Make that 4…

3 02 2011

“Snow School” was the title on the front page of the State News and MSU students’ Snow Day prayers were answered! Michigan State canceled all classes in response to the forecasted blizzard and students around on and off campus rejoiced! Sledding, snow football, snow ball fights, snow forts, and snow men making were just a few of the activities that were happening among the joyous students! Others, myself included, enjoyed catching up on sleep and just bumming around all day.  Overall, it was a wonderful day filled with fun and relaxation that will go down in history!

— Thank you Chris Edwards for taking these beautiful photographs!

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**Photographs taken by Chris Edwards. Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved. **

What about 1994?

There was much talk about when the last time the university was actually closed for a snow day, and numerous alumni remembered that cold Wednesday on January 19, 1994.  Classes were in fact canceled, HOWEVER, faculty and staff members were told to report to work. The University was not closed down completely. If the University did close down completely, then those on salary still got paid for the day, but the hourly wage workers would not.   Yesterday was only the 4th time in MSU history that the college was shut down completely because of the snow. All classes were canceled and the university closed in its entirety except for critical functions (dining halls, maintenance etc.)

On January 19, 1994 it wasn’t the snow that caused classes to be canceled, but rather the intense cold weather. President McPherson decided to cancel classes at 5:30am on that Wednesday morning. Temperatures reached almost 20 degrees below late Tuesday night and wind chill factors were as low as 60 degrees below zero.  Students rallied in front of the Cowles house (his residence at the time) to call for classes to be canceled while chanting “Hell no, it’s 40 below!!” and “Frostbite is not right!!”. After coming out in his pajamas and telling students that he will take their thoughts into consideration, they dispersed.  It was announced the next morning that classes were canceled due to the cold and McPherson  stated that student  safety was the greatest factor in the decision.



MSU Metropolis 1994 Red Cedar Annual, Pgs.50-51

“Snow School.” State News [East Lansing] 2 Feb. 2011. Print

Powers, Shad. “Class cancellation only 4th ever at ‘U’.” State News [East Lansing] 20 Jan. 1994. Print.

“’U’ students rally: ‘Hell, no, it’s 40 below’.”  State News [East Lansing] 19 Jan. 1994. Print.


University Archives Closed February 2

1 02 2011

The University Archives will be closed all day Wednesday, February 2, 2011.  Michigan State University has declared that only critical functions will be in operation due to the impending blizzard.  Classes have already been canceled for the day.  If there are further weather related cancellations or changes to our schedule, we will keep you informed to the best of our ability.

High Hopes for a Snow Day

1 02 2011

“They Said Six to Eight Inches: 24-inch snowfall brings freedom, wild weekend”

“Snow forces 2nd MSU shutdown ever”

Those were the titles on the front pages of the January 30, 1967, and April 4, 1975, State News (Note: another snow storm occurred in 1978). Will tonight be a repeat??

Forecasters are stating that East Lansing will be hit with anywhere from 10-14 inches of snow and receive gusts of wind measuring up to 40 miles an hour. I don’t think many students care exactly what kind of weather or how much snow we will  get, I think that we are all concerned about whether or not we’ll have classes tomorrow. It is every student’s never ending dream to have a snow day. We’ve loved them since pre-school and we love them even more now.

Did you know that MSU has only been shut down 3 times due to snow storms in its 156 year history?

January 27, 1967

Within 24 hours, 20.4 inches of snow fell throughout the University. All classes and university operations were suspended for two full days.  The forecast only stated that snow accumulation would be between 6-8 inches…boy were they wrong!  This snow storm created lines of 75-100 people, carrying suitcases, sleds, toboggans, and crates all for lugging home their Friday night drinks.  Tackle football games were played around campus and Grand River restaurants were full of hungry students. Olin had to address 18 injured students as a result of the snow and the police were working anywhere from 24-36 hour shifts.  The sheet of white fluffy stuff truly left the campus in a state of freedom…for the students at least.

* The University was completely closed. Classes were canceled and non-academic staff were told not to report. This was the first time the university was closed due to weather. No one was allowed to drive on campus except faculty and necessary services personnel*

April 3, 1975

“April storm brings flakes not flowers”. One wouldn’t necessarily expect a huge snow fall in April, but in 1975 it happened. Nearly 13 inches of snow fell on the campus within 15 hours. MSU shut itself down for the second time and students took it to their advantage. Dorm food trays were used as “mini toboggans” for sliding down the sloped roof of Munn Arena and snowball fights were breaking out everywhere on campus. And of course, the bars all filled up. Students were stated saying that they had too much work to catch up on so they instead decided to go to the bars to relax and enjoy their day off.

*The University was completely closed. This was considered the 2nd University shutdown ever due to weather*

January 26-27, 1978

This snow storm is perhaps the most remembered out of the three, not only because of its (kind of) recent occurrence, but because of the activities that resulted from it. The high winds along with the 18-inch blanket of snow that fell on the University prompted President Harden to close down MSU.  Michigan was declared to be in a state of emergency and it took work crews and emergency vehicles nearly 80 hours to clear the roads. MSU crews were also trying to clear the [then] 131 miles of campus pavement. Students took advantage of their time off and many went out to frolic in the snow. Others chose to go stock up on beer and alcohol to celebrate their time off. The 1978 Red Cedar Log Yearbook quotes one student stating, after a trip to Goodrich’s ShopRite, “The store was mobbed…Their supply of beer was gone in a day”.  Campus Corners II also sold out on their entire inventory of beer! Even the bar Dooley’s created a “Blizzard Special” where beer and mixed drinks were sold for half off.  Needless to say, I believe this snow storm didn’t disappoint the student body.

*Classes were canceled for 2 consecutive days however the university was closed only on January 25th. This was the first time that classes were canceled for two consecutive days*

So the question remains…will history repeat itself? Will MSU students and faculty be graced with a snow day tomorrow?  I personally don’t think the University will shut down again, however I do have faith that some classes might be cancelled.  It looks like we’ll have to find out tonight…


Merrell, Jeff. “Snow Forces 2nd MSU Shutdown Ever.” State News [East Lansing] 4 Apr. 1975. Print.

Mollison, Andrew. “They Said Six to Eight Inches.” State News [East Lansing] 30 Jan. 1967. Print.

The Spirit of Michigan State, J. Bruce McCristal

1978 Red Cedar Log Yearbook