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

Bringing the outside in

You are my sunshine

For a brief time during my career at U-M, I toiled in the basement of the Michigan Ross School’s Kresge Library building. It is a space that no longer exists. Working in the subterranean MarComm suite in the sunless winter months was not cool. It was so not cool that I invested in a “Happy Light” so I could blaze myself with synthetic Vitamin D.

happy lamp

Happy Light by Verilux (wrapping paper not included).

Fortunately for me, a transition to the Michigan News office brought me above ground. My white cinderblock room delivers a fine view of the Cottage Inn dumpster behind the William Street restaurant. I’m not being sarcastic here. I love my building and its Halsey Taylor drinking fountain. It reminds me of my mother’s office when I was in third grade. And that’s a good thing.

This month, a few sassy building upgrades debuted at both the Michigan Union and the LSA Building. The timing was just right for those of us working on Maynard Street. A seemingly endless era of chain-link, yellow-taped construction had finally come to an end. Dudes in hard hats would no longer snag every desirable parking space hours before most of us had consumed our first cup of coffee.

So what can I tell you? You need to get back to Ann Arbor tout de suite. The Union? It’s spectacular. LSA’s Opportunity Hub? Breathtaking. And the new Robotics Building, still under construction? Absolutely gorgeous. Each of these buildings (along with several other new and recent construction projects on campus) speaks to a radical trend for 2020: Light is good. Apparently, glass (and lots of it) is the new black. Count me in.

I will be curious to see how our collective mental health at the University is affected by so much fun in the sun. (Cue researcher.) Someone needs to get on that.

And hey, is anyone in the market for a gently used “Happy Light?”


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