Trotter Multicultural Center

Fall 2013

  • Frustrated by the poor state of Trotter Multicultural Center, undergraduate and graduate students began organizing for a new Trotter Multicultural Center facility to be located near the center of campus. They named their initiative, “A New Trotter Intiative.” Their activist model focused on both meeting with the University of Michigan administration and mobilizing the student community.
  • December 3, 2013: A New Trotter Initiative (ANT) core members met for the first time with Vice President of Student Life E. Royster Harper to discuss their initiative and potential next steps.

Winter 2014

  • January 16, 2014: Provost Martha Pollack released a public statement in which she addressed diversity and inclusion at the University of Michigan. In it, she outlined a short-term strategy for creating a renovation plan for the Trotter Multicultural Center before the end of the winter term and promised to “examine possibilities for [a] permanent relocation of the center.”
  • January 20, 2014: The Black Student Union (BSU) released seven demands to the University of Michigan, one of which asked for Black students to have the “opportunity to congregate and share [their] experiences in a new Trotter Multicultural Center located on central campus.” The hashtag #BBUM was created by the Black Student Union to create a platform for students to express their “unique experiences of being black at Michigan” on social media.
  • February 6, 2014: ANT held a mass meeting with the student community. At this meeting, students from various backgrounds voiced their frustrations with the existing facility, their personal experiences with the Trotter Multicultural Center, and their hopes for the future.
  • February 20, 2014: Linh Nguyen, staff from the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs & the Trotter Multicultural Center was assigned by Royster Harper to provide administrative project manager support to the ANT core team in order to advance the partnership between students & administration to move the work forward.
  • February 21, 2014: ANT core team and BSU representative met with E. Royster Harper to discuss developments on Trotter. At this meeting, ANT and BSU were informed that the University had officially committed to funding renovations to the existing Trotter space (in the amount of $350,000) as well as to creating a new facility.
  • March-April 2014: Assisted by ANT core members, the University of Michigan hired a consultant team (firms Hanbury Evans and Doers) for the creation of a new Trotter.
  • April 21, 2014: At the ANT Kick-Off Town Hall Meeting, the consultant team first met and listened to the student community’s concerns as well as shared the timeline for the project.

Summer 2014

  • May 17, 2014: Loren Rullman (Associate VP for Student Life) restated the University’s commitment of $350,000 for maintenance work identified in early winter term, plus an additional $300,000 which would be allocated for additional priorities students on ANT helped to identity for the short-term needs of the current Trotter Multicultural Center.

Fall 2014 - Winter 2015

  • ANT core team hosted Town Hall meetings with students, administrators, architects, and consulting group. These meetings were held to gather more data about the needs and hopes for the New Trotter facility.
  • During fall break the ANT team and Trotter students and staff went to Penn State to do a comparative analysis of their facilities and the potential Trotter space.
  • Survey was conducted based on the four available site selections. The possible site selections included expanding the current Trotter facility, the Michigan News Building Site, the W16 (“Triangle”) Parking Lot, and the Betsy Barbour/Helen Newberry East Lawn (State St.). Preferences were collected from UM students, faculty, staff, and community members. About 715 surveys were collected, a majority of which preferred the State street location located on the Betsy Barbour/Helen Newberry East Lawn.

Fall 2015

  • December 17, 2015: Regents approved the proposal for a new $10 million multicultural center to be located on State St. New construction would begin on the Betsy Barbour/Helen Newberry East Lawn upon completion of the schematic design phase.

Winter 2016

  • January 2016: The schematic design phase of the project began. The schematic design team is composed of current U-M students and the Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company design team, along with U-M staff from Student Life, the Provost’s Office, and Architecture, Engineering, and Construction.
  • Office hours were held twice a week in the Union throughout the schematic design phase and were open to everyone who was interested in expressing their opinions and input on the design of the facility.
  • Town hall meetings held at Betsy Barbour and Helen Newberry dormitories to hear concerns from the students about Trotter Multicultural Center's relocation to State St.

Summer 2016

  • Thursday, April 21, 2016: Regent Mark Bernstein and his wife Rachel Bendit announced a donation of $3 million to the new Trotter Multicultural Center facility being constructed on State St. In response to the naming donation, the Trotter Multicultural Center would be housed within the new facility located on State St. and the building would be named Bernstein-Bendit Hall.
  • May 2016: Schematic design process for Trotter on State St. completed.
  • Members of the University of Michigan community, including faculty, staff, students, and alumni express their concerns about the naming of the new facility.
  • July 21, 2016: To preserve the name of William Monroe Trotter on the new multicultural center on State St., Mark Bernstein and Rachel Bendit withdrew their naming gift. The University’s official statement may be viewed on U-M’s Public Affairs and Internal Communications website. The project is proceeding as planned and the new facility will be named solely for William Monroe Trotter.
  • With the location of the new Trotter Multicultural Center facility determined, ‘A New Trotter’ project officially transitions to ‘Trotter on State St.’ This change is made to ensure the U-M community that the Trotter Multicultural Center will continue its current legacy and work despite the move to a more central location on campus.

Fall 2016

  • October 2016: Furniture display held in the Michigan Union to allow U-M students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to input on possible furniture pieces for the new facility.  
  • December 8, 2016: University of Michigan Regents approve the schematic design for Trotter on State. Check out the Trotter on State photo gallery for images of the floor plan. 

Winter 2017

  • January 26, 2017: MESA and University Housing staff facilitated a meeting with staff from Trotter, Betsy Barbour and Helen Newberry regarding a) Understanding One Another's Work and b) Hopes for Moving Forward.  A project update was conducted by AEC.
  • April 20, 2017: Regents gave final approval for authorization to issue the project for bids and award construction contracts.

Winter 2019

  • April 11, 2019: Grand Opening Celebration of Trotter Multicultural Center's new building on State Street.