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On MSU Careers, Art, and Organic Farming

After more than 30 years helping to promote the best of MSU, this power couple is making another mark on two MSU standouts: the MSU Broad and the Student Organic Farm.

dave giordan and cindy lounsbery pose in a parody of the American Gothic painting

On MSU Careers, Art, and Organic Farming

After more than 30 years helping to promote the best of MSU, this power couple is making another mark on two MSU standouts: the MSU Broad and the Student Organic Farm.

If you start a conversation about their respective MSU careers with Dave Giordan and Cindy Lounsbery, you won’t get far into the discussion before one of them says, “Michigan State was really good to us.”

Both spent more than 30 years working at MSU before their respective retirements in 2015 and 2019, and a lot happened in that time.

They found themselves as graphic design professionals—Dave in University Advancement and Cindy in University Communications. They found each other, as partners in work and in life. They found social and cultural fulfillment in a campus community that they will love forever.

And as producers of some of MSU’s most prominent and widely distributed communications pieces, they had the opportunity to see the very best of everything that happened here for three decades.

“Being on campus every day, going on photoshoots, I got to go everywhere from science labs to art exhibits, meet all of these researchers and engineers—it was one of the most inspiring things about my job, and it just really made me love Michigan State.” says Cindy.

Their long history of giving is reflective of all the different things they found to be passionate about. For years, they’ve supported everything from WKAR, Wharton Center for the Performing Arts and the MSU Museum to a student experience fund in Communication Arts and Sciences and the feline health expendable fund in Veterinary Medicine.

In 2016, they documented a planned gift, split equally between the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum and the Student Organic Farm.

At the MSU Broad, the Giordan Lounsbery Art Museum Endowment will support an artist-in-residence. Having worked with student interns throughout their careers, Dave and Cindy are both enthusiastic about the idea of the future Giordan Lounsbery Artist-In-Residence being someone in the area of graphic design—who could partner with art and communications departments on campus to inspire the graphic designers of the future.

 

“We’re very passionate about art, and about helping to grow the Broad Art Museum. We also know how hard it can be for young designers to find mentors and get real-life experience so that they can go right out into the world and find a career doing what they love. We would love for this artist in residence to be able to help create those opportunities for students.”

 

At the Student Organic Farm, the Lounsbery Giordan Student Organic Farm Endowment will help ensure that the facility is future proof. The farm already sells its produce to the campus residence halls, and to the public through a CSA and a farm stand. As MSU continues to move towards a more sustainable, self-sufficient campus, and the world at large begins to pay more attention to where its food comes from, Dave and Cindy’s gift will provide the extra resources the farm needs to keep up with the demands.

 

“The quality of food—where it comes from, how it’s grown—is so important. We went to one of the Student Organic Farm fundraising dinners and were so impressed with how it was being run, and how passionate the students were.”

 

“Being philanthropic is kind of like finding religion,” Dave says. “You find—especially through the kind of exposure we had to all these different areas of the university over the last thirty years—something that you’re really excited about. And then you become engaged with it. And then you become almost evangelical in the way you talk about it, and you want to promote it and support it in any way you can. For us, that’s through giving. We’re a part of MSU and now MSU has become a part of us.”

Author: Devon Barrett, '11