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Alex Powell Spartan Experience Leadership Endowment

Once upon a time, a young man had a dream of attending one of the Big Ten's finest educational institutions. He worked hard to prepare. And by his senior year in high school, he was ready.

That's when a rare cancer intruded.Alex Powell

Alex Powell understood that his life was now about quality, not quantity. He was determined to pack as much adventure and enlightenment into his remaining days as his energy would allow. 

He knew he couldn't do it alone. And that's when Michigan State University's Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities stepped in. RCPD makes an exceptional educational experience accessible to anyone with the desire and the intellect for academic success. RCPD created a supportive environment where Alex could fully enjoy his college experience, despite the inevitable decline of his powers.

When Alex Powell passed away, his family was determined to create a tradition that would honor his memory and support the organizations that have helped thousands of students become Spartans and Wolverines, despite what others might define as a disability.

That's how Alex Great State Race came to be. The race features MSU and UM's ROTC cadets as they run the game ball on MSU's campus the Friday before the annual rivalry football game. You can learn more about the race here. Alex's Great State Race

Proceeds from the race support the Alex Powell Spartan Experience Leadership Endowment, which provides vital funding to:

  • Energize and extend staff leadership via team and professional development focused on capacity building for an exceptional Spartan experience.
  • Enhance the Spartan experience through outreach, specialized assistance and services to students and families facing challenges around difficult disability dynamics with special sensitivity to those facing cancer and other acute challenges.

Your support will honor Alex's memory by providing resources that allow MSU to address unique needs of MSU students with disabilities with a special focus on challenges faced by students fighting cancer.

Make a Gift by Mail:

University Advancement
Spartan Way
535 Chestnut Road, Room 300
East Lansing, MI 48824

*Make check payable to Michigan State University and write “Appeal 22OOPCF1RACE” in the note section.


Remember the CARES Act has been extended for calendar year 2021 allowing taxpayers to take a charitable deduction of up to $300/$600 for those who take the standard deduction. As always, please consult your tax advisor/attorney for advice on your specific situation.

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