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April 19, 2019

Bicentennial Office awards more than $415K for dozens of projects

August 10, 2016

Bicentennial Office awards more than $415K for dozens of projects

More than $415,000 in grants have been awarded to faculty, staff and students to support a wide range of programs and events for U-M's bicentennial, providing a snapshot of the diverse activities planned for the 2017 celebration.

Funding from the Bicentennial Office will support initiatives ranging from museum exhibits and academic conferences to concerts, dance performances and public readings, all with a connection to U-M's legacy as a leading public university.

"From scholarly to celebratory, the funded proposals are exciting, thoughtful and uniquely Michigan. It should come as no surprise that there are many different perspectives on how to explore and commemorate the university's impact. We are pleased to support such an array of initiatives that will engage all three campuses," said Gary D. Krenz, executive director of the bicentennial.

With the theme of "Always Leading, Forever Valiant," the university will celebrate its 200th anniversary throughout 2017. The programs receiving grant support hint at the scope and scale of planning underway.

Organizations and individuals on the Ann Arbor, Flint and Dearborn campuses will apply their grants toward programs also supported by units, schools and colleges — a requirement of the funding. Grants were offered in three ways:

• Bicentennial Activity Grants, for projects that will advance the mission of the bicentennial, illuminate bicentennial themes, contribute to the 2017 celebration, and reflect a broad perspective on the university. Special consideration was given to projects designed to foster collaboration across the university, engage multiple groups, or make a lasting contribution to the campus community.

• Bicentennial Student Initiative Grants, for student-led projects that will enhance the student experience at Michigan. Funding was available to all recognized student organizations and voluntary student organizations, and a student committee reviewed proposals and determined award winners.

• The MCubed Bicentennial Incentive Program provided supplemental funding in support of MCubed and mini-cube projects that addressed one or more of the bicentennial themes.

The full schedule of bicentennial programming will be released this fall.

Bicentennial Activity Grants

The University of Michigan Museums and Collections, 1817-2017

Project directors: Carla Sinopoli, curator, Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, and professor of anthropology, LSA and Rackham Graduate School; and Kerstin Barndt, associate professor, German languages and literatures and museum studies, LSA

Grant: $30,000

Three major exhibitions will explore the university's more than 20 museums, collections and library archives. In addition, the Museum Studies Program will focus its public lecture series on U-M museums and disciplinary histories. Faculty also will publish a new volume — the first work of its kind — providing information on the collections.


Project director: Mark Tucker, art director, Lloyd Hall Scholars Program and director, FestiFools

Grant: $25,000

Through a yearlong series of campus workshops, students and alumni will create luminaria sculptures for a unique public art parade in the spirit of FoolMoon, a popular event sponsored by Festifools and the non-profit, WonderFool Productions. The event will be in conjunction with the Third Century Expo.

Victors for the Arts: Michigan's Alumni Collectors

Project director: Joe Rosa, director, U-M Museum of Art

Grant: $25,000

UMMA will mount a large-scale exhibition featuring works collected by a diverse group of alumni that represent the breadth of the university's schools and colleges and span more than 70 years of graduating classes. Works featured in the exhibition will range from Ming Dynasty Chinese zodiac figures and an Inuit print to a painting by Andy Warhol and a Random International installation.

Third Century Screens: Making Michigan Visible for the 21st Century

Project director: Peter Sparling, Rudolf Arnheim Distinguished University Professor of Dance and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, School of Music, Theatre & Dance

Grant: $21,000

Third Century Screens envisions a bicentennial campus filled with projections of bodies in motion, captured by cameras and edited for multiple screens by alumni, faculty and student video artists. Entrants to a Third Century Screens Competition will propose works for a "Pop-Up Projection Pavilion" that address bicentennial themes. Winning works will be selected during an interdisciplinary colloquium exploring 21st-century screen media, design and technology.

Understanding Racial, Gender, and Socioeconomic Inequality: Contributions of Michigan Social Science

Project director: David Lam, director, Institute for Social Research, and professor of economics, LSA

Grant: $20,000

A two-day symposium will highlight U-M's social science research contributions to the many dimensions of social inequality. It will focus on the work of social scientists trained at U-M, with a discussion of past, present and future research on issues related to gender, race, poverty, inequality and economic mobility.

