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Caleb Sandoval Spirit of Ability Award

Photo of Caleb Sandoval with his wife Leanne and daughter Charlotte at the 19th Annual RCPD/Tower Guard Shamrock 5k Race in 2019 posing in front of Shamrock decorations and green and white balloons. The Spirit of Ability is driving force behind the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD) entire mission. For over 50 years, RCPD has focused on supporting students and celebrating the exceptional growth that can happen for Spartans with disabilities.

On March 13, 2022, the university lost a champion in the Spirit of Ability when Caleb Sandoval passed away unexpectedly due to an unforeseen health condition. He began his MSU experience as a student with a significant visual disability, became energized by the mission of accessible education, grew from his networks and what he learned and ultimately returned to MSU as an Ability Access Specialist at the RCPD. His work and care for others was profound and emphasized the way a Spirit of Ability can improve the world for all. The RCPD is honoring Caleb by inducting him into our Spirit of Ability Award while establishing an endowment in his name to further the work of the RCPD.

Candid photo of Justice Richard Bernstein, Fmr. Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, Michael Hudson and Caleb Sandoval at the Alex’s Great State Race in 2017, all four are standing in conversation and smiling, ROTC Cadets are visible in the background holding the American flag.Caleb was a proud Spartan, a loving husband, and an incredible father. He dedicated his life and his work to forward the interests of persons with disabilities. Caleb was a fun, supportive, and loyal friend. He had an energy, smile, and enthusiasm for life that truly set him apart. His welcoming presence was always felt and appreciated by those around him. He treated everyone he met with respect and was never too busy to be there for a fellow Spartan in need.

We add this fund to our existing Spirit of Ability awards commemorating the empowering heritage of founders who saw beyond an individual’s disabilities. These founders opened higher education opportunities to people whose disabilities were commonly perceived to preclude excellence. Caleb was passionate about maximizing ability through opportunity and his spirit and energy will carry on through the work of this community.

In Caleb’s memory, the Spirit of Ability Award will continue the MSU tradition of creating vibrant environments that welcome, fortify, and compassionately challenge each person to reach their fullest ability.

Photo of Caleb Sandoval and Juliana Powell on the Michael Patrick Shiels Radio Program for an interview on the Alex’s Great State Race. Michael Patrick Shiels left holds the AGSR #Run4RCPD Hand, Juliana Powell in the middle, and Caleb Sandoval on the right.Help us memorialize Caleb’s impact with a gift to this endowed fund. Awards from this endowment will continue on in perpetuity and carry forward the legacy of excellence that Caleb embodied every day.

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 22OOPCF1CALEB” in the note section.

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