Nelson Mandela Had Mid-Michigan Ties - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Nelson Mandela Had Mid-Michigan Ties

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - Nelson Mandela passed Thursday afternoon at his home in Johannesburg at age 95.

Mandela was South Africa's first black president and an icon in civil leadership.

Many here in Mid-Michigan had the privilege of hearing him speak when he gave a video speech in 2008 to Michigan State University's graduating class.


MSU gave Mandela an honorary degree for that speech as well as honoring him at the MSU museum. Back in 2010, he was featured in an exhibit called "Dear Mr. Mandela, Dear Mrs. Parks: Children's Letters, Global Lessons." The exhibit first opened at the "Nelson Mandela National Museum" in South Africa back in 2008, but it made it's American debut in East Lansing. The inspiration came from hundreds of kids around the world who wrote to Mandela and Parks.

The MSU Museum also honored him this year in an exhibit called "Materializing Mandela's Legacy." It showed off textiles to talk about how they've played a role in human rights movements and included the shirt Mandela wore on his 90th birthday celebration at his home in South Africa in July of 2008. It was on display at MSU in July and August.

"Nelson Mandela set out to transform a nation. In doing so, he made our entire world a better place," said Gov. Rick Snyder in a release. "The people of Michigan join the global community in mourning the loss of President Mandela, who will be remembered as one of the world's great leaders. We offer our humble appreciation for the work of this remarkable man, whose legacy as a statesman, reformer and peacemaker has left a better world for us and our children."

"Through his vision, courage and humanity, Nelson Mandela was a leader not just for South Africa, but for the world," said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. "Michigan State is honored to have worked in support of his initiatives as part of our long and deep involvement on the continent of Africa. We're particularly proud of our Nelson Mandela Museum-Michigan State University Museum Curatorial Fellowship. As we move forward, we will continue to strive to honor Mandela's legacy in the work we do here in Michigan, in Africa and around the world."

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