Photo Essay: An Ode to a Michigan Wolverine

Sunday, March 29, 2020 - 8:26pm

Sure enough, I tried to go and photograph an empty Big House, but only got the outside.

Sure enough, I tried to go and photograph an empty Big House, but only got the outside. Buy this photo
Allison Engkvist/Daily

“Can you edit a photo of the Big House empty?”

As a photo editor, that’s not a normal question to get asked. A picture of a Maize out at Yost? Sure, we have that. Protests on the Diag? Of course. But an empty stadium, let alone the Big House? Well that just isn’t in the job description.

Sure enough, I tried to go and photograph an empty Big House, but only got the outside.

Sure enough, I tried to go and photograph an empty Big House, but only got the outside. Buy this photo
Allison Engkvist/Daily

I spent all night looking through the archives of Daily photos trying to find one, but the task was nearly impossible. Thousands and thousands of photos, yet not a single one of an empty Big House. Every photo was saturated with life. With maize and blue crowds, rally towels, sunglasses, posters, etc. From Crisler to Yost to the Big House, all I could find was pictures of beaming students, proud to be a Michigan Wolverine.

Howard's Herd gets pumped before the start of a basketball game.

Howard's Herd gets pumped before the start of a basketball game. Buy this photo
Allison Engkvist/Daily

Students chanting the victors song during a football game.

Students chanting the victors song during a football game. Buy this photo
Alec Cohen/Daily

Stadiums should be full of an obnoxiously loud student section and a marching band that plays the Victors Song three times in a row but it never getting old. Fists should be punching through the air as the crowd dances to the Blues Brothers song during the final period of each game. Mr. Brightside should be blasting through the speakers as students jump through the bleachers, not knowing the Killers would retweet this ordinary rite. Traditions show these stadiums should be anything but empty.

The student section during a football game.

The student section during a football game. Buy this photo
Alec Cohen/Daily

Crisler lit up before a game.

Crisler lit up before a game. Buy this photo
Alexis Rankin/Daily

Its not just the stadiums. Its the theaters too. The restaurants. The auditoriums. The classrooms. It’s working hard at rehearsal every night just to see a performance get cancelled. Spending hours in the UGLI on a presentation just to deliver it via a computer screen. Dedicating every day of the semester to The Daily and the newsroom just to see the paper not get printed. It’s a lot of heartbreaking disappointment. But this disappointment doesn’t take away from the hard work, the late nights or the dedication.

The Walgreens Drama Center will not be showing any productions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Walgreens Drama Center will not be showing any productions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Buy this photo
Allison Engkvist/Daily

Not a student to be seen on North Campus during COVID-19 pandemic.

Not a student to be seen on North Campus during COVID-19 pandemic. Buy this photo
Allison Engkvist/Daily

The Michigan Theater closes due to COVID-19.

The Michigan Theater closes due to COVID-19. Buy this photo
Dominick Sokotoff/Daily

Here we are, spending what may be our final days of the semester and school year on an almost empty campus. In the midst of this chaos, a lot of us have taken the time to reflect back on the year, scanning through old photos and posting them to Instagram or Facebook. It’s devastating to see it come to this abrupt halt as some say their final goodbyes. As someone who works every day to capture these moments on campus, I decided to try and summarize this past year via photos. I know it’s not quite the closure we were all hoping to get out of this year, but I’m hoping it will serve for something.

So Wolverines, through the lens of my camera and that of several Daily photographers, I invite you to take a look back at this past year. Full of joy, tears and lots of late nights. COVID-19 may have cut our time short, but let’s not forget how lucky we are to be a Michigan Wolverine.

Children of Yost cheering during a hockey game.

Children of Yost cheering during a hockey game. Buy this photo
Alec Cohen/Daily

Students cheering on the football team.

Students cheering on the football team. Buy this photo
Alec Cohen/Daily

Let’s begin with one of Michigan’s obvious pride and joys: sports. Those warm summer Saturday afternoons spent in the Big House or cold winter walks to Crisler are some of everyone’s fondest memories. From beating Notre Dame in the pouring rain to snagging the Paul Bunyan Trophy, yet again, it was an exciting season for football (that is, up until November 30th, but let's not talk about that). 

A fun celebration during a football game after scoring a touchdown.

A fun celebration during a football game after scoring a touchdown. Buy this photo
Alec Cohen/Daily

Students stood in the pouring rain for four quarters during the Notre Dame football game.