UpstART 200: A U-M Bicentennial Festival of Student Reflection and Making

Project director: Deb Mexicotte, associate director, ArtsEngine

Grant: $20,000

UpstART 200 will be a yearlong creative production celebration for students to actively engage in meaningful connections to U-M's 200-year history via "making." UpstART 200 will commission students to create more than 200 new works of all kinds — creative writing, spoken word, essays, visual arts, music, choreography, design, and technology — as well as celebrate contemporary student art making on campus.

Michigan Bicentennial Archive (M-BARC)

Project director: Thomas Zurbuchen, professor of climate and space sciences and engineering, College of Engineering

Grant: $19,414

M-BARC is a time capsule being designed for launch into space. Funding will support research and development activities while a larger fundraising effort is being deployed. The content of the time capsule will emphasize the diversity of the university community, and also will include a centennial radiation experiment, studying the degradation of DNA or other complex molecules during long-term radiation exposure.

Ambassadors in Song: An International Male Choral Symposium

Project director: Eugene Rogers, director, Men's Glee Club, and associate professor of conducting and associate director of choirs, SMTD

Grant: $15,000

The U-M Men's Glee Club will present an International Male Choral Symposium to commemorate the bicentennial through the spirit of male choral singing. The symposium will host sessions led by world-renowned presenters, feature performances by premier choral groups, and culminate in a global concert with participants joining together at Hill Auditorium.

The Men's Glee Club, under the direction of Professor Willis C. Patterson, in 1970. The group will mark the bicentennial with a 2017 symposium at Hill Auditorium. (Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library)

Archaeology and Museums at the University of Michigan, 1817-2017 and Beyond

Project director: Terry Wilfong, curator, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, and professor of Near Eastern studies, LSA

Grant: $15,000

An exhibition at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology will draw on new research and use artifacts and archival material from a variety of campus sources to explore the complex and sometimes controversial history of archaeology and U-M museums. Events also will focus on the future, with special emphasis on faculty and student visions of the ways that archaeology and museums at Michigan will and can develop to meet changing needs.  

Past Present / Presence Past

Project director: Claire Zimmerman, associate professor of architecture, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

Grant: $15,000

A team from the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning will mount a dual exhibition exploring the university's campus plans, multiple building phases, and architectural designs. One component will unfold in the College Gallery of the Art and Architecture Building; the other will unfold as a series of installations on sites throughout the North and Central campuses.

Post-Industrial Revitalization in Detroit & Regional Japan: Toward a Third Century of U-M - Japan Engagement

Project director: Jonathan Zwicker, professor, Asian languages and culture, and director, U-M Center for Japanese Studies, LSA

Grant: $15,000

The Center for Japanese Studies (CJS) and its partners will host an international symposium on post-industrial revitalization efforts in Detroit and Ishinomaki City, Japan. The symposium will be one of a series of events that celebrate the bicentennial and the 70th anniversary of CJS, and that highlight U‐M's engagement with Japan past, present, and future. There will be collaborative workshops for NGOs, for-profits, and academics active in community building in Detroit and Japan.

President James B. Angell with Japanese students in the late 19th century. The Center for Japanese Studies will celebrate its 70th anniversary in conjunction with U-M’s 200th. (Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library)

A Carillon Lab for the 21st Century

Project director: Tiffany Ng, assistant professor of carillon, SMTD

Grant: $14,130

The initiative will curate the soundscape of the bicentennial through symposia, concerts and installations revolving around the Lurie and Burton Tower carillons. Artistic works will explore public listening and how it is transformed in contemporary modes of mediated experience, and invite new modes of audience interactivity. The lab will combine U-M's carillons with audio synthesis, sound diffusion, virtual space and interdisciplinary scholarship.

