Our time with your student

Dear Wolverine Families, 

As the academic year came to a close, I had a lot of opportunities to speak with students at year-end events. Some were graduating, and some were looking forward to continuing their time at U-M after summer break. The students I talked with—including those on my Student Advisory Board—all shared that they were struggling with a mixture of emotions. Emotions like excitement for summer break, relief about finishing finals, or a bit of melancholy that the year is over. 

I feel the same (except for the final exams part), and I’m glad to be back in this edition of Family Matters to share my reflections with you about the past year and what I’m looking forward to next year. 


Looking Back 

Over the past year, we have had many opportunities to celebrate. Within Student Life, we celebrated major anniversaries for our Diversity Peer Educator program, multicultural lounges, the Spectrum Center, the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs, and Trotter Multicultural Center. Amazingly, these were all 50th anniversaries of nationally recognized programs and centers. 

Institutionally, we celebrated when President Santa J. Ono was inaugurated as the 15th president of the university, and Student Life helped students all across campus join in the festivities. During his inauguration speech, President Ono emphasized the importance of mental health and well-being—a key part of Student Life’s work with students. 

To that end, Student Life announced an exciting partnership between CAPS, UHS, and Uwill, a leading virtual counseling service. All undergraduate, graduate, and professional U-M students can now access, without a referral, 6 free counseling appointments per year through Uwill (and they can use Uwill over the summer, too, as long as they’re enrolled for next semester). This is the latest addition to the university’s mental health services already in place, including through CAPS and UHS, where U-M counselors and clinicians continue to be available. CAPS counselors are located in the Michigan Union and embedded in different schools and colleges


Looking Forward

Student Life is hard at work to open two new soccer-sized Recreational Sports fields next year. This will provide important space on campus for your student to engage in club sports and other well-being and community-building activities. This important capital project will help replace the fields that will be displaced by the new and exciting housing and dining facilities project

And recently, the Regents approved a longer winter break beginning next academic year—another piece of how our university is working to support the health and well-being of all students, faculty, and staff. 

While there have been bumps in the road, it’s been a great year overall, and I loved the opportunity to celebrate with all our new graduates. I’m also already looking forward to welcoming all our returning students back again in the fall! Until then, I wish you and your student a wonderful conclusion to the academic year, and a restful and restorative summer break. 

(And if your Wolverine wants to keep exploring what well-being means to them during break, we’d love to help! Please encourage them to explore our offerings of wellness coaching, workshops, and much more at www.wellbeing.umich.edu.) 



Martino Harmon, Ph.D. 
Vice President for Student Life 
University of Michigan