Skip to content

Michigan State University

Michigan State University Photo

The Story

GO GREEN!

 

At Michigan State University, we gather and engage our community to teach, support and celebrate our student-athletes in their quest for excellence. Our core values are: Respect, Positive Attitude, Focus, Accountability, Continued Improvement, and Integrity. 

 

The Nickname: In 1926, Michigan State's first southern baseball training tour provided the setting for the birth of the "Spartans" nickname. It all came about when a Lansing sportswriter imposed the silent treatment on a contest-winning nickname and substituted his own choice, the name that has lasted throughout the years. In 1925, Michigan State College replace the name Michigan Agricultural College. The college sponsored a contest to select a nickname to replace "Aggies" and picked "The Michigan Staters." George S. Alderton, then sports editor of the Lansing State Journal, decided the name was too cumbersome for newspaper writing and vowed to find a better one. Alderton contacted Jim Hasselman of Information Services to see if entries still remained from the contest. When informed that they still existed, Alderton ran across the entry of the name "Spartans" and then decided that was the choice. Unfortunately Alderton forgot to write down who submitted that particular entry, so that part of the story remains a mystery. 

 

Green & White: Details are sketchy as to when Michigan State Athletic Teams officially began using the school colors green and white. But records of the Athletic Association of the then Michigan Agricultural College show that on April 11, 1899, the organization took steps toward adoption of a green monogram, "to be worn only by athletes who subsequently take part in intercollegiate events." It is generally thought the colors came into wide use with the arrival in 1903 of Chester L. Brewer as the school's first full-time director of athletics. Brewer also coached the Spartan football, basketball, baseball and track teams, the only varsity units in existence at the time. 

 

Sparty: "The Spartan" statue, designed and produced by MSU assistant art professor Leonard D. Jungwirth, has a permanent home inside the atrium of the Spartan Stadium tower. The 9-foot-7 ceramic figure weighs approximately 6,600 pounds. In 2005, the sculpture was relocated to protect it from the elements. Popularly known as "Sparty," the statue remains as one of the favorite photo subjects of campus visitors. 

 

MSU Fight Song: On the banks of the Red Cedar, There's a a school that's known to all; It's a specialty in winning; And those Spartans play good ball; Spartan teams are never beaten, All through the game they'll fight; Fight for the only colors, Green and White. Go right through for MSU, Watch the points keep growing. Spartan teams are bound to win, They're fighting with a vim, Rah! Rah! Rah! See their team is weakening, We're going to win this game. Fight! Fight! Rah! Team, Fight! Victory for MSU. 

 

Joined Big Ten: 1949

Team Organizer's Photo

Alpha Phi

Amount Raised:

$0

Team Organizer's Photo

Phi Kappa Tau

Amount Raised:

$0