Michelle Dear wasn’t expecting to be a part of the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Final Four games in Indianapolis.
But the Michigan State University soccer player was chosen to perform the national anthem by the NCAA—along with a student athlete from each of the colleges with teams at the Final Four.
The finance sophomore at MSU’s Broad College of Business, member of the Honors College, and forward for the MSU varsity women’s soccer team began singing as a child in Chesterfield, Mich. She began taking vocal lessons at 8, has performed in choirs in high school and in Michigan Solo & Ensemble competitions in college, and was a member of the State Honors Choir. She’s even sung with Radio Disney.
Dear has sung the national anthem before soccer games at MSU and will also perform for the university’s Athletic Academic Gala. The Final Four invitation came from the NCAA after MSU’s athletics support staff submitted a nomination, along with her music bio and video.
“I am still in shock at this incredible opportunity,” Dear said. “I couldn’t be more excited to represent Michigan State in the best way possible. It’s my chance to give back to the university that has given so much to me.”
Dear counts her entrance into the Broad College among those opportunities at MSU.
She became interested in finance at a young age. As children, she and her sister picked “pretend” stocks and their father helped them to track the stock performance. Dear said those moments, along with her interpersonal and analytical skills and her competitive nature, led her to finance. And sports impact all of this.
“Sports play a huge role in my success with my major,” Dear said. “Being a Big Ten athlete requires you to be extremely driven and have a very good work ethic. I believe a lot of the traits that you need to be successful in a sport are the same that you need to be successful in finance.”
The combination of these characteristics brought her to MSU where she could compete in soccer at one of the highest levels and be a member of the Honors College and Broad College of Business.
“Being surrounded with students that are very driven and hardworking like myself forces me to push to be the very best,” Dear said.
Dear’s next focus will be a summer internship with General Motors’ finance department. But she will return to thinking about her courses and summer internship after this weekend.
Dear and the other singers performed before the first game of the Final Four that saw the MSU Spartans played the Duke Blue Devils.
“Luckily we performed before the MSU game,” Dear said.