What to see and do in East Lansing


Michigan State University Spartans work to advance the common good with uncommon will. The nation’s pioneer land-grant university, MSU began as a bold experiment that democratized higher education and helped bring science and innovation into everyday life. Today, MSU is one of the top research universities in the world—on one of the biggest, greenest campuses in the nation—and is home to a diverse community of dedicated students and scholars, athletes and artists, scientists and leaders.


SIGHTS ON WEST CIRCLE DRIVE (near the music building):


BEAUMONT TOWER (directly east of the music building): This tower has a 47-bell carillon weighing 120,600 pounds. It is 104 feet high and marks the site of College Hall, the first building in America erected for the teaching of scientific agriculture.


COWLES HOUSE (immediately north of the music building): This has been home to many MSU presidents. It is the oldest structure on campus, built in 1857 with bricks made from the clay of our Red Cedar River.


MSU MUSEUM (immediately east on West Circle Drive, following car traffic in the correct direction): The museum has three floors of anthropological, biological, geological, and historical displays. It was the state of Michigan’s first Smithsonian Institution.


MSU UNION BUILDING (north of the music building, following the walking trails and then crossing West Circle Drive): This is the focal point of much student activity on campus. Students, staff, faculty, alumni, and guests gather here to enjoy cultural, recreational, and social activities. Its facilities include a post office, bowling alley, multimedia center, and computer lab. On the first floor, you will find a food court, Sparty’s convenience store, MSU Dairy Store (which sells excellent ice cream), and Biggby Coffee. There is also a Spartan Spirit Shop, so feel free to stop in and look around!


MSU LIBRARY (across the street from the Music Building): This facility's collection is approaching six million volumes with approximately 100,000 volumes added per year. The university also has 17 different branch libraries. Other features of the main library include a copy center, a snack/coffee shop, multiple computer labs, a turfgrass library, a map library, and a periodical reading room. The library also boasts the largest comic book collection in the world.


BEAL BOTANICAL GARDEN (across the street from the Music Building, to the right [west] of the MSU Library): Established in 1872, it is the oldest continuously operated teaching facility of its kind in the nation. There are more than 5,000 plant species across 5 acres. The garden was established by William J. Beal, an MSU botany professor.


OLDS HALL (immediately east of the MSU Library, following traffic on West Circle Drive in the correct direction): Olds Hall originally housed the engineering programs, and is now used as a classroom and office facility. The building was made possible by a grant from Ransom E. Olds, the founder of Oldsmobile.


HANNAH ADMINISTRATION BUILDING (immediately east of Olds Hall, following traffic on West Circle Drive): This houses the Registrar's Office (first floor), the Office of Admissions (second floor), and the President's office (fourth floor). Exit the Administration Building on the north side and you will see a statue of John A. Hannah, Michigan State’s longest-serving president.




RED CEDAR RIVER: The Red Cedar is a popular place to kayak, canoe, and feed the ducks. The river is unique because of the red clay underneath the river, giving the water its reddish-brown color.


SPARTAN STATUE: This statue of Sparty is over 10 feet tall and made of bronze. The original statue, now housed in Spartan Stadium, is made of terracotta and is one of the largest free- standing ceramic statues in the world. This new statue was unveiled at our sesquicentennial celebration in 2005. The incarnation of this mascot, which can be seen at athletic and other events around campus, is the three-time top collegiate mascot in the nation.


SPARTAN STADIUM: Built in 1923, Spartan Stadium has been the home to many football greats, including six national championship teams. Between the 2004 and 2005 seasons, the stadium was expanded to its current capacity of 75,005.





GRAND RIVER AVENUE (north and northeast of the music building, forming the northern border of the MSU campus): You can find a wide variety of eateries, coffee shops, and stores on the northern side of this east-west road and within the first block north of it.


The ELI AND EDYTHE BROAD ART MUSEUM (on Grand River Avenue northeast of the music building): It was designed by Pulitzer Prize winner Zaha Hadid. The museum features rotating contemporary-art exhibits. Admission is free.