By Mina Shin, Associate Director, Visiting International Professional Program, Michigan State University
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Visiting International Professional Program (VIPP) at Michigan State University (MSU). Partnering with subject experts on MSU’s campus and beyond, VIPP has been home for international visiting scholars and professionals across all fields and disciplines for the past three decades. Celebrating our achievements and looking forward to another 30 years, we strive to uphold our mission of providing transformative learning experiences and high-quality exchange opportunities to current and future leaders in our global community.
New VIPP Branding
Our anniversary gives us the perfect opportunity to refresh our branding and engage with stakeholders. As part of the celebrations, VIPP launched a commemorative 30th anniversary logo, a new program brochure, and a promotional video.
The new branding celebrates the program’s growth from hosting one small group of Korean civil servants on a year-long program in 1991 to now welcoming more than 500 visiting professionals from more than 30 countries each year on long- and short-term programs, including the U.S. Department of State’s IVLP program, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Borlaug and Cochran programs. VIPP’s 4,000 alumni are leaders in advancing the common good around the world. As we explore more government and non-profit grant proposals, the new branding publicizes our expansion, markets program offerings more widely, and reflects the global scope of our engagement.
From Virtual Events to Video Production
VIPP kicked off a year-long anniversary celebration with a virtual event on March 26, 2021 with more than 60 attendees. Though we had originally planned an in-person event, the virtual event turned out to be an amazing experience, reconnecting stakeholders from all around the world as guests shared their heartwarming VIPP stories and memories. To make the online event engaging, we included interactive elements such as polling, an open floor for guest remarks, and a recorded performance by a VIPP alumna who is a renowned singer.
Most recently, we debuted our anniversary video, honoring VIPP’s legacy, showcasing our offerings for international visitors, and sharing our contributions to the MSU and Michigan communities. In the video, testimonials from VIPP staff, alumni, community members, and MSU faculty reflect the diversity of our stakeholders and demonstrate VIPP’s broad impact on participants and the community. The video was warmly received, and caught the attention of prospective partners, proving its value as a promotional and marketing tool.
Other anniversary events planned for the year include small, country-specific alumni reunions, lectures, and the first-annual VIPP Spartan Awards ceremony honoring exceptional alumni and building a strong VIPP alumni community.
Celebrating the Past and Looking to the Future
The 30th anniversary celebration gives us a good reason to raise awareness of our past, present, and future with the goal of increasing VIPP endowments to support our programming and operations.
We are proud of our progress over the last three decades, and we aspire to do a lot more in the next 30 years. As our rapidly changing world continues to challenge our skills and knowledge, life-long professional training and international exchange are becoming even more critical for the modern workforce. The continued support of opportunities for social and cultural exchange is vital to the success of our global society. VIPP is excited to be at the forefront of this effort.