The University of Michigan Bicentennial Office hosted a Diag Day Thursday afternoon to spread information about the activities and events planned for the 2017 bicentennial year. Two organizers — the Michigan Bicentennial Archive and the Bicentennial Student Advisory Committee — set up two booths in the center of the Diag with the goal of increasing interest and student involvement in the University’s bicentennial year.
M-BARC focused on disseminating information about a time capsule they are developing for the occasion. Designed by University engineers, it will be launched into space this summer to orbit for 100 years and will include information stored in the form of interviews, audio and video files and DNA.
On Thursday, LSA senior Paul Stefanski, a representative from M-BARC, signed up interested students to be interviewed for the project. M-BARC plans to conduct 1,000 of these interviews in total, which won't be heard until the capsule is brought down from space by the class of 2117.
“No one has ever sent something into space for 100 years before or even designed anything with that intention, especially since some of the information is being stored in DNA,” Stefanski said. “It will be an interesting experiment for scientific purposes as well. Our mission is to make a time capsule unlike any that has been made before.”
Nursing freshman Mary Kostesich was one of many students who signed up for an interview for the time capsule, and said she was excited to be involved in such a project.
“I’m really excited for the space capsule,” Kostesich said. “I think it’s so cool that this will be the first of its kind and is being created by University engineers.”
Members of the Bicentennial Student Advisory Committee also spoke to students in the next booth about the other 2017 bicentennial events and how they can get involved. The University will be offering classes, open to students and the public, for both the winter and fall 2017 semesters about the history, effect and future of the institution.
Public Health student Peter DeJonge, a member of the Bicentennial Student Advisory Committee, said the committee is also encouraging other student organizations to get involved in the celebration.
“There are a lot of ways for your student club to get involved,” DeJonge said. “If they want to incorporate a bicentennial theme they can talk to us or they can talk to the bicentennial committee, and they can integrate that into their own activities.
The bicentennial year will also see campus visits from several notable alumni, seasonal festivals and other University-sponsored events.