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To the Class of 2025,

Welcome to Michigan State University, to the College of Arts & Letters, and to the MSU Honors College! You begin your MSU journey at a time like no other. As we continue to navigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are thrilled to reconvene together on campus. This offers us an opportunity, perhaps unique in our lifetime, to begin again. In the course of a life, there are many opportunities to begin again – starting college is one such important instance, but so too do we begin again when we move, or start a new job, or experience the joy of travel.

This semester, however, we have a rare opportunity to begin again together. This is a new beginning for you who are starting your college career at MSU, but it is also a new beginning for our sophomores who have not yet had an on-campus Spartan experience. It is a new beginning for our faculty and staff as we return to new ways of working together on campus. For me personally, this is a time of firsts, as I take on the exciting new responsibilities of being the Dean of the MSU Honors College in addition to my long-cherished role as Dean of the College of Arts & Letters. Each new beginning offers us an opportunity to consider how we want to shape the future we hope to create together. For each of you, now is a time to consider who you want to become, and how you will build a meaningful life for yourself and contribute to the greater good.

As incoming students to Michigan State University, you have a world of opportunities set out before you, and a community of Spartans prepared to help you along the way. I encourage you to ask questions, explore new fields of study, embrace new adventures, and push the bounds of your comfort zone. As you embark on this journey, know you are not alone, we – the MSU staff, faculty, and alumni – are here to pick you up when you fall, encourage you when in doubt, and celebrate you when you thrive.

What makes this new beginning different from each new beginning of the academic year is that we have a chance to think together about how we want to bring what we have learned over the past 18-months since the start of the pandemic into a future that is more just, more caring, and more beautiful. As we undertake this effort together, we need your imagination, your creativity, and your energy to build a future in which everyone feels welcome, supported, and empowered to reach their full potential.

Welcome home!

Christopher P. Long
MSU Foundation Professor
Dean, College of Arts & Letters
Dean, MSU Honors College

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