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MSU President Lou Anna Simon Gets Dose of Bay City's Spartan Spirit

Politicians? "Put Them On An Island Until They Cooperate!" She Said

February 27, 2007       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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Visit, web site of the Rotary Club of Bay City, Michigan


  • Club Web Site: New features are being added regularly. Visit the site and pass along suggestions to Stephen Kent or Gena Gates.

  • Meeting Helpers for the next six months are being recruited. If you'd like to be the greeter, do 50/50 ticket sales, or take lunch money, please sign up at the table this week.

  • Bring a friend to Rotary. For prospective new members we have a supply of the "Rotary Basics" brochures that explain the organization very well.


  • Sign up now for the District Conference in Frankenmuth. The board voted to pay $50 toward the conference fee for the first 10 members who apply.

    Welcome Pinconning Club Members of the forming Pinconning club visited the Bay City meeting this week. Welcome one and all. The forming club meets every other Thursday at the Third Street Deli in Pinconning. Bay City members are encouraged to attend one of those meetings.

    Upcoming Programs (See the official schedule at

  • Mar 6 Global Warming: Peter Sinclair

  • Mar 13 Wills Trust and Estate Planning: Bob Sarow

  • Mar 20 Vocational Day

  • Mar 27 Vocational Day

  • April 17 Dick Devos

    MSU President Speaks

    It was a GO GREEN! kind of day at Rotary this week.

    With University of Michigan graduate Leo Najar playing the Spartan fight song as she entered, Dr. Lou Anna Simon, president of Michigan State University, could hardly go wrong on her visit Tuesday to the Bay City Rotary Club.

    Spartan Eric Jylha interviewed her for Channel 5 before the meeting and she gave a cheer for the Spartans in the big basketball game Tuesday night against the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

    Two contingents of Spartans were on hand as guests, one from Pinconning including the principal and several students of the Pinconning High School, that also shares the Spartan mascot, and another from the MSU Alumni Club of Bay County.

    And, former club president Mike Stoner was sporting his best MSU sweatshirt along with a beaming Spartan smile.

    Dr. Simon delivered what turned out to be an economic development pep talk for the State of Michigan.

    She is going around the state delivering a message about the need for students and parents to value higher education. And Rotary Clubs are among her sounding boards; she was at the Kalamazoo Rotary on Monday.

    The state needs to put manufacturing and agriculture together in new and unique ways to create wealth from the new "bio-economy," she said, noting that research dollars are available from Washington in the interest of "oil independence."

    She had a message for students in the wake of a poll showing that only about 20 percent of Macomb County students and 11 percent of Detroit students think going to college is important. Part of the problem is "public misconception" about costs, Dr. Simon said, noting that any student at the poverty line gets free tuition and 17 percent of MSU students are eligible for Pell grants.

    She has harsh words for politicians on both sides of the partisan aisle who can't get together to solve Michigan's budget problems.

    Dr. Simon noted that we spend more on prisons than necessary because "all the rules we have passed causes the prison population to grow even if the arrest rate drops."

    "We're trapped in our own history and the sound bites from a very expensive campaign are still stuck in everybody's heads," she quipped.

    Her solution? Put them on either Beaver or Drummond Island until they agree to "make decisions that will work not only for today but for our kids' future."

    Lou Anna K. Simon is the 20th President of Michigan State University. She was among the youngest to achieve such a position in the Association of American Universities (AAU), and is one of only nine women to be chief academic officer among the 62 leading research institutions.

    In May 2003, the MSU Board of Trustees appointed Simon as interim president of Michigan State when then-President Peter McPherson accepted the position of financial coordinator for the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance in Iraq.

    Simon's history with MSU began in 1970 as a graduate student. She holds two degrees from Indiana State University. After earning her doctorate in administration and higher education at MSU in 1974, she became a member of the MSU faculty and served in a variety of administrative posts. She also is on the board of the Michigan State University College of Law. ###

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    Dave Rogers

    Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
    respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
    (Contact Dave Via Email at

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