The skies were not maize and blue last Friday, but the spirit inside the Power Center for the Performing Arts was. Nearly 1,000 members of Team Michigan gathered there for the official launch of the Universitys Campaign for Michigan.
A 75-minute slide/video program, which at times tugged at the heartstrings, gave the Universitys fund-raising volunteers from across the country a sense of the institution and the many special teams within, its heritage, and its spirit and traditions.
Guided by CBS News/60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace and LS&A Dean Edie N. Goldenberg, audience members took a high-tech tour across campus to visit teams of faculty and students doing the things that make the University a truly great university, Goldenberg said.
Our pride is a remarkable force, she stated. Our strength, our laughter, our power of imagination all are traits of Team Michigan.
Our sights and standards are very high. We dont settle for being good, we find a way to achieve whats great. One factor will determine whether we will continue to be a truly great universitythe level of gifts [in the Campaign]. You make the difference, Team Michigan.
Wallace remarked on his fierce remembered joy of a Friday in September in Ann Arbor. No matter where we are, the campus is home. Michigan needs us now for a job that is both simple and monumental. The Campaign is of critical importance. ...The future and fate [of the University] is in our hands. The Campaign is the Universitys mission of its lifetime.
President James J. Duderstadt noted that the bold effort to raise $1 billion over the next five years is nothing new for Michigan. We have assembled a magnificent leadership team. [The Campaign] will require commitment and sacrifice, a loyalty to and love of the University. There are few things we can do in our lives that will make such a difference as what we are doing for The University of Michigan.
Duderstadt noted that the U-M, considered the flagship of public higher education, always has benefited from a strong tradition of private gifts, including the original gift of land from four Indian tribes that established the University.
Today we celebrate and honor a community of individuals that is nearly 400,000 strong. The challenge is truly staggering, but it also is an exciting new adventure that has the capacity to serve the future. Your gifts will give shape and direction to the University. Michigan made a difference for us. Now we must make a difference for Michigan.