It was a semester to remember across campus and the country for members of the MSU community. Take a look back at key events for Spartans in East Lansing and around the world.
Bombings in Boston felt across MSU
On April 15, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing at least three and injuring more than 100, according to numerous media reports.
At least three MSU students ran in the marathon, including hospitality business senior Benny Ebert-Zavos, graduate student Cody Harlacher and finance sophomore Jonathon Geer.
Other students had family and friends competing in the race.
University Relations and the MSU Alumni Club of Boston both reported they hadn’t heard of any Spartans harmed in the explosions.
After bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was caught last Friday evening, President Barack Obama said there still are questions to be answered, such as the motives behind the attack.
“The families of those killed so senselessly deserve answers,” Obama said in the statement. “The wounded, some of whom now have to learn how to stand and walk and live again, deserve answers.”
Three student deaths impact community
The MSU community mourned at least three student deaths during the 2013 spring semester.
Two students, nutritional sciences senior Andrew Singler and geological sciences sophomore Anna Flory, died Feb. 23, while premedical sophomore Chas Schneider died March 14.
Singler allegedly was stabbed to death by Okemos teen Connor McCowan, brother of Singler’s girlfriend and roommate. In a court appearance on April 18, records showed text messages might have instigated an argument that led to Singler’s death.
McCowan is scheduled for an arraignment in Ingham County Circuit Court on
Flory was found dead in her Bailey Street home of currently unknown causes, although family members said an autopsy showed Flory had an enlarged heart.
Foul play is not suspected.
Schneider died of kidney failure brought on by his fight with stage 4 colon cancer.
He had fought Crohn’s disease for nine years and primary sclerosing cholangitis and cancer for eight months.
All three lives cut short were memorialized on the rock on Farm Lane shortly following their deaths.
Cannon pleads guilty in Pryor rape case
More than one year later, one of the men involved in former MSU student Olivia Pryor’s death pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct in the first degree for raping Pryor before her death.
Eastpointe, Mich., resident Marquez Cannon and Detroit resident Dishon Ambrose were arrested following Pryor’s death in her South Hubbard Hall dorm room in March 2012.
Cannon originally was charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct for the alleged rape of both Pryor and her roommate, as well as selling or furnishing alcohol to a minor causing death, but after accepting a plea bargain, he only pleaded guilty to the single charge.
He will be sentenced to at least six years in prison, with a maximum penalty of life in prison, and is scheduled on the court docket for sentencing in Mason’s 30th Circuit Court on May 8.
Ambrose faces charges for selling or furnishing alcohol to a minor causing death as well as allegedly attempting to clean up the crime scene.
He is scheduled on the court docket for a May 6 jury trial.
ASMSU works to tackle financial fiasco
ASMSU, MSU’s undergraduate student government, will enter the summer facing uncertainty about what the future holds for the organization after electing to not move off-campus funds to the university financial system.
MSU spokesman Kent Cassella confirmed the organization will lose its semesterly $18 per student tax starting with the upcoming summer semester.
While ASMSU mostly is funded through the student tax, ASMSU President Evan Martinak said the organization will be able to fully function for the first nine months without the student tax funding.
Cassella and other university officials said MSU isn’t looking to tell ASMSU how to spend the funding, but just monitor if the organization is following the correct procedures.
However, Martinak isn’t buying what the university is trying to sell.
“If you take an almost 50-year-old student government that has enjoyed a large amount of autonomy and strip it of its legal services, strip it of its ability to have off-campus accounts, strip it of its power to hire and fire its employees, strip it of how it conducts its government activities, what would you call it?” Martinak previously told The State News. “The writing is on the wall.”
Men’s hoops falls in Sweet 16 again
After finishing short of the Big Ten championship, the MSU men’s basketball team entered the program’s 16th consecutive NCAA Tournament with a No. 3 seed and were slotted in the Midwest Region opening up in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Following victories against Valparaiso and Memphis, Izzo’s team advanced to the Sweet 16 in Indianapolis — the same city where the team captured the 2000 national championship.
However, facing Duke and legendary head coach Mike Krzyzewski, the Spartans were overmatched by the hot hand of Duke guard Seth Curry, who scored 29 points and led the Blue Devils to a 71-61 victory.
The season marked the end of an era for senior center Derrick Nix, who finished his Spartan career with four-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, two Big Ten championships, one Big Ten Tournament championship and a Final Four appearance.
Back on the home front, East Lansing police and fire departments handled a number of couch fires and kept the area contained while angry basketball fans disposed of their furniture in a burst of flames throughout the city.
Macklemore comes to Breslin Center
On March 19, fans nearly filled Breslin Center to see up-and-coming rapper Macklemore. Rockie Fresh, a rapper from Chicago, opened the show.
Macklemore and his producer, Ryan Lewis, came onto the stage around 8:30 p.m.
Although it was Macklemore’s first performance at Breslin, it was not his first stop in Greater Lansing.
When he began his career in 2008, he paid a visit to Lansing’s Mac’s Bar, and he also performed at The Loft in 2012.
Mostly known for his hit single, “Thrift Shop,” Macklemore since has released “Can’t Hold Us,” a collaboration with Seattle singer-songwriter Ray Dalton. His debut solo album, “The Heist,” was released last October and reached No. 1 on iTunes within hours.
East Lansing sees record rainfall total
The term “April showers” never was more true than in the past couple of weeks, making this April the wettest on record in the Lansing area and flooding the Red Cedar River in the process.
Reaching as high as 7.69 feet, the highest since February 2001, the Red Cedar River engulfed Old College Field in water, causing the cancellation and relocation of several MSU baseball and softball games.
More than 6.76 inches of rain has fallen since the beginning of the month, beating the previous record of 6.49 inches set in 2009.
While the flooding prevented some sports from being played on their home field, a new one was picked up on the water — surfing.
Not normally seen on campus, many have started to take advantage of the river after flooding caused the high-water levels.
“This definitely makes great stories to tell friends at home,” said alumnus and East Lansing resident Remi Hamel, who rode the waves on his board Monday.
Simon improves strategic plan
This year, MSU enhanced its mission to be bold.
Early in the semester, MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon unveiled Bolder by Design, an upgraded version of MSU’s strategic plan, Boldness by Design.
Simon said the plan allows the university to re-evaluate its goals in areas, such as research, academic and global outreach.
MSU’s goal is to become a “better high-performing institution,” she said in a previous interview.
“Not cheap in a sense, but high-performing. The idea would be, ‘How can we both be very demanding in terms of academic standards (and) at the same time, have that Disney-magical quality?’” Simon said.
“So, when people interact with us in a consumer service way — in which, they think of the campus — we can create magic.”
The plan is the framework for MSU to reach its goal of being recognized as one of the top research institutions in the world.