December 4, 2017
A live studio celebration and broadcast documentary honoring the University of Michigan's bicentennial will be televised Tuesday on Detroit Public Television.
Throughout the bicentennial year, DPTV has aired episodes of "An Uncommon Education — Celebrating 200 Years of the University of Michigan," a short-form documentary series consisting of 10 vignettes that explore U-M's history and its connection to the present.
The Dec. 5 special, which airs from 8-10 p.m., will showcase a selection of the vignettes, marking the first time that full-length versions will appear on television.
To tune in to the broadcast special, viewers can go to their television's Detroit PBS channel or to dptv.org, where the celebration will be streamed online.
The special will also include taped interview segments with President Mark Schlissel, as well as live interviews with special U-M guests, including Bentley Historical Library Director Terrence J. McDonald, Director of Bicentennial Communications Kim Clarke, attorney and former Michigan quarterback Rich Hewlett, and Regent Mark J. Bernstein.
"We want to allow time in the breaks to talk with people from the university about the significance of the 200th anniversary in identifying moments and movements that carry forward to today, what they suggest for the future, and the role of the university in the vitality of Michigan, the nation and the world," said Dan Alpert, DPTV's senior vice president of philanthropy.
During the event, the U-M Credit Union will match funds that are donated to DPTV by viewers to support the public television station in telling the "stories of our region," Alpert said.
Viewers who reach certain donation levels will be able to receive copies of the bicentennial documentary as well as the bicentennial book, "Always Leading, Forever Valiant."
Instead of watching the episodes each month in isolation, Alpert said, the event offers the opportunity to view the university in a different light.
"So instead of looking at a beautiful slice … you are now getting a better sense of the totality of what it means to have a powerful institution right here in the community that is also of the world," Alpert said.
U-M Bicentennial Executive Director Gary Krenz said even if viewers have seen the vignettes before, seeing them all together in the special will give them "a sweeping account of U-M's history and opportunities" that will be accompanied by "excellent commentary by a wide range of members of the extended University family."
"As we close out the bicentennial year, the special will be a great reminder of what it is we've been commemorating in 2017," Krenz said.
Funding for "An Uncommon Education" is provided by the Stanley and Judith Frankel Family foundation.