beaumont tower

John Hannah, Michigan State University's 12th president, articulated a vision of MSU as a university not only for the people of Michigan but also for the world. His vision of a globally interdependent future in the wake of World War II led to the university's involvement in the creation of institutions of higher education in places such as Brazil, Colombia, and Okinawa in the 1950s, Nigeria and Pakistan in the early 1960s, and subsequently in more than 200 major development, research, and technical assistance projects in dozens of countries.

In 1956, President Hannah established International Programs, headed by a dean—the first such office among major universities in the United States. Later renamed International Studies and Programs (ISP), its purpose was to initiate, coordinate, and otherwise support internationally related activities throughout the institution. The office would eventually administer a number of area studies centers and support units, but its effectiveness as a university-level entity has resided in its "matrix" nature and ability to foster collaborative efforts across traditional college and departmental administrative boundaries.

International Highlights