In true Spartan fashion, the extraordinary individuals and groups that comprise the MSU College of Natural Science (NatSci) family – faculty members, staff members, students and alumni – are hard at work every day, making a difference in their classrooms, labs, businesses, communities and the world around them. In an effort to tell their stories, we've created this collection of profiles to feature people in our NatSci family and how they are contributing to the common good in ways both big and small. SPARTANS WILL.
If you were enrolled in a physiology course at Michigan State University between 1967 and 2011, chances are you knew Professor Thomas Adams. Adams, who retired in January 2011 at the age of 80, was popular not only as a great professor, but a highly regarded advisor and mentor. After his death in August 2011, his wife, Peggy, decided to establish a scholarship in his memory. The Thomas Adams Memorial Scholarship honors his love of learning and his dedication to helping students achieve success.
MSU Department of Physics and Astronomy staffer Marc Conlin has invested some 50 years in Michigan State. His Spartan legacy goes beyond eager learning, devoted professional acumen and trusted leadership to significant financial support.
MSU professor Kathy Doig and her husband, Ric Benson, have a nearly 40-year philanthropic history with MSU; the relationship was sparked by the couple’s need for two Powdermilk Biscuit t-shirts. While the shirts have long since disintegrated into tatters, Doig and Benson’s connection to MSU continues to deepen and expand.
Megan Donahue and Mark Voit, professors of physics and astronomy who are both internationally known for their research on galaxy formation, went to two of the most prestigious undergraduate institutions in the country (Princeton and MIT, respectively). But the couple feel a much deeper kinship with MSU than any other school.
As a young girl growing up in the tiny town of Williamsport, Ind., her desire was to become a farmer—not a pioneer. But today, Pam Fraker is recognized as a pioneer in the field of nutritional immunology and as an avid supporter of students, both academically and financially.
Dan and Karen Friderici, both retired professors from the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, have created the Friderici Undergraduate Research Scholarship in the College of Natural Science, to help demystify laboratory life for aspiring scientists and provide the financial flexibility for students to participate in research.
Laurie Thorp credits her father with instilling in her a passion for gardening and a deep love of the land and nature, and has combined this love with her commitment to undergraduate education at MSU and the importance of experiential learning for student development. Her husband, Joe, also firmly believes in the value of the land grant mission and its transformative impact on students and the world. This commitment and belief has compelled the couple to make a gift in support of undergraduate education.
MSU visiting professor Warren Wood and his wife, Anneliese, believe that paid internships are an excellent way for students to integrate what they learn, so they’ve crafted a giving philosophy that aims to help MSU students get a better integrated education.