Parents and Families

An engaged student at Trotter Multicultural Center

When we send students off to college, we hope they will not only learn a tremendous amount in the classroom, but that they will also develop critical life skills. And as technology continues to “shrink” our world, we want them to leave U-M prepared to effectively collaborate with people who have different perspectives, identities, and backgrounds. Student Life offers many programs and opportunities designed to help your student develop these life skills they need to be successful after college.

The William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center (affectionately known as Trotter) is a space where students can socialize, study, and engage in many types of multicultural enrichment. All of the center’s programming is created with multicultural awareness and competence-building in mind. Every student, regardless of identity, is welcome at Trotter’s inclusive and friendly community.

The evolution of the center represents a unique part of U-M’s history, reflecting a long tradition of U-M student activism and university response.

  • In 1971, as part of U-M’s response to Black Action Movement (BAM) demonstrations, the center officially opened its doors as a Black student cultural center. It was named after William Monroe Trotter, an independent-minded and fiercely principled advocate for racial justice in his time.
  • In 1981, the center revised its mission to become a multicultural student center.

In response to needs voiced by U-M students in 2014, the latest step in Trotter’s evolution is a move to a new building in a larger, more central location. Within the next few years, Trotter will be located just a few doors down from the Michigan Union on State Street. 

Trotter staff member Alyssa Silletti remarks:

“We in Trotter wish to do our part in providing every student with a multicultural education. Trotter can help to prepare any student for life after college, especially after we move... In our new space, we’ll be able to offer more educational opportunities and events, while not losing the social and health and wellness components students have grown to love. We hope you will encourage your student to take advantage of the Trotter Multicultural Center.”

The entire University of Michigan is engaged in a multi-year Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative, created in the belief that diversity is key to student success, educational excellence, and the advancement of knowledge in a global community. In addition to stewarding the creation of the new Trotter Multicultural Center, Student Life will be actively involved in the campus-wide initiative. We'll keep you posted!


To help Student Life continue making a difference in students' lives, please consider making a gift.