The Barbour Scholars: Celebrating a Century of Achievement, 1917-2017 and Beyond

Project director: Jill McDonough, director of development and alumni relations, Rackham Graduate School  

Grant: $10,000

The Barbour Centennial Celebration will mark a global fellowship program that has provided funding for 700 graduate students from Asian countries. The celebration will bring together former and current Barbour Scholars for a gathering during the Pan-Asia Alumni Reunion in Shanghai and a symposium on the Ann Arbor campus.

The History of Technology at U-M: An Interactive Timeline of Creating and Inventing

Project director: Darcy Turner, project director, Office of the Chief Information Officer

Grant: $10,000

The project will showcase transitional periods in technology to illustrate U-M's technological heritage, success and occasional failure. An interactive timeline will show how U-M has been on the forefront of creating and inventing technology that shapes not only daily experiences in higher education, but also long-term change in the world.

Museum Memories: Honoring the Past As We Look Toward the Future

Project director: Lori Dick, communications manager, Museum of Natural History

Grant: $10,000

As the Museum of Natural History prepares to move into the new Biological Science Building, the Museum Memories project will commemorate the important role the museum has played in many lives throughout 90 years in the Ruthven Museums Building. The project will invite people to submit stories and photos via social media, online and at the museum; host a video "story booth" during the summer Bicentennial Festival; share selected memories onsite, online, and via social and traditional media; archive selected memories at the Bentley Historical Library.

A memories project will gather patron recollections of the U-M Exhibit Museum, a longtime resident of the Ruthven Museums Building, shown here in about 1930. (Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library)

On the Horizon: Re-envisioning Public Higher Education in a New Era

Project director: Michael Bastedo, professor of education, and director of the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education, School of Education

Grant: $10,000

The Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in conjunction with the bicentennial, will host a series of discussions and events to help shape the future of U-M even as the university seeks to tease apart the increasingly complex relationship between higher education and our changing democratic society.

Commemorative sculptures

Project director: Jens Zorn, professor emeritus of physics, LSA

Grant: $8,000

New campus sculptures, designed by Zorn, are planned to recognize distinctly Michigan achievements: the discoveries of the proton spin and the electron spin; the first U.S. spacewalk by alumni astronauts James McDivitt and Edward White; the development of the fiber optic endoscope; and recognition of 1918 alumnus Elmer Imes, the second African American to obtain a Ph.D. in physics.

The Global University Symposium

Project director: Laura Chanoux, project coordinator, International Institute

Grant: $7,000

The International Institute plans to celebrate global education through an internationally focused symposium. The Global University Symposium will touch on several bicentennial themes by exploring the rich legacy of interdisciplinary international research, teaching, and learning at U-M.

Tri-Campus Alternative Spring Break Initiative

Project director: Gary Ashley, project coordinator, University Outreach, UM-Flint

Grant: $5,500

Approximately 30 students from the Dearborn, Flint, and Ann Arbor campuses will take part in an alternative spring break using community-based learning around a social issue that affects people within the state of Michigan. The co-curricular exploration will culminate in a weeklong service experience in a community in western Michigan.

Glancing Back, Dancing Forward: A Dance and Photo Installation

Project director: Jessica Fogel, professor and chair, Department of Dance, SMTD

Grant: $5,000

The installation will display highlights of an extraordinary and little-known history of early dance activities at U-M. It will combine live dance performance with large-scale reproductions of dance photos from the Bentley Historical Library archives.

Midwest Asian American Students Union Spring Conference 2017

Project director: Dana Shin, MAASU Conference lead

Grant: $5,000

This conference will be an opportunity for student leaders across the Midwest to celebrate overcoming historical adversities while advancing diversity and equity for all. Workshops are planned to engage, inspire and educate attendees to improve each campus' climates to better support diversity and social rights.

U-M School of Information Bicentennial App

Project director: Heather Newman, director of marketing and communications, School of Information

Grant: $5,000

The Bicentennial App is a mobile application, plus a web/map-based version, which will provide insight into U-M's history. For 25 campus sites, users will see augmented reality representations of historic events. The app will display what is currently at the site, and overlay additional historical information such as photographs, text, audio, video, maps and three-dimensional interactive representations of historical events.

