Four University faculty—John Borkowski, Larry Carucci, Rufus Cone, and Al Jesaitis—have been appointed as the first Letters and Science Distinguished Professors. The professors were chosen in recognition of their contributions to the College, to MSU, and to the scholarly community at large, said Dean George Tuthill.

John Borkowski, Department of Mathematical Sciences. Dr. Borkowski joined the mathematical sciences department in 1991 after completing his doctorate from the University of Delaware. As a statistician, he has made important contributions in the areas of response surface methodology, design construction, and assessment. He has analyzed and interpreted complex sets of data for Yellowstone National Park, providing significant insights regarding issues of national importance such as the effects of winter recreation on wildlife.

Larry Carucci, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, received his Ph. D. from the University of Chicago and joined MSU as its first cultural anthropologist in 1985. He is internationally recognized for his research on Micronesia and the Pacific Islands and is the world's foremost expert on Marshall Islanders.

Rufus Cone, Department of Physics, received his doctorate from Yale University and came to MSU in 1974. He is an internationally–known scientist in the field of laser optics and materials and hold three patents based on his work at MSU. In his 32 years with the Department of Physics, he has received numerous awards, held visiting positions around the world, and attracted substantial grant support from state, national, and international sources.

Algirdas Jesaitis, Department of Microbiolgy, gained his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology, came to MSU in 1989, and served as Department Head of Microbiology from 1992 to 1998. His landmark scientific research on the human neutrophil has contributed significantly to the treatment of inflammatory diseases.