Thanking: Maggie Blair-Ramsey as she retires after 23 years

Jan. 26, 2023

An ‘unlikely dreamer’ leaves MSU grateful for her career 

Maggie Blair-Ramsey learned many cultural lessons during her 23 years as the coordinator of Engineering Education Abroad for the MSU College of Engineering.

Maggie Blair-Ramsey retires after 23 years at MSU.
Maggie Blair-Ramsey retires after 23 years at MSU.

“Among the most important things that I learned was how to be an international ambassador for Michigan State University and my country,” she said.

That’s a long way from her youth in Tennessee, where traveling to other places was beyond her imagination. She had moved to Michigan with her family by the time she was 13.

“You could call me an unlikely dreamer, I guess,” she said. “TV showed me other places to visit and live and gave me things to dream of doing. As I look back all these years later, I know how blessed I have been.”

Blair-Ramsey will retire Feb. 1 after two+ decades of shaping study abroad for Spartan Engineers near and far.

She arrived at MSU in 2000.

​  Maggie Blair-Ramsey styled her beautiful African dresses during Black History Month each year. ​
Maggie Blair-Ramsey styled her beautiful African dresses during Black History Month each year.

“My first assignment was to assist in two areas: the Undergraduate Studies Office and to be the assistant in Engineering Global Education. I loved my work! I built on what had already been established.

“At that time most of the students who studied abroad were mechanical engineering students. After a time, I began to establish relationships with faculty in other majors and encouraged them to become involved in global education. That led to new and faculty-led programs.”

With the help of faculty, the college began sending more than 100 students abroad each year. Students recruiting other students was key to the program’s growth.

“The students and I especially enjoyed sharing our experiences at the yearly study abroad fair, it was like a giant party,” she said.

Blair-Ramsey credits faculty, administrators, and staff for enriching her MSU experiences.

“I traveled to multiple countries making new partners. Many partners visited our campus.  I learned what it is like to be an ambassador not only for MSU but for our country. I was privileged to have had this opportunity,” she continued. “I will never forget the students and partners from abroad that I hosted in the college and also in my home.

“I dreamed of traveling the world and experiencing other cultures, and I did just that! I have loved every minute of it. I am especially thankful to staff, faculty and administrators who took a chance on me and invested in my development. I will always be grateful. I leave now to regroup post-Covid and to be ready for what’s waiting for me down the road.”

Blair-Ramsey and her husband, Frederick Ramsey, will celebrate a landmark birthday for him and her retirement by traveling to Hawaii for a week in mid-February.

“To all of you at MSU, and especially those in the College of Engineering who played a part in my success, thank you,” she added.