Wonder of Learning: The 100 Languages of Childhood

Project director: Jennie McAlpine, director of Work-Life Programs

Grant: $5,000

The U-M Children's Centers, in partnership with UM-Dearborn School of Education, Health and Human Services; the Stamps School of Art and Design and the James and Anne Duderstadt Center will bring the international exhibit "The Wonder of Learning" to Ann Arbor from June 15-Aug. 27, 2017. This exciting, engaging exhibit explores the way in which humans learn from their earliest days. The exhibit will be open to the public and will include varied hands-on activities that can be enjoyed by young and old alike.

The University, the Nation, and the Future of Latina/o Studies

Project director: Yeidy Rivero, professor of American culture, LSA

Grant: $4,100

The Latina/o Studies Program will develop three forums exploring "The University, the Nation, and the Future of Latina/o Studies." Each forum will cover one of the following topics: immigration, media/popular culture, and Afro-Latinidad.

Celebrating U-M-Brazil Connections

Project director: Elisa Duarte Teixeira, Brazil Platform project manager, Global REACH, Medical School

Grant: $3,000

This project will celebrate U-M-Brazil Connections by documenting past and present interactions between the U-M community and Brazilian people and organizations. It also aims to promote the Brazilian culture and the Portuguese language on campus and to foster community building and new collaborations by creating an interactive website and organizing a one-day event with academic and cultural activities focusing on Brazil.

Revisiting University Housing's Past: Progress and Delay Toward Inclusivity

Project director: Patty Griffin, director of Residence Education, University Housing

Grant: $3,000

University Housing, Residence Education, and Communications will create four exhibits to celebrate and share information on the social justice history of University Housing. Highlights include the Henderson House; Martha Cook, Barbour and Newberry for women; Northwood apartments for veterans; the creation of multicultural lounges; and Gender Inclusive Living Environment in East Quad.

Residents of Newberry Hall in 1938. University Housing plans a bicentennial exhibit that explores social justice and campus housing. (Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library)

The River in Our City, The River in Our Veins

Project director: Christianne Myers, assistant professor of theatre and drama, SMTD

Grant: $2,000

To honor the Huron River and its place at U-M, students from SMTD will compose short pieces or soundscapes and "compose" a dynamic light and color story synchronized to the music. Those lights will be projected onto the exterior the Arthur Miller Theatre, while students use processional puppets to move and dance in front of the glass walls.

Without Help: The Story of Cornelius L. Henderson, Chief Architectural Engineer for the Ambassador Bridge

Project director: Rashid Faisal, doctoral student, UM-Dearborn

Grant: $1,000

The exhibit aims to help at-risk students increase their reading and math interest and support the development of academic identity. It recognizes the scholastic and engineering accomplishments of alumnus Cornelius Henderson, an African-American who was the lead engineer in building the Ambassador Bridge.

The Class of '58: university of Michigan-Flint's First Graduates

Project director: Mary Jo Sekelsky, director of Alumni Relations, UM-Flint

Grant: $999

The Genesee Historical Collections Center, a unit of UM-Flint's Thompson Library, and Alumni Relations will collaborate to research Flint's first graduating class. In addition to gathering information for historical purposes, the project will culminate in the creation of a website featuring alumni.

U-M Retiree Michigan Trivia Challenge

Project director: Patricia Butler, board president, U-M Retirees Association 

Grant: $999

The U-M Retirees Association will host a retiree social gathering that features a custom-designed Michigan trivia challenge, with teams competing for prizes.

Dancing our History

Project director: Ruth Scodel, professor of classical studies, LSA

Grant: $960

The Ann Arbor Community for Traditional Music and Dance will host an event for participants to learn and enjoy historic dances, particularly from 1817 to circa 1870. The event will highlight how larger political, military and social developments were reflected in social dance.

Voices of Detroit Project

Project director: Addell Anderson, director, U-M Detroit Center

Grant: $960

Funding will support the ongoing videotaping of interviews with U-M alumni who are native Detroiters. Voices of Detroit is an oral history project that captures the life experiences of alumni who grew up in Detroit.

