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Michigan state

Michigan State

The Michigan State University (MSU), located at East Lansing, Michigan, was founded in 1855. The school was first called Agricultural College of the State of Michigan. After a series of name changes, this university, which is the first college in the US to teach agriculture as a science, eventually got its present name in January 1, 1964. At present, MSU, which spearheaded the studies on telecommunications, hospitality business, packaging and music therapy, boasts of five Pulitzer Prize winning alumni. Aside from being one of the best universities not only in the United States but also in the world, this university is also popular for athletics. All sports teams of MSU take part in the Big Ten except for the ice hockey varsity, which participates in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

Since agriculture was ingrained in MSU’s roots (it was once known as the Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences), the university sports teams used to be referred to as the Aggies. But as the years went on, MSU began to excel in other fields aside from agriculture, so a contest for a new MSU nickname was held. At first, they settled for Michigan Staters but the new nickname did not really become popular. Besides, the students of MSU back then wanted a name that would be historic and heroic as well. Finally, the sports news writers of the Capital News and the Lansing State Journal found «Spartans» as one of the entries. Incidentally, Justin Morrill once linked the Land Grant Colleges, such as MSU, to the ancient Spartan schools. This new nickname was accepted by fans and students alike. And after a few years, the traditional «Fight Song» of the school was altered to accommodate the new moniker.

In line with the new name of Michigan State varsity teams, the university adopted Sparty as its official mascot. Sparty, which is made of fiberglass molds, vinyl chest plate and other hi-tech materials, is seven foot high and weighs approximately 40 pounds. And did you know that the present mascot uniform of MSU costs USD 12,000 to make? It is not really surprising because the high-quality materials used in the uniform can be really expensive. Anyway, at present, the identity of the person wearing Sparty is kept undisclosed. However, you can be sure that the student underneath the seven-foot mascot is at least 5’10 in height and physically fit to carry a very heavy costume. Interviews and tryouts are even conducted to find the perfect candidate for Sparty.

Also part of the Michigan State school traditions is the green and white official school colors, which were worn by MSU teams for the first time in 1903. However, the institution adopted the green monogram on April 11, 1899. Another school tradition is the Spartan Marching Band, which is composed of 300 band members. MSU’s marching band is actually considered as the oldest university marching band in the history of the United States. Founded in 1870, the band was composed of only 10 members, which were all veterans of the Civil War.

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