exhibit more school spirit, junior class president Gene McDermott (who served in the Navy prior to attending MSU) wanted to find something akin to the Minnesota-Michigan “Little Brown Jug,” a seemingly random object to take on a largely significant emotional attachment for fans.
He and class secretary Ginny O’Brien scoped out a antique store in Lansing to find the Old Brass Spittoon. The previous owner claimed it had come from a trading post where East Lansing is today. Both Indiana and Michigan trappers and hunters would have stopped by there on their travels and it was in active use during the foundings of both universities, which was ultimately why McDermott chose it. His female companion was (understandably) grossed out, but McDermott paid the $25 (out of the junior prom fund) and never even cleaned it out.
A telegram was sent to the Indiana student council and they accepted the challenge. As they say, the rest is history!
McDermott and his college roommate were at the game today and were able to see the same outcome they saw on that day 61 years ago - victory for MSU.
Favorite place on campus: The spot under the bridge closest to the rock. It’s always quiet & a good place to sit back & relax, especially at night.
Why you chose MSU: I really wanted to study International Relations, and the program at the James Madison College really intrigued me. I also knew a lot about the study abroad programs here, and have already gone on one to Mayen, Germany. I loved the experience so much that I have applied for another.
Favorite Dairy Store flavor: Mint chocolate chip…it’s only right since it’s green :)
The picture isn’t of me in green and white, but it is of me in Germany on an MSU study abroad trip!
Does michigan state have an international business major for undergrads?
While International Business is not one of the seven majors in the Broad College of Business, it is offered as a rather extensive supplementary minor. Check out the requirements on the Broad website here. There are many courses offered with an international focus through Broad and, of course, there are several Study Abroad options to be taken advantage of as well.
Broad is known in particular for its undergraduate Supply Chain Management program, which is ranked number one in the country. Production management, accounting, and marketing all rank within the top twenty as well, according to US News and World Report.
Name: Janelle Moulding (lovelifeandsmilealot) Year: Sophomore Major: Residential College of Arts and Humanities/Family Community Services Hometown: Southfield, MI Favorite place on campus: Sitting in the courtyard of Red Cedar Neighborhood. There is nothing better than taking in all the old buildings and the nature. :) Why you chose MSU: I fell in love the moment I stepped on campus and when I met my adviser for RCAH, Kate, and my fate was sealed. Favorite Dairy Store flavor: Sesquicentennial Swirl
After doing a feature on Case Hall (and James Madison College), it seems only natural to follow up with a feature on its counterpart - Holmes Hall, home to the Lyman Briggs College.
While Case was named for a football player who had very little direct impact on the university, Holmes is quite the opposite. John Clough Holmes is a man who’s history with MSU dates back to before the school was even in existance.
In fact, we have John Clough Holmes to thank for our existance.
A member of both the State Board of Education, he helped found the Michigan State Agricultural Society, a group passionate about establishing a state-funded agricultural college. As previously mentioned, there was quite a bit of opposition from the University of Michigan higher-ups about establishing a separate school in the first place, but John Holmes wouldn’t give up. Paying out of his own pocket, he traveled all over the state to get the signatures needed on his petition and after doing so, took it straight to the capitol steps as a lobbyist. He urged both the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives to support his cause and on February 12, 1855, the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan was officially established.
But Holmes didn’t stop there. He and a team of surveyors scoped out potential sites for the new college, looking at plots of land in Haslett, DeWitt, and Holt but decided instead to purchase a 677 acre farm from a man named Burr and establish their college just three miles from the capitol in Lansing, which at the time was pretty much in the middle of nowhere.
After picking out the land, Holmes determined the buildings that would needed, where would they go on the plot of land, and some say even went so far as to do the interior decorating (which at the time really just meant picking where the chairs and tables should go in each room). He was the first treasurer of the university and served on and off as the head of the Horticulture Department until 1861, when a somewhat unexplained change seems to have occurred and Holmes left the faculty for good. However, he would still visit from time to time. In fact, President Theophilus Capen Abbot (yes, that was in fact Abbot’s name) remarked that Holmes was “a not infrequent and always welcome visitor at the college, and one of its warmest friends,” and that “”to no one man is the College so much indebted as John Clough Holmes.”
In 1965 Holmes Hall was built and named in his honor. Today it stands as the residence hall with the single greatest amount of students on our campus and the home to the Lyman Briggs College, which was founded in 1967. A residential college for those interested in careers in science, often pre-professional, Briggs offers the unique opportunity to take classes right where you live and have all the resources needed right at your fingertips.
Now, who was Briggs?
Lyman James Briggs grew up on a farm in Michigan and entered the Michigan Agricultural College at the age of 15. Originally he intended to study agriculture, but became more interested in mechanical engineering and physics. He graduated in 1893 and joined the US Department of Agriculture in 1896 at just 22 with a Masters already under his belt as well.
