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October 22, 2014 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-10-22

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VV s a,,,. October 22, 2014 // The Statement E3

t rises above Michigan Stadium, a greet-
ing to Ann Arbor. It's flying on the top of
the Michigan Union, reminding alumni
that they've made it back. It's ingrained in
the center of both Diags for students to tread
underfoot every day. It's painted on the Uni-
versity Health System's heliport, welcom-
ing patients and doctors alike. It's chalked
in unique places all over campus, a surprise
for those who look. And it's always carried
around by countless members of the Univer-
sity community on their clothes, phone cases
and keychains. It's the block 'M.'
More than100 years ago, during the home-
coming football game on Nov. 16, 1907, thou-
sands of blue and yellow flags were raised in

in an 1898 publication called "The Michigan
book," which details the history ofthe Univer-
sity, states "Some ofthem(pins),have a square
back-ground of blue with the letter M appear-
ing there in yellow." Nowhere else is any sort
of solitary M mentioned, even though the
book has many logos and insignias for student
organizations and classes.
On Nov. 17, 1907, The Michigan Daily
reported that the previous day, the aforemen-
tioned thousands of flags were used to form an
M. The Daily wrote,"Probably no more beau-
tiful feature was ever seen at a football game
than the block 'M' section. At a signal from
the yellmaster, the black mass of humanity in
the bleachers suddenly became transformed

Sports Illustrated profile of him. Canham
helped expand the Michigan brand and
licensed it in ways that wasn't seen before in
college athletics.
In a 2004 Michigan Daily interview, he
said the first items were pieces of merchan-
dise were designed right in his house. "We
designed 20 or 30 different things. We did
that all on my kitchen table... Sports Illus-
trated wrote an article on what we were doing
and everybody started copying."
The Sports Illustrated article featured a
photo of Canham posing over many new types
of merchandise. The University first applied
to register the block 'M' as a trademark in
1982. under Canham's tenure. The items not

ing materials throughout the University. Units
had completely different ways of explaining
the University.
"Several years ago if you asked what makes
Michigan, Michigan, you probably would
have got a dozen different answers from ten
different people," said Tom Szczepanski,
assistant vice president for Development at
the University.
Unifying the M
University administrators thought some-
thing had to be done. In 2011, a brand study
was completed, which paved the way for a

Michigan's uniqueness comes from its combi-
nation of academic excellence, public mission
and long heritage.
The brand study reported that while Mich-
igan had a good reputation, the University
should be doing more to promote itself con-
fidently. According to Busch, all parts of the
University should be giving out similar mes-
"These are brand truths that exist whether
you are a brand new department or the Col-
lege of Engineering that's been around for 100
years," Busch said. "It doesn't matter where
you fall there, you are going for all those com-
mon elements that are nneceavfr anvtmhing

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