The University Record, June 17, 2002

CD-ROM gives glimpse of life at Michigan

By Joel Seguine
Office of the Vice President for Communications

“ What an amazing world we have here . . .the education you get at the University of Michigan is sure to last a lifetime.”

These words from a current student to prospective students and their families are part of a virtual experience found on the University’s new CD-ROM, simply titled “Michigan.” Using the latest technology and unique digital graphics, the CD presents the voices and images of students and faculty and the campus itself.

“We designed the CD with 17-year-old prospective students in mind,” explained Lester Monts, senior vice provost for academic affairs. “We wanted to answer their questions and show them around, since many live too far away for a convenient visit. Showing them what their lives would be like outside the classroom is important, but Michigan’s academic excellence and its greatest treasure—our students—are the true stars of this piece,” he emphasized.

Along with a virtual tour and information that high-school-age students and their parents will want to know about U-M, the CD offers a range of candid comments about the richness and excitement of life on campus and in the Ann Arbor area from students captured “on-the-street” (or “in-the-hall”), from residence hall food to the things they wished they’d brought with them from home to communal bathrooms.

“The new CD is a powerful tool in the undergraduate admissions process,” said Ted Spencer, director of admissions. “It allows us to attract great young men and women to the University by providing a very broad and honest view of everything Michigan has to offer from academic excellence to the City of Ann Arbor and everything in between, in a very interactive and fun format.”

According to Admissions Associate Director Chris Lucier, newly-admitted students and their parents who received the CD this spring all gave it great reviews. “We’ve talked to students who said, ‘Michigan wasn’t my top choice and I wasn’t going to visit campus until I played around with the CD. I spent about two hours looking at everything. Now I’m here to see for myself!’ Another student said, ‘It was great because it allowed me to answer a lot of my questions before I came to visit campus.’”

Approximately 250 people, more than half of them students, were involved in developing the CD, including script writing, according to Brett Ashley, director of Marketing Communications, which produced the CD. “I was awed by the talent and depth of the undergraduates we worked with,” Ashley said. “None of these students were professional actors. We didn’t have to prime them for material. They were articulate and knowledgeable about difficult issues, and understood the value of the experience they’re having here. They obviously think about it a lot.”

Copies of the CD are available for $1 online, www.umich.edu/~mktgcomm/products.html.