I’m in the book

I’m in print

Alumni of a certain age may remember the classic film The Jerk, starring Steve Martin. In a standout scene that was outrageously funny in its time, Martin’s character finds his name listed in the new telephone book.

“I’m somebody now!” he declares with unmitigated joy.

You’re somebody too

On the morning of April 30, as students filed into Michigan Stadium for Commencement 2022, I was starstruck by a group of graduating men’s basketball players as they gleefully waited out a small bottleneck at the entrance to the tunnel. All of a sudden I heard a shout: “I’m in the book! I’m in the book!” One of the men was waving the 2022 commencement program over his head and doing what can only be described as a “happy dance.” As I walked away, I saw one of his fellow players riffling through the pages. “Wait, am I in the book?”

Of course you are. And what a book it is. No mere list of names and digits. No sir. That book is a lifeline, a roadmap, a life preserver to buoy you through your journey’s ups and downs. It’s a directory of pure and everlasting potential. Connections to be made. Friendships to be had. Careers to pursue.

And it’s only the first chapter.

As readers of this publication, many of you have been “in the book” as well. You belong to a rare breed of college graduates — the leaders and best, as the saying goes. You are many in body, but one in heart. You are Wolverines.

Like many of you, Martin’s character had a revelation when he saw his name in print.

“Things are going to start happening to me now.”

Yes. Yes, they are.

That guy reading the phone book may have been a “jerk,” but he definitely had your number.
(Lead image: Michigan Photography.)


  1. Jerry Manning - 1960

    Frankly I have always thought if anonymity as a virtue so much so that I deposited my wife’s ashes in the Pacific from the second column of the Golden Gate Bridge and expect to meet her there in the near future 😉


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