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Michigan State University Michigan State University

A Welcome from the Dean

WELCOME TO THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF MUSES, the magazine of the College of Arts and Letters at Michigan State University. As the 50th Anniversary year of the College ends, it only seems proper that we thank everyone who helped make it such a huge success.

Officially, July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013 marked the 50th Anniversary of the MSU College of Arts and Letters. In recognition of this milestone, the College planned and conducted a year-long series of celebratory events revolving around our worldwide network of alumni, faculty, students and staff. We encouraged everyone to join in the celebration wherever and whenever possible, and many of you did, helping make CAL's 50th year one to truly remember!

Now, after 50 years, the College of Arts and Letters continues as a vital force that puts the arts and humanities into action to create meaningful impact in our world. We have bridged tradition with present and future concerns. We have focused on the future and leveraged new opportunities and technologies. And our programs encourage students to develop the global awareness, sense of creativity, and innovative nature that undergird the ability to compete in a global economy.


Of course, you will find a wide variety of the 50th year's events, activities and guests featured in stories throughout this expanded special issue of MUSES.

On-campus festivities for the 50th anniversary included the grand opening of the new Wells Hall addition, and screenings of "Breakfast at Tiffany's," "Top Gun" and "Fight Club," punctuated by visits and student events with high-powered alumni Jack Epps and Bill and Carol Mechanic. There were also special Coming Home activities during the 2012 Homecoming weekend October 12-13, and technology lectures, panel discussions, and workshops by CAL alumni Susan Metros and Peter Stougaard, as well as leading digital humanities educator Todd Presner.

During winter-spring term, our horizons were expanded by a three-film Global Film Series comprising German documentary "Abendland;" 1991 Academy Award-winning Best Foreign Film "Mediterraneo;" and Taiwanese cultural documentary "Returning Souls." Whether your interests leaned toward film, fashion, teaching and learning, theatre or lively gatherings, we had you covered.

Events included lectures; visiting artists, educators and authors; the Annual Apparel & Textile Design Fashion Show and the FASH Forward competition featuring fashion reinterpretations of icons from the past five decades; the Department of Theatre's musical "Funny Girl;" and several collaborations in the beautiful new Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum that opened in November 2012.


The College's 50th Anniversary Gala, held April 16 at the University Club, was especially meaningful for the 240+ alumni, faculty, staff and guests who attended. The program included honoring four amazing alumni: Michael Price, Kristin Clark Taylor, Kelly Willis and Justin Kuxhaus, who have made an impact in our world through their unique vision and determination.

In addition to celebrating our alumni, we also celebrated the learning experiences that all of the College's alumni enjoyed here at MSU, and that helped them to become who you are today, and will help you to continue to grow and change in the future.

I trust you are as proud of the College and MSU as I am, and that you will consider engaging with us as we begin our second 50 years. It is easy to do so through the offerings of the Alumni Association at as mentors, donors, and by attending our events. As always, we encourage you to share your own success stories, too.

In closing, please keep in touch in person and by visiting us on the web at Our students, faculty and staff love hearing from you, and welcome your ongoing engagement. Many of you re-engaged with the College this past year, and tell us it was rewarding to do so.

In fact, after 50 incredible years, the overwhelming sentiment from those involved in the College of Arts and Letters 50th Anniversary celebration was, "I can't wait to see the next 50 years!"

Karin A. Wurst

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