The Strange MSU Tradition Of Revealing ‘Sparty’
The Michigan State student who portrays 'Sparty', the school's well known mascot, is kept a secret, until graduation, when their identity is revealed in a strange custom.
The Students Who Donned The 'Sparty' Costume, Wear His Boots For Graduation
This weekend, Michigan State University will hold their graduation ceremonies on campus, and at that time, some of the students will be wearing the giant boots of the Sparty costume. It's a tradition that reveals which students were in the 'Sparty' costume on the sidelines of most MSU sporting events.
This year it was revealed that Maddie Scanlon was the main student who portrayed 'Sparty', only the third time a woman has been in the macho Sparty outfit. Scanlon will wear his boots with her graduation gown, revealing the secret she kept for four years. She graduates from the school's College of Communication Arts and Sciences Friday night, May 6.
The senior revealed her identity on her Facebook page this week.
It's A Time Suck To Be Sparty, But Well Worth It
All of the students on the Sparty team are volunteers. While they are provided with meals and transportation to and from events, it's mostly a labor of love that eats up a lot of their free time.
Alumna Erin Bormes, class of 1998, and Nicole Niemiec, class of 2018, are the only other women to portray Sparty.
Niemiec admitted she stuffed newspaper in her shoes to meet the height requirement of 5'11".
Scanlon also revealed there is an intensive training process.
“They want to make sure that, one, you have enough time to kind of understand and fully be able to embody Sparty, but also, they want to make sure that you get fun experiences and get to go and travel and stuff,” Scanlon told MSU's State News.
So if you see someone wearing giant boots as their foot attire this weekend, know that that is Madison and that she was Sparty. .
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