Courtesy: Courtesy Photo
Since watching games at Alumni Field, things have changed for CMU grad Madalin Zigray, who will attend her first game since the early 1980's this Saturday when CMU takes on in-state foe Michigan State.
A Special Homecoming for 1940 Graduate

MOUNT PLEASANT — Seventy-three years ago, Central Michigan University had a bit of a different atmosphere.

This weekend Madalin Zigray, 93, a 1940 alumnus from then Central State Teachers College is making her first trip back to Mount Pleasant since the early 1980s.                                                

The Chippewas will be taking on the Michigan State Spartans at Kelly/Shorts Stadium on Saturday. This will go down in the history books as the first time the Spartans have ever made the trip from East Lansing to Mount Pleasant. Many anticipate this to be the biggest home game in the history of the Chippewas' football program and Zigray is overcome with excitement.

The retired Alma teacher often had to miss football games on weekends to work at an off-campus dime store, in order to pay for housing. However, she would love to attend football games when she got the chance.

She was always involved on campus. Some of her extra-curricular activities included being president for both Welsh House where she lived off-campus, and the Home Economics Club. She also served in the Helen R. Emmons club for students enrolled in the four-year education program. 

The 1939 Central State football team was quite a sight to behold; led by head coach Ron Finch. The team boasted an impressive 8-1 record and outscored opponents 125-40.

"The field was beautiful and we had a really good team," Zigray said when asked about what she remembers from the games.

The field she was referring to is Alumni Field, which was the home of Central football before the Kelly/Shorts days. Alumni Field was located on Preston Street, currently where the Health Professions building stands.                                                                                                       

The school's mascot was the Bearcats, campus consisted of one dorm for women, and the president of CMU was Charles Anspach.                                                                

Another notable difference is that the team's roster contained 43 players, while the 2012 team consists of over 100 players.                                                                                                     

Zigray will attend the game with her son Craig Muhn and his wife. Muhn is also a CMU alumnus.          

"I'm really excited to see the new stadium and facilities," says Muhn. "To be back with my mother and to get her a little bit of attention is all I can ask for."                                               

Her granddaughter Shelby is part of the CMU dance team and will perform at the game.

The family fully expects Saturday's spectacle to be one of their favorite Mount Pleasant memories.                                                                                                                                

"I'm very excited; my kids have been planning this for a long time now. I'm really looking forward to it," said Zigray.