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Breaking ground and building U-M's future

Headshot of President Santa J. Ono

Dear Alumni and Friends,


The University of Michigan has always had a special relationship with the city of Detroit. It is where the university was originally founded in 1817 as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania. It is where we have built and fostered partnerships in the two centuries since then, sharing a rich history of continued engagement that includes dozens of partnerships with community organizations, community-academic research, courses, K-12 programming, student projects and organizations, and alumni working in key public, nonprofit and private company roles to better the city.


And it is where we will break ground later this year on perhaps our most ambitious project to date – the U-M Center for Innovation.


The UMCI will be a world-class research, education and entrepreneurship center designed to advance innovation and talent-focused community development to propel city, regional and statewide job creation and inclusive economic growth. 


None of it would be possible without the support and partnership of so many, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the state legislature, longtime U-M top donor Stephen Ross, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Chris Ilitch, CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc.


The initiative is another example of U-M’s multifaceted engagement in the city. Others include the U-M Detroit Center on Woodward Avenue, which opened in 2005 in Midtown; a “cradle to career” P-20 collaboration with the Detroit Public Schools Community District on the School at Marygrove; and hundreds of other projects U-M works on with community partners around the city.


It’s a project that is years in the making, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about our new beginning when our shovels soon hit the dirt on the UMCI.



Santa Ono signature
Santa J. Ono
University of Michigan President
Students on the Diag at the University of Michigan

Fall enrollment at UM-Ann Arbor is the state’s largest

Enrollment grew again this year, making the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus—with 52,065 students—the largest and most sought-after public research institution in the state.

A researcher in a lab at the University of Michigan

U-M reports record $1.86B in FY '23 research volume

The record $1.86 billion in research volume led to critical advancements in a range of areas from artificial intelligence and global infectious disease to microelectronics and social justice.

A person using a computer to work on a network server

UM-led statewide consortium boosts energy, battery work

The statewide Michigan Defense Resiliency Consortium consortium led by the U-M Economic Growth Institute received $4.9 million from the U.S. Department of Defense to create the foundation for energy storage and battery manufacturing. 

A professor testifying before the senate

Professor testifies before Senate on risks of AI to the financial sector

U-M professor Michael Wellman testified in front of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs to alert lawmakers to the potential dangers to security, safety and equity posed by AI’s use in financial systems.

Rendering of Michigan Central Station and the surrounding area.

U-M alum prepares Michigan Central for 2024 opening

In what many consider one of the most important economic development projects in Michigan, U-M alumnus and Michigan Central Chief Executive Officer Joshua Sirefman is readying the 30-acre mobility district in Detroit. 

People outdoors wearing masks

Report explores how COVID-19 affected state's regions differently

A new report from U-M public health researchers studying how COVID-19 affected Michiganders found that the severity of illness or negative impact of the pandemic is strongly connected to the geographic area of the state.


Detroit News: U-M regents approve construction for $250M Detroit innovation center

Crain's Detroit: University of Michigan breaks ground on $631M housing complex

Detroit Free Press: U-M snake collection largest in world after Oregon State donation

Michigan Radio: U-M study finds pollution remediation efforts could improve property values

WOOD TV: How AI is helping doctors at University of Michigan Health-West to detect breast cancer earlier

WSJM: University of Michigan installs world's most powerful laser

MLive: How will University of Michigan change in 25 years? Leaders talk future, seek input

Crain's Detroit: University of Michigan puts its own AI chatbot in students' hands

Did we miss you last month? Check out the September 2023 Michigan Impact:

Promoting economic development in Michigan

The Michigan Impact newsletter is a monthly communication highlighting the impact of University of Michigan research and projects throughout the state of Michigan. To learn more visit PublicEngagement.UMich.edu.

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