Michigan State University is defined by well-recognized and cherished campus icons and traditions.
Alumni Memorial Chapel
Beaumont Tower & Carillon
Built in 1928, Beaumont Tower has been the meeting place for the Executive Board of the elite Tower Guard Honor Society since its inception in 1934. The State of Michigan’s first Historical Marker is affixed to the side of Beaumont tower, honoring Beaumont Tower’s location on the site of former College Hall, the first building in America erected for instruction in scientific agriculture. In 1935, 39 bells were added to the tower’s original 10 to create a Carillon. The largest bell weighs 2.5 tons and the smallest bell about 15 pounds. The bells can be heard every 15 minutes chiming the time. Spartan lore suggests that being kissed in the shadow of the tower is a rite of passage for students. Learn more about Beaumont Tower in this video.
Breslin Student Events Center
MSU Dairy Store ice cream is fresh, creamy and delicious and made from the milk of the cows right on campus. The Anthony Hall location rotates 32 flavors, while the Union location rotates 20. Creative flavors include one for each Big Ten school, such as Buckeye Blitz, Gopher More, Maize ‘n’ Berry and Purdue Tracks. Prices are pretty cheap: $2.50 for a single, yet very generous (the size of a double in most ice cream shops), scoop. During the week, the lunch counter serves grilled cheese and soup specials. Try some day-old cheese curds or chocolate cheese as well.
Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum
The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum is the art museum of Michigan State University. Also an engaged public institution, the Broad MSU is a contemporary museum devoted to the exploration and exhibition of significant art from around the globe. This international focus is supported also by the contextualizing of contemporary art within the history of art by virtue of our historical collection. The Broad MSU is a place where artists’ ideas, words, and actions create a vibrant center for questioning and understanding the modern world.
Dedicated to experimentation and study, the Broad MSU is a laboratory for the new, grounded in a deep appreciation for the historical. With a historic collection containing objects from the Greek and Roman periods, through the Renaissance, and on to the Modern, the Broad is unique among contemporary art museums in its ability to frame the broad range of contemporary art practices within a firm historical context.
Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid, the museum features a striking façade of pleated stainless steel and glass, signaling the museum and the university’s dynamic vision. More than 70 percent of the 46,000-square-foot facility is dedicated to exhibition space. The museum is named for Eli and Edythe Broad, longtime supporters of Michigan State University, who provided the lead gift for the museum.
MSU Fight Song
MSU Horticulture Gardens
One of the top University Horticulture Gardens in the country, our 14 acres of diverse gardens are a superb retreat and resource for gardeners, plant lovers and children of all ages! You can easily get a bit of exercise while walking the displays. You may get garden design ideas, or learn new annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees - or perhaps even a fruit or vegetable new to you. On the other hand, you may just want to relax in a beautiful and refreshing garden setting. Learn more about the MSU Horticulture Gardens on their website.
Munn Ice Arena
Red Cedar River
Running right through campus, the Red Cedar River is a prominent feature of the campus landscape. Rent a bike or walk along the trails beside the river. Enjoy lunch and feeding the ducks on its banks.
Built in 1923, Spartan Stadium was once named Macklin Field in honor of former football coach (1911-1915) John Macklin. The original capacity of 14,000 grew to 76,000 by 1957 when it officially became known as “Spartan Stadium.” In 1994, the capacity was actually reduced to 75,005 to increase comfort and improve sight-lines. In 2002, the artificial turf of over 30 years was replaced with natural grass developed by MSU‘s turfgrass program, one of the nation’s top turfgrass programs.
In 1945, a 9-foot-7 terra-cotta Spartan statue, weighing over 6,000 pounds, was dedicated to the University. In 2005, the original statue was moved inside the atrium of the Spartan Stadium tower to protect it from the elements and replaced by an exact replica cast in bronze. “Sparty” has always been a favorite photo op of students and visitors to campus; it is also considered good luck to rub Sparty’s heel. On weeks leading up to big games, band members take turns camping around Sparty, guarding him from vandalism. On game days, members of the band gather around Sparty for a pep-rally type concert in anticipation of the team’s “Spartan Walk.”
A gift of the class of 1873, the Rock was once used by Michigan Agricultural College students to study mineral contents. The Rock quickly became a meeting spot for students and was known for years as “Engagement Rock.” In the 1920’s, the Rock became a billboard for protest slogans, covering up the original inscription “Class of ‘73.” Today, the Rock can be painted by anyone for the purposes of advertising events to political statements. The Rock is often a target of opposing team graffiti and must be guarded during the weeks of big games—especially football games against the University of Michigan.
Visit the MSU Union today and discover why generations of MSU students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors gather at the MSU Union for friends, fun and entertainment.
Michigan Agricultural College recognized the need for a central gathering place for students, faculty and the surrounding community. Today, the MSU Union is centrally located between a bustling campus and the East Lansing community. A vibrant, multi-faceted building with flexible spaces, shopping, dining, and entertainment, the MSU Union has something for everyone. Learn more about the MSU Union on the official website.
Wharton Center for Performing Arts
Wharton Center is Michigan’s largest performing arts venue with four unique stages (the Cobb Great Hall, Pasant Theatre, MSU Concert Auditorium and Fairchild Theatre) and plenty of things to do and see all season. Wharton Center is proud to bring the best Broadway shows, the finest classical musicians, unrivaled dance companies and an A-list of high profile performers to mid-Michigan.
We are the leading presenting venue among Big 10 institutions and have the largest programming schedule of any independent performing arts center affiliated with a university in the country. Wharton Center is also recognized internationally for our world premier commissions. The Center is fortunate to hire artists to create new works in jazz, dance, and classical music that make a world debut at Wharton Center.