Santa J. Ono wearing a suit posing with his arms crossed for a photo
Dear Alumni and Friends,

More than 200 years ago, this university began with a dream – a single building in Detroit in what was then the Territory of Michigan, a school that was dedicated to public education. 

A few decades later, after we moved to Ann Arbor, President Henry Tappan had the vision of creating the first true American research university here at the University of Michigan. That vision – along with the dreams and actions of so many who have become members of this community over the past two centuries – has shaped the ethos of our proud institution.

As we embark on a new school year, I’m inspired by the University of Michigan’s continued dedication to leadership and excellence, and to elevating society by lifting the distinct, ineffable potential of each individual, no matter their race, color, creed, religion, sex or socioeconomic status. 

Our new class of Wolverines this fall includes more than 3,600 students from Michigan. They hail from nearly every county, covering all corners of the state, including 70 students from the Upper Peninsula.

They will arrive in Ann Arbor, where their passion and energy will lead them to learn, overcome challenges and achieve to their highest potential. At the University of Michigan, they will be tested, but they also will be supported – by their instructors, by their peers and, especially this year, by their elected officials. 

In addition to a 5% increase in operating funds in this year’s budget, U-M anticipates at least $8 million in awards through the new Michigan Achievement Scholarship for more than 2,000 first-year students in Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint. On behalf of our U-M students and their families, I would like to send our deepest appreciation to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Legislature and the Michigan Department of Treasury for their work to make this critical funding stream a reality for our students.

Lastly, I would encourage you to check out our new welcome video for a fun look at the return to campus. It might just bring back a few memories.