Trotter Multicultural Center


History of Trotter

The William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center, as it is known today, began as Trotter House, a Black student cultural center. African American students united under the Black Action Movement (BAM), to help students who experienced obstacles within their educational process. Trotter House was birthed out of this movement, founded at a rambling old house on the corner of South and East University Street, and named in honor of William Monroe Trotter (1872-1934). Trotter House opened for operation on November 15, 1971 and offered workshops for art students led by African American artists; sociology and psychology classes; orientation meetings for incoming students; academic and career counseling; a chess clinic; parties and dances; and a heavily attended weekly luncheon.

The Trotter Multicultural Center was established on Washtenaw after Trotter House was damaged by a fire, caused by a defective water heater.

The William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center continued to grow, and in 1981, expanded its focus to become a student multicultural center. Today the Trotter Multicultural Center works to enhance multicultural awareness across campus. Trotter is a place where U–M students, faculty and staff groups can hold meetings and cultural events.

From LSA Magazine, Spring 2013: Trotter House Origins: How the battle for a bricks-and-mortar structure was really about moving racial integration from rhetoric to reality

Presently the William Monroe Multicultural Center is preparing for its new location on State Street!

Click here to learn more!

Trotter’s Mission and Vision Statement

A mission statement names the challenges in the world and identifies our intentions to address them:

Trotter’s Mission: We believe that our students are the driving force of our work.  As a result, we choose to enhance the quality of life and development of the entire campus community.  Through our shared cultural exhibitions we create an inclusive co-curricular space where we celebrate the diversities and similarities that connect us all.

A vision statement is the image of a world changed by our intentions:

Trotter’s Vision: A campus community that recognizes, seeks the knowledge of and leans into its capacity to celebrate and care for everyone.

Trotter's 5 Principles of Engagement


Trotter's 5 Principles of Engagement 

These 5 principles of engagement inspire how Trotter engrosses U-M staff; students; and faculty in programs that foster community and better understanding of the multicultural world represented on the campus of the University of Michigan.

Our doors, our hearts, our minds, and our arms will always be open; allow Trotter to stand with you. Who cares? Trotter CARES!



Timeline of William Monroe Trotter's Life

Over the years, curiosity about the man for whom the William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center takes its name, peaked among faculty, staff, and students. Indeed, those with some sense of the center’s history—those, in fact, who knew that the multicultural center emerged in the aftermath of the black student protest movement of the 1970s—and those with little-to-no knowledge of any of this social movement history, all began to wonder about Trotter himself.

Director Search Update

This fall a search for a new director of the Trotter Multicultural Center was launched. The search process has been informed by feedback from students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni. The search has also been led by a Search Advisory Committee that is comprised of students, staff, faculty, and alumni and assisted by the executive search firm Spelman Johnson.