Professional Excellence Recognized at Alumni Celebration

On April 14, a select group of Spartan alumni returned to their alma mater for the 2018 Celebration to honor their achievements, commitment and passion. It was a time to reflect, celebrate and look toward the future of the College of Communication Arts & Sciences.

“Being a part of the Alumni Award Celebration is an incredible opportunity to be surrounded by the most influential ComArtSci alumni in the nation,” said Phil Bertolini, president of the Alumni Board. “Rewarding outstanding achievements made by incredible people makes all of our efforts worthwhile. MSU is a premiere institution and an incredible family.”

Celebrating Outstanding Alumni

During the Celebration, nine alumni were honored with three different awards: the Faculty Impact Award, the Rising Star Award and the Outstanding Alumni Award. Matt Davis ’86, president of Dow North America and senior vice president of global public affairs and government affairs for Dow Chemical was one of the Outstanding Alumni recipients.

“Being honored as a distinguished alumni of the College of Communication Arts & Sciences is truly a lifetime highlight,” said Davis. “I am humbled and proud to be a part of an awesome group who were honored.”


Communications alumna Erica Hughes ’08, who currently leads Chick-fil-A’s integrated media, was also in attendance. She was honored with the Rising Star Award for building a record of accomplishment just ten years after her graduation.

“It exemplifies a lot of the values and principles that I have personally,” said Hughes. “I love that the award stands for service to others, education and passion for the field of communications.”

Hughes said this recognition now allows her a platform to open doors for other diverse professionals. She hopes to encourage others to be resilient and strive for excellence in all that they do.

Getting a Head Start

For many of the alumni, the Celebration event was their first visit to ComArtSci in years. Hughes was particularly impressed by how much had advanced in the decade since she’d left — both academically and physically.

“I was honestly blown away by the Spartan Newsroom and Immersive Media Center,” said Hughes. “The different labs that focused on social media, game development and augmented and virtual reality were state-of-the-art and industry-leading. This visit definitely made me extremely proud to be an alumni of ComArtSci.”


The Celebration honors the college’s biggest success stories — the graduates who have gone on to lead companies and give back and make a difference in their communities. There is no doubt our alumni will continued to be celebrated for years to come. But as Hughes said, ComArtSci students must never stop learning in order to make their way to the top.

“With the pace of change in our world, it is imperative to be a lifelong learner,” said Hughes. “Success is definitely earned, not given.”

By Kaitlin Dudlets