WISER Connections: Celebration of Women in Engineering and the Sciences 

Project director: Debbie Taylor, assistant director, Women in Science and Engineering Program, College of Engineering

Grant: $900

This project will bring the Society of Women Engineers' traveling exhibit to campus, develop supplementary materials and offer related programming. It will highlight the accomplishments of Michigan women, curate an exhibit with related artifacts and interviews, compile a virtual time capsule and document accomplishments of current women in science, technology, engineering and medicine.

Bicentennial Student Initiative Grants

Detroit Design / Build Dreamscape

Student organizations: Architecture Representative Committee and Students of Color Rackham

Grant: $19,779

Students will partner with the James and Grace Lee Boggs School in Detroit to promote social diversity and equity through skill-based workshops and architectural design. Playscapes will be designed for activity in three major facets of education today: mind, body and togetherness.

Interprofessional Healthcare

Student organizations: Bridge of Disciplines, U-M Student-Run Free Clinic

Grant: $15,600

Bridge of Disciplines and the U-M Student-Run Free Clinic will work to begin transitioning the clinic in Pinckney from a traditional primary-care clinic to a holistic, interdisciplinary health center for the underserved population of Livingston County. Starting with the medical and dental schools, the project's long-term goal is to provide hands-on interprofessional education for students from all seven professional schools

UM-Flint Multi-Sports Field

Student organizations: Club Lacrosse, Club Men's Soccer, Club Women's Soccer, Club Football, Ultimate Frisbee Club, Campus Activity Board, The Student Government: School Pride Caucus

Grant: $15,240

Students will help to create a multi-sports field at UM-Flint, providing a facility that does not currently exist and a vehicle to launch school spirit on campus. It will include a two-day grand opening event hosted by UM-Flint club sports, Campus Activity Board, and the School Pride Caucus on the field to celebrate the bicentennial.

UM-Flint Bicentennial Food Pantry

Student organizations: Phi-Alpha, Social Work Club, Future Urban & Environmental Leaders

Grant: $11,182

Students will create a food pantry on the UM-Flint campus to provide students with nourishing food and improving health and wellbeing. The project will provide a variety of ways for students to become involved, from stocking shelves, to grant writing and community outreach.

UM-Flint Bicentennial Center for Sustainability

Student organizations: Future Urban & Environmental Leaders, Flint Student Government

Grant: $10,386

UM-Flint students will open a Bicentennial Center for Sustainability as a resource for advocating and encouraging student recycling around campus. The center will be a new addition to student life on the UM-Flint campus and also explore opportunities for developing sustainable practices.

Bicentennial M-Cubed Incentives

Automaton in the Collections: An Interactive Library Game

Project director: Christi Merrill, associate professor of Asian languages and cultures and comparative literature, LSA

Cube Supplement: $6,000

Faculty are creating an interactive exhibit that parodies an 18th-century automaton chess player. The game is designed to allow participants to have fun while also thinking critically about the nature of human intelligence at this point in time at the university.

Detroit Neighborhood Business Project

Project director: Michael Barr, Roy F. and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professor of Law, professor of law, Law School; and professor of public policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Cube Supplement: $6,000

Faculty are developing an action-based learning experience focused on assisting neighborhood-based small businesses in Detroit. The goal will be to create an interdisciplinary experience where U-M students, with faculty supervision, will work closely with Detroit businesses to solve problems and address barriers to growth.

The River in Our City, The River in Our Veins

Project director: Christianne Myers, assistant professor of theatre and drama, SMTD

Cube Supplement: $1,500

To honor the Huron River and its place at U-M, students from SMTD will compose short pieces or soundscapes and "compose" a dynamic light and color story synchronized to the music. Those lights will be projected onto the exterior the Arthur Miller Theatre, while students use processional puppets to move and dance in front of the glass walls.


Nancy Hobbs
on 9/06/16 at 12:37 pm

Although I only quickly scanned the above, I don't see anything pertaining to Native Americans in Michigan. I seem to remember them "gifting" us the land to establish the university in the first place. Did no one step forward with an idea to honor them?

Kim Clarke
on 9/06/16 at 3:18 pm

The Bicentennial Office and other units on campus are planning to acknowledge the role of Native Americans in the creation of the University. Please watch for future news of plans for 2017.

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