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Updated 10:00 AM March 30, 2009

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Coleman speaks on economic development
at Congressional Breakfast

President Mary Sue Coleman told a Capitol Hill audience that the university is committed to being an active player in rebuilding Michigan's economy.
Rep. John Conyers and President Mary Sue Coleman. (Photo by Stacy Mitchell)

Speaking Thursday at the annual U-M Congressional Breakfast, Coleman said the anticipated possible purchase of the Pfizer laboratories and the creation of the new Taubman Medical Research Institute Consortium for Stem Cell Therapies are two examples of this commitment.

Regarding Pfizer, Coleman said the university sees "unlimited potential for faculty and students to dream 'big dreams.' If purchased, the facility will stimulate new business in the region, she said. And the stem cell initiative "strongly positions" U-M to build upon its research strengths, she added.

Coleman also gave two other examples of economic activity of a different kind: development of a film office to work with Hollywood producers on films shot in Michigan, and re-opening the U-M Museum of Art.

"All of this is emblematic of our commitment to the state," Coleman said.

Also speaking at the breakfast was Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and second-most senior member of the House of Representatives.

In his comments, Conyers lauded the quality of the university and urged a dialogue about how to hold down college costs.

The event is sponsored by the U-M Club of Greater Washington and raises scholarship funds for students from the D.C. area who attend U-M.

Approximately 300 people attended this year's breakfast. Additional Michigan lawmakers in attendance were Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan; and Reps. Mark Schauer, D-Battle Creek; Dale Kildee, D-Flint; and Carolyn Kilpatrick, D-Detroit.

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