Students stood in the pouring rain for four quarters during the Notre Dame football game. Buy this photo
Alec Cohen/Daily

Michigan football versus Ohio State football.

Michigan football versus Ohio State football. Buy this photo
Alexis Rankin/Daily

A new basketball team took the court and kick off the season by winning the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. Yes, the season had its ups and downs, but don’t let that take away from the highlights. Juwan Howard led the team in his first season as head coach and secured many wins, including one against Michigan State.

Freshman Franz Wagner with the happiest basketball dunk.

Freshman Franz Wagner with the happiest basketball dunk. Buy this photo
Emmat Mati/Daily

Michigan defeated Indiana 89-65 in February.

Michigan defeated Indiana 89-65 in February. Buy this photo
Allison Engkvist/Daily

A classic Jon Teske dunk.

A classic Jon Teske dunk. Buy this photo
Alexis Rankin/Daily

And of course, Michigan Hockey had a strong season as well. The team made it to the semifinals in the Big Ten Tournament and who knows, maybe they would have won. It’s also worth noting that Michigan beat Michigan State in football, basketball and hockey this year...something to definitely remember.

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Allison Engkvist/Daily

Michigan hockey defeats Michigan State.

Michigan hockey defeats Michigan State. Buy this photo
Keemya Esmael/Daily

Michigan hockey takes on Lake Superior State.

Michigan hockey takes on Lake Superior State. Buy this photo
Madeline Hinkley/Daily

Who doesn't love a good hockey fight?

Who doesn't love a good hockey fight? Buy this photo
Allison Engkvist/Daily

Here’s a look at some other highlights in sports this year.

Michigan men's soccer made it to the Sweet Sixteen.

Michigan men's soccer made it to the Sweet Sixteen. Buy this photo
Madeline Hinkley/Daily

Michigan field hockey in a game against Penn State.

Michigan field hockey in a game against Penn State. Buy this photo
Allison Engkvist/Daily

Michigan gymnastics has another strong season.

Michigan gymnastics has another strong season. Buy this photo
Allison Engkvist/Daily

Michigan women's basketball in the Big Ten Tournmanet.

Michigan women's basketball in the Big Ten Tournmanet. Buy this photo
Alexandria Pompei/Daily

Beyond sports, we were very fortunate to have some interesting speakers visit campus. Politics aside, it’s always unique to have the opportunity to listen to some of these speakers. How many other universities had Bernie Sanders on their diag or Hillary Clinton in their auditorium? Plus, next fall Crisler won't just be for basketball or gymnastics--we get to host the presidential debate there.

Senator Bernie Sanders hosts a rally for his presidential campaign on the Diag.

Senator Bernie Sanders hosts a rally for his presidential campaign on the Diag. Buy this photo
Allison Engkvist/Daily

Condoleeza Rice, former Secretary of State, discussed her life, career, and policy at Rackham Auditorium.

Condoleeza Rice, former Secretary of State, discussed her life, career, and policy at Rackham Auditorium. Buy this photo
Allison Engkvist/Daily

President Donald Trump speaks at DANA in regard to the new USMCA agreement in Warren, Michigan.

President Donald Trump speaks at DANA in regard to the new USMCA agreement in Warren, Michigan. Buy this photo
Alexis Rankin/Daily

Elizabeth Warren speaks to a crowd of more than 2,000 supporters at a rally held at Eastern Market in Detroit.

Elizabeth Warren speaks to a crowd of more than 2,000 supporters at a rally held at Eastern Market in Detroit. Buy this photo
Alexis Rankin/Daily

Angela Davis, an activist, author, and distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz, was the keynote speaker at the Martin Luther King, Jr. symposium at Hill Auditorium.

Angela Davis, an activist, author, and distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz, was the keynote speaker at the Martin Luther King, Jr. symposium at Hill Auditorium. Buy this photo
Ryan Little/Daily

Hillary Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, spoke at Rackham Auditorium.

Hillary Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, spoke at Rackham Auditorium. Buy this photo
Alec Cohen/Daily

Former Vice President Joe Biden hosted a rally at Renaissance High School in Detroit.

Former Vice President Joe Biden hosted a rally at Renaissance High School in Detroit. Buy this photo
Asha Lewis/Daily

Vice President Mike Pence rallies supporters at the Keep America Great Event in Troy.

