Library to partner with StoryCorps during Fall Festival


The U-M Library will partner with the national oral history organization StoryCorps to record and preserve stories from the University of Michigan community during the Fall Festival bicentennial celebration.

StoryCorps, whose mission is to “preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world,” will visit the campus Oct. 26-28.

The library is seeking participants interested in having a conversation with a friend, classmate, family member or colleague about a meaningful experience at U-M and its lasting effect on their personal or professional lives.

“To help mark the university’s bicentennial, we’re hoping to capture some of the essence of the university’s past and present in the stories the community wants to tell, and to ensure it’s kept for future generations,” said Dean of Libraries James Hilton. He adds that the library, which sits at the virtual and physical center of campus, is an ideal venue for this kind of gathering.

StoryCorps will record the conversations, which will be archived at the Library of Congress for the benefit of future generations.

The library also plans to widely share the stories captured during the interviews in order to highlight significant and interesting aspects of the university’s past and present. Both interview partners will receive copies of the conversation.

The deadline for submitting proposals for a U-M StoryCorps conversation is Sept. 8.



  1. Hai Huynh
    on July 26, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Good Morning,

    It’s a beautiful day to be in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA!

    My name is Hai Huynh and I’m working full-time at the University of Michigan for nearly 25 years. I think my story is a wonderful to tell my son, Brandon who’s 15 years old, and the rest of the world.

    When I was 15,(same age as Brandon now) I’ve cheated death not once, but 3 times when I’ve reached to Ann Arbor on July 7th,1980. I was a child during Vietnam War. My family left Vietnam as a boat-people refugees, and lived in the jungle of Indonesia (Kuku Island) for about 14 months.

    My life in Ann Arbor and at University of Michigan for the last 37 years is an amazing story to be told.

    I am a little bit nervous to tell my life’s story on StoryCorp . Please help with my story to share with my son and other people. Can we talk about this before I sign-up?

    Thank you,


  2. Mary Spyridonos
    on August 2, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Good afternoon!
    I’m Mary and I live in Greece.I think my story is a dream to come true until I leave my last breath here on Earth.
    Since I remember myself, a small kid, I was always fascinated by the English language as I had relatives visiting from Michigan every year. Having heard about the Michigan University I had an unquenchable thirst to learn the language and not only visit the university but study and succeed there, too. Needless to say, in my English class I was the best student and I accomplished half of my dream; I learnt English and could communicate with foreign people and read books comfortably. Though, still something more could be achieved by that little girl. So, now I run my own private school with a great success in achieving the students’ goals in the exams. Reflecting that dream now, at the age of 35 I am convinced that I have more to offer to my educational world and here I am; attending a Micro-Masters degree from my beloved university.
    Who knows? Maybe I be capable to get onsite sometime. Hope dies last.

    Thanks for reading.

  3. Barbara Cherem
    on August 16, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    In March of 1965, I was a frosh at the U of M when women had hours to be back to Alice Lloyd Kleinstueck House by a curfew of around 11 or 12 o’clock. However, during this thing called a “Viet Nam Teach-in”, we were released from these hours and could spend all night listening to talks on the Diag. Although I came from a Republican home which usually supported the status quo, including the VietNam war, I didn’t really know much about the war; it was outside my wheelhouse so to speak. In fact, until that time, I had arguments with my father on many issues of civil rights and the like, but wasn’t considered all that involved in national affairs. However, once I began to tie the importance of these issues to personal issues such as the military draft of boys I knew, and a school-mate who was later killed in VietNam, I began to see how important this was to get educated on issues of some importance to the nation as a whole. I think that VietNam Teach-in, the first in the nation as I learned later, opened up an important area in my life, which beforehand had never been “tickled”— I hadn’t considered how my life involved itself with the larger national and world scene? The opening-up to this relationship was started by that first Teach-in on U of M’s campus back in 1965.
    Today I consider myself an activist, after slowly growing to realize these connections these past 70 years. Thanks U of M, my English major was only a small part of the education I received at the U of M, so much more was of value.

    • Barb Cherem
      on August 16, 2017 at 3:51 pm

      Oops, that should have read “50 years”!:) NOT 70 (that’s my age!).

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