Office of the VP for Communications – Keeping alumni and friends connected to U-M

An uncommon education: Ep 3

An ear for excellence

bicentennial word markScience and research took precedence in Henry Tappan’s mind, as he set about charting the University of Michigan’s course as its first president. But Tappan also believed in the rich tradition of the arts. He understood the ways in which music both enriched the student experience and served as a worldwide ambassador for the University.

This video is the third installment in Detroit Public Television’s series “An Uncommon Education: Celebrating 200 Years of the University of Michigan.” And here we are able to explore the University’s great musical legacy, from the earliest student groups to the Michigan Marching Band.

Tune in every month!

This short-form documentary series airs on DPTV throughout 2017 as part of a multimedia effort to recognize 200 years of the University’s role as an educator and institution in the state, nation, and world. Vignettes will be aired in one-minute broadcasts on DPTV during prime-time and weekend station breaks.

Spread over 10 broadcast and web vignettes, the series tracks the evolution of how the institution ignited the sparks necessary for world-changing minds, attitudes, and accomplishments from the 19th century through the new millennium. Even the earliest stories of the University’s origins will not just deal with sepia-toned recollections, but will trace the repercussions of those events into our contemporary times and the future.

A new vignette will air every month, culminating with a broadcast special to air in December 2017. Viewers can watch the full-length, 7-8 minute versions on DPTV’s “An Uncommon Education” On Demand website.

Star sightings

Guests include President Mark Schlissel, former President Mary Sue Coleman, Athletic Director Warde Manuel, author and Michigan Today contributor James Tobin, Spectrum Center co-founder Jim Toy, and Angela Dillard, Earl Lewis Collegiate Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies in the Residential College, and associate dean of undergraduate education, LSA.

Series topics run the gamut, including the role of science at U-M, the University’s musical legacy, global outreach, social justice on campus, innovation, and the work of Michigan Medicine, U-M’s academic medical center.

The videos also will appear on the U-M YouTube channel.

“An Uncommon Education: Celebrating 200 Years of the University of Michigan” is made possible by a grant from the Stanley & Judith Frankel Family Foundation.


  1. Jim Hallett - 1972

    Wonderful video! I have always been proudest of the excellence that UM has demonstrated in both music and athletics, as both come without the leftist agenda that so much else in AA does. Revelli retired while I was a student (was not in the School of Music or the band), and I recall all the innovations he did (including teaching the OSU band how to do “Script Ohio”. When I lived in CA, I always looked forward to the UM Glee Club tours that visited several west coast cities. They are the best, and Hill Auditorium is as fine a place to hear a concert as anywhere in the land! “The Victors” indeed!


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