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U-M's Burton Tower lighting project to be unveiled for UMich200 Spring Festival

ANN ARBOR—In celebration of the University of Michigan's 200th year, the iconic Burton Tower will glow in new maize and blue lighting for the UMich200 Bicentennial Spring Festival.

Starting the week of April 3, the tower will be illuminated in white lights. The lights will transition to maize and blue and end with a multimedia light show supporting the "True Blue! A Tribute to Michigan" event at Hill Auditorium April 8.

The University of Michigan will unveil a new lighting system for Burton Tower as part of U-M’s year-long Bicentennial celebration. Image credit: Scott Soderberg, Michigan PhotographyThe University of Michigan will unveil a new lighting system for Burton Tower as part of U-M’s year-long Bicentennial celebration. Image credit: Scott Soderberg, Michigan PhotographyThe floodlights were replaced late last year with a new system that illuminates the tower from within, with more than 100 LED bulbs that can be programmed in various colors. The new system will create a subtle white glow from within the tower by highlighting the Baird Carillon bells and the openings at the top.

A $1 million fund was created to install, operate and maintain the new lighting. Leadership donors Ron and Eileen Weiser established a $500,000 challenge grant. Their friends Paul Dimond, John Carver and Tim Wadhams solicited gifts of $25,000 each from alumni, faculty and members of the community, matched dollar for dollar by the challenge.

The Lighting Practice from Philadelphia served as the project consultant. The firm has designed lighting for such prominent structures as the Empire State Building in New York City and the U.S. Capitol Dome in Washington, D.C.

Programming for Burton Tower's lights will be managed jointly between the President's Office, the Office of the Vice President for Communications and the U-M School of Music, Theatre and Dance.

For 2017, the lights will specifically celebrate events and dates related to U-M's bicentennial. Plans for post-2017 programming will likely be scheduled around special university events and celebrations, including game days, anniversaries and memorials.

Scheduled dates for 2017 include:

  • UMich200 Spring Festival: April 3-8
  • U-M Spring Commencement: April 27-30
  • UMich200 Summer Festival: June 25-July 1
  • U-M's official birthday: Aug. 26-27
  • UMich200 Fall Festival: Oct. 22-28
  • U-M Winter Commencement: Dec. 11-17

All lighting will be programmed to begin at dusk and end at midnight.

 

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