Vice President Mike Pence rallies supporters at the Keep America Great Event in Troy. Buy this photo
Emmat Mati/Daily

The year was also full of protests and rallies. From passionate students projecting their ideas across the Diag to hanging posters up in the Union opening, people’s voices were heard.

Members of the Graduate Employees' Organization (GEO) gather at the Diag prior to bargaining a contract with the university .

Members of the Graduate Employees' Organization (GEO) gather at the Diag prior to bargaining a contract with the university . Buy this photo
Alison Roh/Daily

The Human Chain for survivors of assault and their allies gather at the steps of Hatcher.

The Human Chain for survivors of assault and their allies gather at the steps of Hatcher. Buy this photo
Alison Roh/Daily

University students and members of the Ann Arbor community protest the U.S. attack that killed Iran Major General Qasem Soleimani on steps of Angell Hall.

University students and members of the Ann Arbor community protest the U.S. attack that killed Iran Major General Qasem Soleimani on steps of Angell Hall. Buy this photo
Alec Cohen/Daily

University of Michigan Law students protest against the law firm that represents ExxonMobil at a recruitment event at Pizza House.

University of Michigan Law students protest against the law firm that represents ExxonMobil at a recruitment event at Pizza House. Buy this photo
Julia Schachinger/Daily

Ann Arbor residents participate in the 1st annual Period Day Protest at the Diag.

Ann Arbor residents participate in the 1st annual Period Day Protest at the Diag. Buy this photo
Julia Schachinger/Daily

LSA junior Amytess Girgis speaks on One University before the Regents meeting held at the Richard L. Postma Family Clubhouse.

LSA junior Amytess Girgis speaks on One University before the Regents meeting held at the Richard L. Postma Family Clubhouse. Buy this photo
Keemya Esmael/Daily

After months of waiting, we finally got the Union back! Even though it didn’t come with the promised Panda Express or Taco Bell, that’s something to look forward to next year. The LSA building also had a nice renovation and turned into a great study spot. And of course, Reggie was there to bless it during its opening.

Students wait online for food trucks during the Union reopening.

Students wait online for food trucks during the Union reopening. Buy this photo
Natalie Stephens/Daily

The new LSA building opened to students this past winter.

The new LSA building opened to students this past winter. Buy this photo
Michael Bagazinski/Daily

Reggie the campus corgi pays a visit at the LSA opening.

Reggie the campus corgi pays a visit at the LSA opening. Buy this photo
Sophia Afendoulis/Daily

And finally, here are some of our favorite spots in Ann Arbor. We welcomed Joe’s Pizza to its first location outside of NYC and have worshipped it since. Whether it's walking through the arb or getting a sandwich from Zingerman's, there's a place for everyone in Ann Arbor.

A sunny spring evening in Nichols Arboretum.

A sunny spring evening in Nichols Arboretum. Buy this photo
Alice Liu/Daily

Joe's Pizza opened its first location outside of New York City.

Joe's Pizza opened its first location outside of New York City. Buy this photo
Miles Macklin/Daily

Zingerman's, an Ann Arbor delicacy.

Zingerman's, an Ann Arbor delicacy. Buy this photo
Allison Engkvist/Daily

The beloved Michigan Theater.

The beloved Michigan Theater. Buy this photo
Allison Engkvist/Daily

The docks, a favorite spot for Michigan students to hang out over the summer.

The docks, a favorite spot for Michigan students to hang out over the summer. Buy this photo
Allison Engkvist/Daily

It’s easy to feel empty during this time of crisis. Walking around campus and seeing empty restaurants, stores and libraries. Not having a graduation or getting to see our best friends once more before next fall. Our traditional sense of community has been completely compromised. But in these past few weeks, I think we’ve created a new kind of community. The encouragement and aid I’ve seen students give one another is truly incredible. People have offered beds in their houses, food, cars, etc. in a mutual aid sheet to ensure that everyone is safe and healthy. Professors, advisors and peers have reached out to lend a shoulder to lean on for anyone who needs. Restaurants have provided free meals and the Maize and Blue Cupboard continues to provide food for those who need it. I’ve seen everyone come together to lend a hand and that shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Yes, it’s heartbreaking not being able to see the semester come to the close that we all envisioned. There’s no bandaid to heal that. But seeing this support network from my fellow classmates, that has to make up for something. This experience has united us all and reminds us how lucky we are to be a Wolverine.

The beloved 'M.'

The beloved 'M.' Buy this photo
Maddie Fox/Daily