Tower Guard is MSU's oldest active campus-based, student-run organization. Members volunteer time to help fellow Spartans with print-related disabilities.

Leonard and Mikaela Czupski standing in front of Beaumont Tower during the May Morning SingWith the rich history of prestige at Michigan State, it has been a norm for members of the same family to attend and create a legacy. Sometimes, many students have the same major or join the same organizations and clubs that their family members before them did. That’s no exception for Tower Guard, MSU’s oldest active campus-based, student-run organization.

As is tradition for May Morning Sing, Tower Guard’s induction ceremony, family members of the inductees are contacted and encouraged to visit MSU’s campus for the special event. The inductees aren’t formally notified that they have been accepted, but rather their friends are notified, and are given the opportunity to surprise them in a creative way. Mikaela Czupski, a 2016 inductee, was nothing short of surprised.

“My friends convinced me to go to a sunrise yoga class with them on Grand River. While we were passing Beaumont Tower, I noticed all the people standing around, and saw a bunch of Tower Guard pamphlets on a table. Without really thinking about the coincidence of us passing by Beaumont, I thought to myself, ‘This must be the Tower Guard induction ceremony. Guess I didn't get in.’”

She then ran into her sister, who was taking a test on campus later that day. Mikaela didn’t fully understand until she saw her father, Leonard Czupski, walking up to her. “We live in Houston, Texas so the last time I saw my dad was during spring break. Having him at Michigan State, 1,200 miles away from home, made me realize that I must have gotten in,” Mikaela stated.

A former Tower Guard member himself, Leonard was especially proud of his daughter. “It was a triple treat to know my daughter was accepted by such an honorable service society, she is part of a legacy, and that Tower Guard has high quality young adults continuing a great service for fellow students. Tower Guard is an original group for ‘Spartans Will’,” he stated. Mikaela remembers her dad speaking fondly of his time in Tower Guard, and how it was such a humbling and rewarding experience for him.

Through all the excitement of May Morning Sing, the new inductees got a glimpse of what their sophomore year will look like. As a service organization, Tower Guard focuses on helping persons with disabilities. Members devote at least 120 hours of their time to reading textbooks and exams to fellow Spartans with print-related disabilities.

Mikaela expressed her enthusiasm for the organization: “What we are doing next year isn't about getting recognition, it's about making someone else's learning experience a little less difficult. I'm just looking forward to working with a great group of students, both in Tower Guard and the students we will be helping.”

As Mikaela’s father mentioned before, Tower Guard is truly an original group that exemplifies “Spartans Will”.

This article was republished with permission from the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities' Ability Blog. 

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