Resiliency and Hope in the New Semester

October 7, 2021 - Mary A. Finn

Greetings. The fall semester is in full swing. Our beautiful and beloved campus is once again bustling with students, faculty, and staff. Memories are being made, knowledge is being gathered, and we are all taking strides towards a brighter future while enduring many challenges during the pandemic. We always knew, but it is clear now, that Spartans are some of the most resilient people on the planet. We are working together to find ways to keep each other safe, provide a world class education, and foster a healthy community.

It was an amazing site to see hundreds of our new first year students at our Colloquium celebration at the beginning of the semester. It was an honor to talk about our college. It was musical to say, “GO GREEN! GO WHITE!” It was beautiful to see students getting to know each other and to form friendships and connections that will last a lifetime. It was great to meet some of our inspiring alumni, who are furthering the social sciences and making an impact. 

This past weekend was Homecoming. The Homecoming Parade featured the 2021-22 Homecoming Court. Three of our students, Alyssa Ewell, Julian Trevino and Brenda Pilar-Ayala  were in the homecoming parade. Please read more about them and other members of the court here

As a College, we thought carefully about how to celebrate other time-honored traditions in the current COVID context. During Homecoming Week, we were able to present awards to our 2020 Alumni Award Winners, after postponing the ceremony in 2020 due to the pandemic. We congratulate each one of our amazing alumni who make a difference to our students, our college, our university, and our world. I invite you to learn more here.  

We recently heard about the journeys of inspirational women leaders at a Women’s Leadership Institute event held at the Wharton Center We are also taking applications for a new cohort of students and offering some scholarships to any MSU undergraduate student. Be assured that as we welcomed alumni and friends from near and far, we never lost sight of the fact that we are still in the midst of a pandemic. As Spartans, we chose to move prudently and cautiously forward, adhering to all safety guidelines. 

We realize getting back to in person activities can be stressful. The pandemic has had a huge effect on our community.  I am constantly working with University leadership to help implement strategies that will assure the safest campus experience possible. We are closely monitoring the situation, science, and environment. There are resources available to keep you informed and to help.  Please visit to learn more.

Looking forward, we have much to be hopeful for. The MSU Board of Trustees has approved the University’s Strategic Plan: MSU 2030: Empowering Excellence, Advancing Equity and Expanding Impact. You can learn more here. Over the coming weeks and months, we will be engaged in discussions about how our College can contribute to the aspirational goals outlined within it. As President Stanley noted this past week in his conversation with the campus community, the plan is all centered on people. Our College - our role as social scientists - is about transforming the human experience. I look forward to working with you to fulfill that mission for the College and for the University.



Mary A. Finn
Dean of the College of Social Science