Paying our respects to Spartan’s lost at the mass shooting on the Michigan State University Campus
On the evening of Sunday, February 19th, the New York City Alumni of Michigan State University got together in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village for a Remembrance of three student deaths and eight students shot on the Michigan State University campus on Monday, February 14th, 2023. I still can’t believe that happened.
Concerned Alumni come out to support Michigan State University victims
I lived in East Lansing for five years and I never felt unsafe on the campus. Yes, we did have our share of jumpings and rapes just like any other campus but no one would have ever dreamed that this would happen. This is becoming an epidemic all over this country and no one knows how to stop it. Civility and manners have gone out the window since COVID but they were starting to disappear before that. In a town like East Lansing, my friends and I never felt unsafe or that we could not walk around the campus and feel threatened. How things have changed since the 1980’s.
We as Spartan Alumni supported one another that night
I did not know anyone at the Memorial Service but I can see that older Alumni like myself were pretty shaken up by this. I never dreamed this could happen at my campus but I have sure that Alumni at colleges like Virginia Tech probably said that same thing.
We as Alumni talked amongst ourselves that evening
The Alumni Association planned a very tasteful Remembrance under the Washington Square Arch in the park and we gathered as the Greater Spartan Alumni Association started a short program to honor those Spartans who passed. I could not believe that we had to meet under these circumstances but over a hundred Alumni were there frozen in what to do and how to handle the situation.
A member of the NYC Alumni Association starting the program
The Alumni Association started the program with some updates from campus and recalled the story of the Remembrance that had just taken place on the MSU campus in East Lansing as the University was still trying to make sense of it all.
Preparing the Memorial during the service
One of the head’s of the NYC Alumni talking to all of us
The Alumni Association gave us some updates on how the five students are doing in the hospital and one of the Alumni told us that they had started a “Go Fund Me” account for the students medical bills. The Alumni Board did there best to try to keep us calm but many of the Alumni were not sure how to react.
The crowds got larger as time went on
The Alumni Association gave us flowers to place by the Arch during the program
Personally, I was not sure how to react. Coming from a generation where I would not dream something like this could ever happen on a college campus. I know there were incidents like Kent State during the 1960’s but that was during the protests of the Vietnam War and the situation was different than someone randomly walking onto a campus and just start shooting people for no good reason.
Many of us were not sure how to react
As the Alumni Association asked us to join in and speak about our feelings, sadly it was the younger Alumni and the recent graduates who seemed to more used to these occurrences. That is sad to fathom. Some of these Alumni knew the victims or still had friends on campus who told them lockdown stories that they shared with us.
Alumni sharing their thoughts on what had just happened
We ended the evening with a prayer, singing the school song “MSU Shadows” (which sadly no one knows the words to even when we were on campus) and words of encouragement. The Alumni Association wished everyone well that evening and to keep our thoughts and prayers with the families of the victims.
Ending the program by singing “MSU Shadows”
At the end of the program, the Alumni Association asked us to place our flowers and well wishes at the Spartan flag at the Arch and we all made our way to the flag to drop off our flowers.
It was a sad and very bittersweet event and I thought the Alumni handled it beautifully. We all just have to have some faith in life and in each other.
We are “Spartan Strong”!
I have to share this very emotional and very warm speech from our Basketball Coach Tom Izzo:
The article on Coach Izzo:
The Vigil on the MSU Campus:
The memo sent from the MSU Campus:
The first home Basketball game on campus:
The Interview with Coach Izzo
I never thought I would see this in Ann Arbor: