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


  1. Black Fridays

    Gruesome posters at the Bentley Historical Library document the old-school ritual of “rush”—not a sedate round of Greek sociables but semi-violent warfare. First it was between “Lits,” “Laws” and “Medics,” then, increasingly, between freshmen and sophomores. Rush ruled from the Civil War to World War I—in the later years, on “Black Friday” in early October. Here are 10 samples from the collection, most of them from the early 1900s. See “Class Warfare.” (Images courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.)
  2. Come sail away

    If a summer breeze makes you feel fine, these gorgeous shots from the Michigan Sailing Club at Dexter's Baseline Lake are sure to delight. All images are by Eric Bronson, Michigan Photography.
  3. Life Sciences Orchestra

    In fall 2000 a talented group of musicians and artists at the Medical School and U-M Health System founded the Life Sciences Orchestra (LSO). The symphonic orchestra, part of the Gifts of Art program, comprises faculty, staff, students, alumni, and volunteers in the life sciences. Music Director Oriol Sans is a graduate of the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance's orchestral conducting program. (Photos by Leisa Thompson unless otherwise indicated.)
  4. Now is the winter

    These snow-covered images of campus surely would have inspired writers from Shakespeare to Camus, whose emotions about winter ranged from discontent to irrepressible longing for spring. (All images by Joel Johnson, Michigan Photography.)
  5. Be present in the past

    The University Musical Society has hosted countless artists since its founding in 1879. Here is just a sampling of images, reflecting the society's amazing history, which is part of the growing digital archive (The images showcased here are courtesy of UMS.)
  6. A day in the life

    If a picture paints a thousand words, these images have much to say about the enduring appeal of life at Michigan. (All images by Michigan Photography.)
  7. Matthaei’s magical, mystical agave

    A poignant scene draws to a close at U-M's Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum as an 80-year-old American agave blooms for the first -- and last -- time in its majestic life. This American agave arrived at U-M in 1934, the same year a University task force declared the arboretum would "become a haven of quiet one hundred years from now when our rich native flora will have become a thing of the past in most places." (Images courtesy of Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum unless otherwise noted.)
  8. It’s all there in black and white

    In 1913 the University of Michigan hired its first staff photographer, 1897 alumnus George Robert Swain. He went on to complete a graduate degree in 1914. Thanks to Swain's comprehensive coverage of campus, we have a vivid visual record of our shared history.