Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Diag’s landmark ‘M’ undergoing repairs after vandalism

The brass block “M” on the Diag is being repaired in the university Metal Shop after sustaining minor damage when someone unsuccessfully tried to remove it from its granite setting, the Department of Public Safety reports.

“I suspect it will be back in a couple of days,” DPS Assistant Chief Joe Piersante says.
DPS was alerted to the incident at 8:17 a.m. last Friday by a library staff member who spotted part of the “M” raised from the walkway.

“They apparently tried to remove it. It’s actually pinned and sealed in the granite. They were able to get just one end up,” Piersante says. Grounds staff then removed the “M” from its setting for repairs.

The noted university landmark was established in 1922 when Plant Department mason Perry Kimbel created a block U-M within a circular pattern in front of the newly built Hatcher Graduate Library.

After much wear, it was determined a new walkway was needed and the class of 1953 donated a brass block “M” that retained the traditions of the first seal.