May 25, 2017

You’re invited! The University of Michigan is celebrating its bicentennial and wants you to join in the fun.

In Ann Arbor, summer unofficially begins with the start of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival (A2SF). This year, the University of Michigan and A2SF are collaborating to honor current and retired U-M staff with a party on Ingalls Mall. This event, affectionately known as MStaff200, will include performances, exhibits, and other fun events -- like a book distribution -- celebrating U-M staff’s contribution to the campus and to the community. MStaff200 will be woven throughout Ingalls Mall and the Diag on June 27 from 11:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. The Summer Festival picks up right where MStaff200 ends, for a U-M themed evening beginning at 5 p.m. This is a night you won’t want to skip!  On June 28, at 5:55 and 7:55 p.m., Australia’s Strange Fruit will present the world premiere of Tall Tales of the High Seas. These performances are known for their bright costumes and daring movements, swaying high above the audience. Come a little early and stay a little late to hear musical selections played on the world famous Burton Memorial Tower carillon by U-M Head Carillonneur Tiffany Ng and the Artistic Director of Australia’s Strange Fruit.

If you’re hungry for history, head over to the Museum on Main Street to catch The Journey in a Day: 200 Years of Student Life. This exhibit, created by current students, poses snapshots of what life has been like as a student at the university throughout the years. Posters, photos, and even a re-creation of a student’s room from 1917 are available to view. This exhibit will run through the end of October 2017, so you’ll have plenty of time to stop by. 

The University of Michigandia, as it was originally named in 1817, was born through an idea of former President Thomas Jefferson, Judge Augustus Woodward, who was appointed as the first judge of the Michigan territory. It served as an intermediate school for those looking to progress from primary schools to large universities. Located first in Detroit, the university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837, officially changing its name to the University of Michigan. If you’re interested in learning more about the university’s history, check out The Grandmother Tree Walk, hosted by the Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum. This self-guided tour, happening now through September 2017, highlights 12 historic trees at Nichols Arboretum and shares their stories on how they saw the U-M come into existence. 

During this special time, U-M reminds us to celebrate the past, but to look forward to the future. U-M proves that it is always leading, forever valiant. 

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