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Student contest created to design state quarter

February 20, 2001

ASMSU’s Academic Assembly wants MSU students to have a say in what the Michigan quarter will look like when it’s released in three years.

The assembly passed a measure Tuesday that will create a contest for students to design the coin. ASMSU is the university’s undergraduate student government.

“This is an endeavor to look at a different part of academia, the arts,” said Charles McHugh, chairperson of the assembly.

The idea behind the contest was inspired by the U.S. Mint’s program, which began in 1999, to display designs from each state on the back of the quarter. The coins are released about every 10 weeks in the same order that the states joined the union.

As the nation’s 26th state, Michigan will have its own quarter distributed in early 2004, U.S. Mint Spokesman Michael White said.

“The whole process is really designed to encourage people throughout the state to get involved in the program,” White said.

Plans to start the contest are still in the works and should be implemented this week, said Shaun Phillips, the assembly’s College of Engineering representative who introduced the bill.

The ASMSU competition is open to MSU students only and the winning entry will be selected by a committee consisting of Department of Art faculty and ASMSU representatives.

The design will then be sent to Michigan Gov. John Engler’s office with the official seals of the student government and any other department associated with the contest.

Entry forms for the competition will be available in residence halls, Kresge Art Center, and ASMSU’s offices on the third floor of Student Services.

“I’m hoping we will get a decent response from (the contest),” Phillips said.

As a part of the nationwide program, Engler’s office will run the search for a design and submits its choice to the U.S. Mint.

During his State of the State address last month, Engler said the coin’s design will be handled by the Michigan Department of History, Arts and Culture, a committee the governor plans on forming this year.

Engler, who earned an undergraduate degree from MSU in 1971, offered his own suggestion for the quarter’s design - including Sparty. The MSU mascot attended the annual event on Jan. 31 and drew a round of applause when he appeared before the gallery after the governor’s proposition.

The state’s deadline to submit a design is determined when it receives a notification letter from the U.S. Mint sometime in 2002, White said.

“We’ll be working on the quarter probably this spring,” said Susan Schafer, a spokeswoman for the governor’s office.

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