‘Renaissance campus’ will be cooperative effort of four units

By Sally Pobojewski
News and Information Services

College of Engineering Dean Peter M. Banks wants to look out his office window at 5 p.m. on a Friday and see students coming to North Campus, rather than leaving.

He’d like the ambience to be a little less like an industrial park and a little more like home.

“Our goal is to create an atmosphere that will draw students to North Campus on evenings and weekends,” Banks says. “We hope to knit together faculty and students from all four schools and colleges on North Campus—or, as we like to call it, the Renaissance Campus.”

Banks shared his vision for North Campus in a presentation to engineering alumni who returned to Ann Arbor to help kick off the Campaign for Michigan.

Banks said the College of Engineering has much in common with its North Campus neighbors—the School of Music, the School of Art and the College of Architecture and Urban Planning. “We all perform a service to society in fundamental ways,” he said.

Interdisciplinary study between the four schools and colleges is increasing, Banks said, citing 80 undergraduates currently co-majoring in engineering and music.

In addition to encouraging more academic ties across North Campus, Banks hopes the College’s new Engineering Center, to be built with funds raised during the campaign, will “create a focal point for North Campus.”

The public areas of the Engineering Center—with a plaza, reflecting pond and bell tower—were designed to draw people to the area for picnics, ice skating or relaxing on evenings and weekends, Banks said.


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