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Bright Lights; Big Support

What makes MSU truly vibrant as a community is a thriving arts scene.

Once cast members onstage at Wharton

Anyone whose life has been touched by Michigan State becomes part of MSU’s community. Like any community, it has a few zip codes, a police force of its own and a fluctuating population of diverse residents and visitors.

What makes MSU truly vibrant as a community, however, is a thriving arts scene. Year round — even when students have left and faculty, staff and Lansing residents are the only ones holding down the fort — MSU’s Wharton Center for the Performing Arts makes world-renowned acts and artists accessible, not just to its small campus hometown, but to Greater Lansing area and beyond.

The community’s love for Wharton Center can be measured in a lot of ways. It can be measured by how many MSU students and local children have gotten a taste of the arts through Wharton Center programs, by the number of faculty and staff members that leave their desks at 5 p.m. and head straight across campus to Wharton to see a performance and by the number of alumni and friends who make a weekend drive to East Lansing, not for a football game, but for the latest Broadway tour.

The love can also be measured by the generous contributions made to help Wharton Center continue coloring its community with culture. In the 2014 fiscal year, 2,721 alumni and friends of the university contributed nearly $880,000 in cash donations to Wharton Center’s annual fund. Of those, 531 donors were MSU faculty, staff or retirees, whose cash gifts totaled more than $204,000.

Author: Lois Furry