FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 16, 2023                                                      

CONTACTS: Bethany Balks 
Residence Education and Housing Services 

EAST LANSING, MI — Michigan State University (MSU) is hosting the 2023 Odyssey of the Mind World Finals May 24-27.

Odyssey of the Mind is a program that helps students solve problems creatively, gain self-confidence, learn life skills, and make friends while having fun. This is the seventh time MSU is hosting the world finals, with plans to host them again in 2025 and 2027.

More than 600 teams from around the world will arrive in East Lansing — it’s estimated more than 6,500 guests will stay in the university's residence halls, and around 3,500 guests, judges and officials will stay in hotels in the greater Lansing area.

Participants arrive May 22-23, with the opening ceremony May 24 at the Breslin Student Events Center. Competitions will be held on campus May 25-27.

“The collaboration between Odyssey and MSU continues to strengthen,” said Geoff Parkerson, interim conference sales manager for University Conference Services. “Working with the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals gives us the opportunity to showcase Michigan State University as a top global university, and home to a diverse community of dedicated students, scholars, scientists and leaders.”  

The partnership extends to the Greater Lansing community.

“With thousands of enthusiastic World Finals participants plus their coaches and families in town for up to a week, our community will experience a big lift for the local economy as the visitors enjoy our variety of dining options as well as unique attractions such as the Lansing Lugnuts, Impression 5 Science Center and performances of Wicked at Wharton Center for Performing Arts,” said Julie Pingston, President and CEO for the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We are thrilled to roll out the red carpet once again to Odyssey of the Mind. We wish the best of luck to all the participants and look forward to welcoming everyone to the community.”

Participants range in age from elementary through college, and MSU and the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau hope Odyssey will introduce potential “Future Spartans” to MSU.

Numerous campus buildings and facilities will be used during the world finals. Locations include Brody, East, River Trail, and South neighborhoods, Breslin Center, Kellogg Center, International Center, Wells Hall, Jenison Field House, and IM West.

A couple fun Odyssey program tidbits:

  • OMER is the Odyssey of the Mind raccoon mascot. Raccoons are known to be curious and resourceful. They explore cans and containers to see what might be useful to them inside. Odyssey of the Mind encourages young people to re-purpose, recycle, and reuse materials. OMER appears at tournaments all over the world. His curiosity and creativity is contagious. 
  • Odyssey of the Mind Associations offer teams pins to trade while at World Finals. Pin trading is a terrific way for participants to meet new friends from all over the world and to create a collection to help them remember their World Finals experience. MSU has a special pin featuring OMER and the Spartan Statute.

For more information, visit

Residence Education and Housing Services is a department of the Division of Student Life & Engagement at MSU.