Dear Friends,

The challenges of the past year have been unlike any others as the global COVID-19 pandemic upended so much of how we all live, work, and learn and tested our ability to adapt, move forward, and achieve success. Yet, as you will read in this year-end edition of Michigan Impact, the University of Michigan has risen to these challenges at every turn.

I’m pleased to report that nearly 21 months after the first known cases of COVID-19 occurred in our region, the University of Michigan continues to thrive, with a renewed commitment to outstanding education and betterment of the public good. We remain steadfast in our mission to serve the people of Michigan, our country and the world.

One exciting way we are fulfilling that mission is through the Detroit Center for Innovation, a future research, education and entrepreneurship center that will advance innovation-focused community development, propel job creation and create opportunity for Detroiters and residents across the state.
Through the DCI, the university will provide the kind of advanced educational programs that will meet the needs of an evolving workforce and move our economy forward. The center is unique in that it will provide a space for the university to engage with industry, nonprofit and community partners to develop the most relevant and engaged academic programs and identify research opportunities of mutual interest and benefit.
Our partners for the DCI announced yesterday that the center will be built in The District Detroit, the mixed-use sports and entertainment district situated between the downtown and Midtown. Once built, U-M will anchor this world-class center focused on academic programs and research related to fields in which advanced technology is increasingly critical.

And the DCI is just part of our growing presence in the area. Last week, our Board of Regents voted to approve the renovation of the 121,000-square-foot Horace H. Rackham Educational Memorial building in Midtown. The $40 million project will establish this building – on the Q-line seated adjacent to the Detroit Institute of Arts and Detroit Public Library – as the new home to many existing U-M initiatives and programs in Detroit.

The challenges of the pandemic have tested us, but they have not lessened our commitment to serving our state, our country and the world at large.

It is what the University of Michigan has done for more than two centuries through education, research, patient care, and service. We look forward to furthering that mission through innovation, creativity, and an unwavering commitment to excellence in the year ahead.

Happy holidays,