Letters to Campus Community
Winter Semester 2011 Welcome
Jan. 5, 2011
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Hello, and Happy New Year!
I hope you are as excited about the new semester as I am.
The University offers a world of activity, both in and out of the classroom, and it seems there is always far more to do than there is time on the calendar.
While New Year’s Day has passed, you can still celebrate the start of 2011 at the annual Mochitsuki on January 8.
This is a fascinating Japanese celebration held on campus that features live music, storytelling, art, games and food.
This celebration is presented by the Center for Japanese Studies, and I think you’ll find it’s a unique way to begin 2011.
As always, the College of Literature, Science and the Arts is presenting a theme semester, and this winter turns its focus to the topic of water.
From the local to the global, students can explore water issues through history, science, literature and art, as well as lectures and exhibitions.
Several units on campus are celebrating important anniversaries this year, and I encourage you to join in their programming.
The Spectrum Center is marking 40 years as a place of education, advocacy and support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.
Also celebrating 40 years is MESA – the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs – and the William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center, which promote diversity and student leadership at Michigan. You can be part of the anniversary on January 16th at the Trotter Center.
A 50-year celebration is on tap for the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, with students, faculty and alumni using the first weekend in April to reflect on five decades of accomplishments.
And the U-of-M School of Social Work, one of the best in the nation, is marking 90 years of promoting social change and social justice through research, education, and practice.
Outside of the classroom, our students have tremendous plans this semester.
Opera students will bring us “Little Women,” and musical theater students will perform the classic “Brigadoon.” And don’t forget “The Crucible,” the powerful drama written by Michigan alumnus Arthur Miller.
Students, faculty and staff are opening the doors of North Quad on March 31st for a community open house of the University’s newest residence hall and academic center. North Quad is stunning, and I encourage you to explore it.
And members of the Symphony Band are preparing for an historic spring tour of six cities in China. This promises to be a fabulous experience, for both Chinese audiences and Michigan students.
If you enjoy music and literature, get out your calendar.
Renee Fleming – the renowned soprano – is performing at Hill Auditorium on January 16th.
A week later, also at Hill, the Life Sciences Orchestra will showcase its talents with a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2. I love this orchestra because it brings together the University’s medical and science communities to share a different kind of expertise – playing beautiful music.
And the Zell Visiting Writers Series continues to attract the finest talent to campus.
From our classrooms and performance halls to our sports arenas and residence halls, the U-of-M campus has so much to offer.
I hope your calendar for the new year is filled with art, entertainment and a joy of learning.