The University of Michigan’s MSTAFF200 bicentennial celebration will honor staff contributions to the university past, present and future, as well as showcase their talents and commitment to service.
The staff celebration will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. June 27, stretching from Ingalls Mall to the Diag. It is a focal point of U-M’s Summer Festival, one of three seasonal festivals during the university’s bicentennial year.
All current and retired U-M staff members from the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses and Michigan Medicine are invited to attend along with their immediate families. Faculty, students and community members are also welcome.
The centerpiece of the MSTAFF200 festival will be dedicated to the lives and impact of staff.
Displays will commemorate staff contributions to the university, from the 1800s to the future. The exhibits will focus on various aspects of university life, from transportation and construction to health and well-being.
Another feature will showcase the talents of staff, as well as the ways in which they contribute to communities.
“We’re trying to show the fullness, the richness of staff — that they go above and beyond not only in their everyday jobs, but also in their communities and in the world,” said Tina Jordan, MSTAFF200 co-chair and project manager.
Tim Kennedy, building automation services manager and MSTAFF200 co-chair, said he hopes staff leave the event with “a true line of sight” from their work to the mission of the university.
“We all have our specific jobs — maybe we’re in finance, and we look at spreadsheets all day long — and that’s all that the university is to us,” Kennedy said. “We want staff to feel appreciated for the work they do, recognize the contributions from other staff members, and feel connected to this great university as a whole.”
MSTAFF200 also will include live entertainment, on-site food trucks, light refreshments, a chance to meet university executive officers, and exhibits created by departments and community partners.
The U-M Division of Public Safety and Security and the Ann Arbor Police Department will offer a security and safety exhibit, including a K-9 unit presentation, Segway electric transportation vehicles, old and new police cars, and motorcycles.
President Mark Schlissel; Laurita Thomas, associate vice president for human resources; Kevin Hegarty, executive vice president and chief financial officer; and Marschall Runge, executive vice president for medical affairs and Medical School dean, will deliver remarks from the steps of the Hatcher Graduate Library.
Active faculty and staff who bring their Mcard to the event are eligible to receive one complimentary copy of the bicentennial book, “Always Leading, Forever Valiant.” Additional free giveaways, including a calendar and a tote bag, are available for staff members.
The MSTAFF200 event will be followed by the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, which will feature two performances from Australia’s Strange Fruit, an ensemble of dancers who perform on elevated poles. Titled “Tall Tales on the High Seas,” the shows will take place at 5:55 p.m. and 7:55 p.m. on North Ingalls Mall.
Tiffany Ng, university carillonist and assistant professor of music, School of Music, Theatre & Dance, will perform a music score of maritime songs on the Burton Memorial Tower carillon in honor of the occasion.
That evening, the Ann Arbor Summer Festival also will include performances from Whit & All Hill & Friends and the Lunar Octet, as well as a screening of “Men in Black.”
Jordan said organizers want staff from all corners of the U-M community to connect with one another through the celebration, as well as “feel recognized and honored for who they are and what they do. We want them to know that they are important, valuable and appreciated.”