Michigan State University's Tower Guard
is distinguished as the oldest active MSU-based student organization, and celebrated 75 years of service during the 2008-2009 academic year. Membership in Tower Guard is founded upon four "corners" or "pillars": leadership, service, scholarship, and character. The organization's main commitment is to serve students with disabilities. Each member upholds this tradition by dedicating a total of 120 hours of reading textbooks and exams through the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities.
The organization has an extensive list of traditions that have evolved over the years. Tower Guard remains active on campus through annual Homecoming tours of Beaumont Tower, and the Shamrock 5K Run/Walk/Roll.
Tower Guard is the only student organization that holds the key to Beaumont Tower. In the early years when Tower Guard was comprised of 20 - 25 members, the meetings were held on the second floor of the Tower; today's larger membership allows only the officers to continue this tradition. Though Tower Guard has evolved over the years, it continues to serve as a prominent model of leadership, service, scholarship, and character for the entire MSU community. The Tower Guard and the RCPD have developed a scholarship program that benefits Tower Guard scholars during their junior and senior years.
Make a gift to the MSU Tower Guard.
This donor-supported program provides awareness and expanded opportunity for persons with disabilities. You can help support this initiative or find out more about other RCPD programs and giving opportunities by visiting the Financial Contributions page.
Tower Guard in Action
- The commitment to service transcends generations in Tower Guard. Read about former president, Joey Etienne, and his grandmother Audrey's experiences in Tower Guard in the 1950s and today.
- 2011-2012 Tower Guard President and Iraq Veteran Kent Dell found a sense of community at MSU. Read how he inspires other student veterans to get involved too in this New York Times article.
- The 2012-2013 class of Tower Guard was inducted at the 78th annual May Morning Sing ceremony. Read the full article.
- Tower Guard offers 2012 Seniors a chance to explore Beaumont Tower before leaving MSU. Read the State News article.
- Read the Ingham County Chronicle's article about the 2012 annual Shamrock Walk/Run/Roll 5K hosted by Tower Guard.
- Tower Guard class of 2012 Historian Kaitlyn Hlywa shares her volunteer experience and qualifies as a Big Ten Network LiveBIG Scholarship finalist.
- MSU's alternative format production of books for both its own students and others served by academic institutions needing assistance in meeting compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act is often completed by Tower Guard members.
- Tower Guard has received continuous recognition in the center's annual award ceremonies for the dedication and compassion of its members. To read of their recognition, please click the year of the award ceremony at which they were featured: 2012, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 1997.
- Continued coordination of the annual Shamrock Run/Walk/Roll has raised money for the Persons with Disabilities Empowerment Fund.
- Members reflect on their past accomplishments, impact, and fundraising efforts.
- The dedication of this organization allows students like Amanda Gretka and recent graduate Jason Maust to properly succeed despite the challenges they face in studying, because Tower Guard members work with the Media Access Specialist to produce accessible textbooks.
- Steeped in tradition, May Morning Sing, annual Homecoming tours of Beaumont Tower, and the presence of an endowment for scholarship funds make Tower Guard a unique commitment.
Keep in touch with Tower Guard during the academic year. Do you have a special memory or story about your experience as a Tower Guard member? Please share it with us by clicking on this share your story link.
*Historic photographs belong to the university and are courtesy of MSU Archives & Historical Collections
Tower Guard in the News:
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Rachel joined the Tower Guard Organization in 1950 and remarked, “The very best part of Tower Guard was that I met Bill McCready.” She spent the next 61 years reading to him.
Hundreds of energized runners braved a chilly Saturday morning to compete in the 15th annual Shamrock 5k “Run-Walk-Roll”. No matter the style of finishing, excited supporters greeted the contenders with cheer.
Michigan State Spartan, Carl Scott Trimble, arrived at MSU in 1967 and knew his approach to higher education would be a little different than most.