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Posted on Wed, Oct 10, 2012 : 12:47 p.m.

U-M Engineering video captures 'The Spirit of Ann Arbor'

By Bob Needham

What do you think of the video? Leave a comment and / or vote in the poll at the end of this post:

A new video produced by the University of Michigan's College of Engineering is making the rounds on social media.

Called "The Spirit of Ann Arbor," the nearly 7-minute video—created by Marcin Szczepanski, a multimedia producer for U-M—does a great job of capturing the appeal of the community by talking to residents (mostly young) both on campus and off.

If you haven't seen it, the video is very well done and well worth watching. Check it out below.

One side note: Although the video was published on YouTube last week, it has no apparent connection with a new public artwork, also called "The Spirit of Ann Arbor," which was also unveiled last week.

Bob Needham is director of entertainment content for Reach him at or 734-623-2541, and follow him on Twitter @bobneedham.



Thu, Oct 11, 2012 : 11:53 a.m.

Well done! Something positive on but some commenters still manage to find negativity, such a shame.


Thu, Oct 11, 2012 : 2:52 a.m.

I hope in 10 years when they look at this video again that they are proud of who they have become. I hope they still make music, share pie and enjoy the diversity of life.

Peter Eckstein

Thu, Oct 11, 2012 : 2:43 a.m.

All I see is a lot of old buildings, some of them only one or two stories high. Can't we tear them down and build some more high-rise student apartment buildings? After all, isn't density and development what it's all about--not this "spirit" stuff. Why can't Ann Arbor look more like downtown Columbus? As for that Hatcher Library, the main building must be nearly a hundred years old, and the south section several decades old--with almost no auditorium space, and too much of its space devoted just to books. Why doesn't the University just tear it down and build a more modern buidlng on that location?


Thu, Oct 11, 2012 : 11:41 a.m.

Be careful of what you wish for, some people in the administration wonder why we have all those books.


Wed, Oct 10, 2012 : 10:20 p.m.

I'd like to see a little longer video showing what creative, vibrant oldies we have in town! Riding bicycles, rowing on the river, painting, attending concerts, etc. It is much more diverse that just students. Although the students are a wonderful part of it!

David Rhoads

Wed, Oct 10, 2012 : 7:39 p.m.

I am 71 years old and I loved this video. Certainly it represents a youthful viewpoint of Ann Arbor but more than that it represents the energy and vitality of those young people, and the ability of Ann Arbor to embrace them in all their exuberance. Thank you students for helping to keep the area alive and interesting for all of us.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Oct 10, 2012 : 7:28 p.m.

My favorite part was the free pie @ 4:10 mark.


Thu, Oct 11, 2012 : 8:23 p.m.

Hi Craig - I'm Sarah the pie lady from 4:10. It was such an honor to be spontaneously included in this video. You are cordially invited to the next Pie day - it's every Wednesday in Liberty Plaza, around 5:30 pm. Hope to see you there! (PS we have a FB page - )


Wed, Oct 10, 2012 : 7:25 p.m.

This is the perspective of "students". What do real tax paying citizens think? Yes a couple of business people had comments, but basically it is a students point of view.


Thu, Oct 11, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

I agree... living here as an ordinary citizen is much different than living here as a student. It seems like more of a UM video than an Ann Arbor video

Bob Needham

Wed, Oct 10, 2012 : 7:43 p.m.

This tax-paying citizen thinks the students got it right : )

Top Cat

Wed, Oct 10, 2012 : 6:33 p.m.

Is there enough "spirit" for all of us to close our eyes, tap our ruby slippers together and make it summer again?


Wed, Oct 10, 2012 : 6:23 p.m.

Kid nailed it - "....a couple of miles surrounded by reality"

Bob Needham

Wed, Oct 10, 2012 : 7:43 p.m.

I remember a T-shirt that I'm pretty sure used "27 square miles ..." (and i always took it as a compliment!)

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Oct 10, 2012 : 7:27 p.m.

The late (great) Ted Heusel used that reference often along with "Moscow on the Huron" on his radio show. I believe the more accurate reference would be 70 square miles surrounded by reality.


Wed, Oct 10, 2012 : 6:47 p.m.

I don't think the kid realizes that that phrase is not usually meant as a complement

Kai Petainen

Wed, Oct 10, 2012 : 5:18 p.m.

beautifully done!