MSU African Studies Center History Video Transcript
There have probably been individual professors who have worked in Africa since the founding of the institution in 1855. However, the first organized institutional engagement with Africa began about fifty years ago. Unlike most universities who began their African studies initiatives through the quiet incorporation of African studies courses into their on-campus curriculum, MSU's engagement with Africa began with this bold venture to partner with a gentleman by the name of Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first president of Nigeria. MSU cooperated in establishing a brand new university that was based on MSU's land-grant model. It's been estimated that MSU faculty contributed something like 200 faculty years to a decade long initiative in developing that university. This is a campus where real-world engagement, the seriousness, the importance of engaging in the real world, saturates every aspect of our ambiance. MSU students have an opportunity to engage in 300 study abroad programs, in 60 different countries, on every continent including Antarctica. This year, there will be 27 study abroad programs, faculty led, on the African continent itself. This is a university where we continually try to bridge the gap between intellectual activities and pragmatic activities, between community and classroom, between academic excellence and social activism. Those are the hallmarks of an MSU education, and those are likewise the foundational principles of the African Studies Center.