October 31, 2016
The longtime contributions of University of Michigan staff will be the focus of the UMich200 Summer Festival, complemented by the long-running Ann Arbor Summer Festival and its eclectic programming.
The festival is the second of four planned throughout the bicentennial year, with the June event dedicated to U-M's largest body of employees.
When the first students and faculty started classes on the Ann Arbor campus in 1841, they were joined by two staff members: Henry Colclazer, a librarian, and Pat Kelly, a janitor and handyman they called the "Professor of Dust and Ashes."
Expect a much larger showing of U-M staff come June 27.
MStaff200 will include exhibits and live performances extending from Ingalls Mall to the Diag. All current and retired U-M staff members from the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Flint and Health System campuses and their immediate families are invited to attend.
In recognition of staff members' essential role in the university's impact, MStaff200 will feature staff-curated tent displays highlighting staff contributions in various aspects of campus operations through the decades — and looking to the future.
Exhibits will focus on contributions to the construction and maintenance of campus buildings, health and well-being, the workplace, transportation, changing lunch and leisure patterns, communication and public safety.
Construction services employees at work on a university project. (Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library)
The event will also include giveaways, light refreshments, a photo booth/selfie station, and entertainment. There will be a staff photo contest, opportunities for staff members to share their unique artistic or performing talents, and a chance to learn about staff contributions through volunteer service to the local and global community. Information on participating in the contest or sharing talents and volunteerism will be coming soon.
President Mark Schlissel will participate in the event with remarks from the steps of the Hatcher Graduate Library and the presentation of the first grants from the Voices of the Staff Career Development Fund. The fund was established in recognition of the U-M bicentennial to support staff members' continuing professional growth and development by helping to fund degree attainment, other educational or career development activities, or expenses related to those pursuits.
MStaff200 is sponsored by Voices of the Staff in cooperation with the U-M Bicentennial Coordinating Committee and generous support from Business & Finance. The MStaff200 event planning committee is co-chaired by Tina Jordan, executive assistant in the Office of the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and Tim Kennedy, Building Automation Services manager, and includes multiple staff-led subcommittees.
U-M staff members dig a heating tunnel in 1916. (Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library)
As MStaff200 concludes, activities with the Ann Arbor Summer Festival will begin. The two events will be adjacent, making for a natural transition from daytime festivities to evening entertainment. Ann Arbor Summer Festival unfolds along Ingalls Mall, East Washington Street and at the Power Center for the Performing Arts.
The annual celebration that links the campus and community through performing arts and outdoor entertainment will make the bicentennial part of its programming. An evening of live music and unique entertainment is planned, along with a U-M-themed movie at Top of the Park.