When you first step foot on Michigan State's campus during AOP, you hear the words, "Go Green, Go White" chanted enthusiastically for the first time. As I toured around campus with my AOP group, explored different classrooms and met with professors, I really wondered why my orientation leaders were so fired up about this phrase.
As I kept hearing the chant throughout the orientation program, I was really curious to understand why and how "Go Green, Go White" was any different from my high school chant such as, "Go Pioneers!" or my middle school cheer, "Go Monarchs!" When I moved into Armstrong Hall that fall and became part of the Spartan community, I soon found out why the chant is so meaningful.
"Go Green, Go White" is such a part of the Michigan State community that we say it involuntarily. It's a phrase that identifies us as part of a very special family, a family that has members across the nation and the world. In fact, "Go Green, Go White" is even a trademarked phase. We often hear it at football games by our beloved Mark Dantonio in the student section, or in the Izzone during basketball season. Sometimes we just hear it walking along the Red Cedar River or even by our professors in class.
"Go Green, Go White" is the atmosphere of being a part of MSU's campus and the feeling you get when you enter Spartan Stadium. It's the special way that MSU students connect to one another, almost like a family. It's the way we help each other out on campus and know we are there for each other. It's the connections that we make and the bonds we form that will last a lifetime.
I have now discovered that "Go Green, Go White" is a spirit that follows you even when you graduate and leave EL.
The MSU Alumni Association reports that there are over 500,000 Spartan alumni around the globe. With this being said, you're always likely to find some fellow Spartans wherever you go. Like they always say, "Once a Spartan, Always a Spartan!"
For example, I traveled to Fort Lauderdale during winter break last year with my family. After MSU made the Big Ten College Playoffs, I was almost a little disappointed to head down to Florida because I wanted to watch the game with my friends. However, as I did some digging on Facebook, I discovered the MSU South Florida Alumni Club. I reached out to the head of the club who then told me that there was a whole group of alumni who were going to be watching the big game on New Year's Eve at a place called Stinger's Bar (which is by far the most-decked out MSU bar I've ever seen in my life).
When New Year's came around, my family and I headed down to Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and watched the game against Alabama with some of the most enthusiastic Spartan fans I've ever seen. All you could see was the color green from miles away! (not to mention that there was the cutest little man playing the Spartan Fight song throughout the game!). Everyone was constantly chanting "Go Green, Go White!" After spending time with this group of people, some of who had graduated over 30 years ago, I realized how proud these folks are to be Spartans. It's a truly special thing.
As a student at Michigan State today, I now believe that I am just one of the lucky members who belongs to the Spartan family and to Spartan Nation.
I'll forever bleed green and white. "Go Green, Go White."