Briggs married fellow MAC graduate Katherine Cook that same year and they had a daughter named Isabel. Isabel would go on to marry a man named Clarence Myers. Together, Isabel Myers and Katherine Briggs developed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (that personality test that gives you coded results like INFJ or ESTP).
Lyman Briggs himself assisted in many aspects of federal development, becoming actively involved in research and development for both World Wars. He led FDR’s secret "Uranium Committee" but also kept time on the side for research projects that sparked his own interests - such as examining the make-up of baseballs and how they affected pitching. Briggs was one of the most well-known scientists of his day.
Certainly, much can be said about both Holmes and Briggs, both men who exemplified the Spartan spirit of hard work and dedication.
Favorite place on campus: Spartan Stadium would be the obvious choice, but the place closest to my heart is Demonstration Hall. Anyone who was in the marching band in the past 35 years or so will agree that it’s borderline sacred, since we rehearse there and now end there on game days. It’s home base. But it’s even more like home for me because the winterguard also rehearses there (inside, obviously). It may be 84 years old and partially condemned, but I love it.
Why I chose MSU: Partly for the fact that I could actually major in journalism (it was the only school I applied to that offered it full), and partly because I knew they had a decent colorguard program. It got better starting my freshman year, which was even greater.
Favorite Dairy Store flavor: Hmm…it WAS the mango sherbert, until they stopped making it. Now it’s either Dantonio’s Double-Fudge Fake, Frozen Four Slapshot, or Badger Cherry Cheesecake.
While Michigan State does not have a physician’s assistant school, they do offer a pre-PA program with a very active student base - the Pre-PA Club offers lots of resources and events for students and the College of Natural Science has information on pre-professional studies and the requirements for entry to PA schools, including a list of those in the state of Michigan.
If you’re interested in sharing your own Spartan experiences, consider applying to be a part of Inside MSU!
Inside MSU is a program through the Student Alumni Foundation and the College of Admissions that gives admitted seniors in high school a chance to talk to a student panel and receive a short refresher tour. YOU could be the person answering their questions and leading those tours.
I really encourage people to get involved with this. It’s a great way to share something you’re passionate about and it’s very rewarding to see how much you can impact the high schoolers who come through this program. It also a fairly small time commitment.
Also, if you have considered applying to be a Spartan Ambassador (tour guide) like myself, Inside MSU is a great program to try things out with less stress and is often a direct stepping stone to becoming a Spartan Ambassador.
For pretty much as long as this blog has been in existence, people have been asking me to do a feature on Case Hall.
So here we are. Finally.
Case Hall was built in 1961 and was constructed during the rapid expansion era that our university (and its residence hall system) experienced post-WWII. John Hannah, president at the time, would simply build a residence hall, fill it with students, and then use their tuition to build another. This cyclical process went on for 20 years, starting with Snyder-Phillips in 1947 and ending with Holden in 1967. It also resulted in our student population expanding from 15,000 in 1950 to 38,000 just 15 years later in 1965.
As for Case itself, it was one of the first residence halls to be co-ed on campus - though it’s hard to believe now that making North Case for women and South Case for men actually caused a stir among parents.
Now, who was Case, you may ask?
Albert H. Case graduated from Michigan Agricultural College in 1902 and was actually captain of the football team during his time here.
After MAC, Case pursued a Masters in Mine Engineering from Columbia. In 1906, he married Sarah B. Avery (another MAC alum). He held prominent positions in the mining industry throughout the rest of his life and was given an honorary doctorate in engineering from his alma mater in 1945. On top of this, Michigan State named a residence hall in his honor in 1961. He died one year later.
So who knows? Perhaps one day when we visit our grandchildren on campus they’ll be living in Cousins Hall.
Case Hall is perhaps most notably known today as being the home to the James Madison College, a residential college for students interested in public policy. JMC was founded at the same time as Lyman Briggs (1967) and has about 1200 students currently enrolled in its rigorous program. Freshman are required to live in Case Hall and experience all that a residential college can offer - classrooms, offices, and resources all under the same roof as your dorm room.
One Last Freaky Fact
In the spring of 1979, a student named James Dallas Egbert III (who just so happened to be a 16-year-old child prodigy) attempted to commit suicide in the steam tunnels under Case Hall. He wasn’t successful, but his subsequent disappearance did create a media hoopla, with the State News leading an extensive investigation into the Case Hall resident’s world. You can read more about the strange tale and how it somehow relates to Dungeons and Dragons here and here.
Name: Jason (serendipitousenigma) Graduation Year: 2010 Major: J.D. International Law & Criminal Law Hometown: Elkhart, IN Favorite place on campus: IM West. I was a member of the Spartan Fencers from ‘07-‘10 and had incredible times, with incredible people, in the basement and pools of IM West. Why you chose MSU: I wanted to go to law school at a larger school and fell in love with the campus when I visited. Favorite Dairy Store flavor: Hoosier Strawberry