Stories indexed with the term ‘UM commencement’

UM: Commencement

Forbes and Mashable are among the many media sites that have posted a video of Twitter CEO Dick Costolo’s speech at the May 4 University of Michigan commencement. Mashable notes: “Costolo, a graduate of UM who pursued comedy after earning his bachelor’s degree for computer science in 1985, started his speech by tweeting a photo of the crowd and ended it saying, ‘hashtag go blue!’” [Source] [Source]

UM Regents Approve Honorary Degrees

Six honorary degrees were authorized by University of Michigan regents, to be awarded at UM’s spring 2012 commencement on Saturday, April 28 at Michigan Stadium. Regents gave their unanimous approval for the degrees at their March 15, 2012 meeting.

In alphabetical order, the degrees will be awarded to:  Jose Antonio Abreu, a Venezuelan pianist and music educator;  Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon and CNN’s chief medical correspondent; investment banker J. Ira Harris, president of JI Harris & Associates; journalist and author Susan Orlean; Richard Sarns, biomedical entrepreneur and inventor; and author and illustrator Chris Van Allsburg.

This brief was filed from the Michigan Union’s Pendleton Room on UM’s Ann Arbor campus, where regents held their March meeting. A more detailed report will follow: [... [Full Story]

Column: Making Sushi of Obama’s Speech

Last weekend, President Barack Obama delivered the commencement address at the University of Michigan’s  spring commencement to an audience of more than 90,000 people, including more than 8,000 graduates.

The event also included national, regional, and local media organizations, who were eventually allowed into Michigan Stadium. But I don’t think most members of the media really listened to his address.

New York Times Headlines

The online New York Times ran at least four different headlines for the Obama speech. In this collage of screen shots, from the upper left, going clockwise: (1) "At a Graduation, Obama Defends Government"; (2) "President's Plea to Graduates: Be Civil"; (3) "At a Graduation, Obama Urges Openness and Defends Government"; (4) "Obama Assails Antigovernment Rhetoric." (Image links to higher resolution file.)

For example, I didn’t see any of these headlines, which could have been attached to an accurate account of Obama’s speech:

Obama Lambastes Media for Sound-Byte Coverage

Obama Takes Aim at Media for Stoking Conflicts

Obama Puts Blame for Coarse Discourse on Media

Obama Erupts But Does Not Confirm Ties to Volcano

The fourth alternative is based on a kindergartner’s question to the president, which Obama reported as part of his speech. That one is admittedly a stretch. It’s included for the benefit of an audience of two, perhaps three, local Ann Arbor readers who might crack a smile when they read it. [For those of you who don't know, Ann Arbor is building a "volcano" in the center of its downtown.]

The other three, however, are legitimate candidates for a headline that summarizes what the president’s speech was “about.” The venerable New York Times tried out at least four different headlines for a single online story on the Obama speech. But none of the NYT alternatives – nor those of any other media coverage I saw – identified as a significant theme of Obama’s speech the culpability of the media in the kind of “over the top” public debates that Obama said “coarsens our culture.”

That’s because I don’t think media organizations were paying attention to all of Obama’s speech the way they would have if they’d approached it like they were cutting up fish. [Full Story]

Obama, Graduation Through Klarman’s Lens

Local photographer Myra Klarman captured these images for The Chronicle of the May 1 University of Michigan commencement exercises at Michigan Stadium.

Jennifer Granholm, Barack Obama, Mary Sue Coleman

U.S. President Barack Obama, flanked by Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm on the left and University of Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman on the right.

[Full Story]

Obama’s Michigan Commencement Speech

President Barack Obama delivered the main address at the University of Michigan’s May 1 spring commencement.

Analysis of Obama commencement address

Word cloud analysis of the Obama UM commencement address. Image links to higher resolution file. Analysis done at

The Chronicle has transcribed the speech as delivered and provided some annotation, in part by providing section and sub-section headings that reflect the organizational structure of the president’s remarks.

The main themes were the role of government in our lives and the keys to preservation of democracy. One of those keys to the preservation of democracy, Obama told the graduates, is to “contribute part of your life to the life of this country.” [Full Story]

UM Commencement: Student Address

Word cloud analysis of Alex Marston's commencement address. Image links to higher resolution file. Analysis done at

Word cloud analysis of Alex Marston's commencement address. Image links to higher resolution file. Analysis done at

Speaking to his fellow graduates at the University of Michigan’s spring commencement ceremony on May 1, 2010, senior Alex Marston’s brief remarks gave a quick tour through some touchstones of student culture.

That tour ranged from food, to football, to academics. Marston’s focus was change – an idea that his fellow commencement speaker, President Barack Obama, had made the centerpiece of his successful 2008 campaign.

The Chronicle transcribed and annotated the address as delivered. [Full Story]

Ann Arbor Budget: Formal Commencement

Ann Arbor City Council meeting (April 19, 2010) Part 1: In the main business of the meeting, city administrator Roger Fraser delivered to Ann Arbor’s city council a presentation required by the city charter, which contained his proposed budget for FY 2011. That marks the formal start of councilmembers’ opportunity to modify the budget proposal.

Hieftje Higgins Fraser

From left to right: Mayor John Hieftje, Marcia Higgins (Ward 4) and city administrator Roger Fraser. The trio were basking in the blue glow of the slide projector before the start of the council meeting, which began with Fraser's budget presentation. (Photos by the writer.)

The council must adopt amendments to the budget by their second meeting in May – May 17 this year – or else see the administrator’s unamended budget enacted by default, as stipulated by a city charter provision.

The council also heard a summary of the parking plan that they had commissioned the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority to produce.

Related to the city budget and the DDA board – but not reported during communications time at the council meeting – members of the DDA board and city council held a closed-door meeting last Friday afternoon with city administrator Roger Fraser to discuss a $2 million payment by the DDA to the city this year.

At Monday evening’s meeting, the council postponed a vote on a schedule of fine increases for parking violations. The estimated $635,000 in additional revenues that the increases would bring, said CFO Tom Crawford at the meeting, was not part of the FY 2011 budget assumptions.

The topic of the University of Michigan’s upcoming graduation exercises on May 1, which will feature an address by President Barack Obama, found its way into deliberations at various points in the meeting. The city approved road closures around the football stadium in conjunction with the UM commencement. Residents who live near Elbel Field will contend with floodlights and loudspeakers as early as 4 a.m. on commencement morning. And during public commentary, one resident expressed concern over the city’s denial of a permit to demonstrate – organizers of “Fulfilling the Dream” expect to draw hundreds on May 1, but as yet have nowhere to gather.

The city administrator’s report to the council featured an explanation of parking citations handed out during the previous Saturday’s UM spring football game, as well as an explanation of the closure of city hall last week due to elevated levels of carbon monoxide.

Public commentary was weighted towards an agenda item that allocated $313,000 from the Ann Arbor Housing Trust Fund for three different permanent housing projects. The council approved the allocation.

The council also satisfied an obligation it had under the settlement terms of a recent lawsuit by voting to remand consideration of an email rule to its rules committee.

In Part 1 of this report, we focus on the budget, parking and UM’s commencement. [Full Story]