The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “social media” as “forms of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content.”


For the UMSocial team, it goes so much deeper. These valuable vehicles of communication allow us to have powerful connections with our communities. We aren’t just sharing information, we are contributing to conversations, starting dialogues, and bringing joy to Wolverines on campus and around the world.


Our strategy is constantly evolving, our approaches are endlessly adapting, and our team is always striving to be innovative, imaginative, and impactful in everything we do. Representing the University of Michigan on these platforms that are the virtual front door to the institution, a way to learn all about the Wolverine experience, and a means to stay connected to a robust network of individuals who love the block “M” is something we are each so proud of.


Our team of staff and interns work diligently to create content that not only resonates with our audiences but also provides important resources, makes them feel seen and heard, and brings them joy. We feel lucky to get to connect with millions of Wolverines every day. This past year was a special one with so much excitement and Michigan memories made. In the spirit of reflection, here are some of the UMSocial team’s favorite moments of 2023:


Highlighting students is of course one of our favorite things every year. There are so many impressive Wolverines and crafting narratives around their accomplishments is such a rewarding task for us. This year, two features stuck out to the team. The first was spending time with U-M women’s hockey captain and LSA senior Robin Goldman to learn about her experience at U-M and giving back to the sport she loves by volunteering with the Taipei Tigers in Taiwan this past summer. The other student feature that the team thoroughly enjoyed creating was a spotlight on the Michigan Marching Band’s 58th drum major Blake Brdak. He explained his role in the band, shared his favorite game day memories, and discussed how his drum major role connects to his studies at Michigan Engineering.



Meeting students and getting to tell their stories, highlight their achievements, and share their ambitions is always an amazing opportunity for our team. Each year at commencement ceremonies we get to do this as well. For the 2023 Spring Commencement, we created a video that centered around graduates — one being a UMSocial intern who spent all four years of her Michigan career on our team! During the ceremony, we captured the emotion and excitement of the moment and quickly turn it around to share with all of the graduates, friends, family, faculty and staff, alumni, and all other Wolverines who want to be enthralled by the ceremony as well.


This year held an extra special memory as President Santa J. Ono was officially inaugurated in March. Attending several events throughout the day to provide a glimpse of this moment in university history for everyone in our audiences was a memorable experience.


The creativity that our animations and designs have brought to our social media feeds have allowed us to celebrate moments, honor holidays, and bring people together. While there have been many dynamic graphics designed in 2023, one that stands out is the Heritage Project Cabin in the Woods animation. The process included learning a great deal about the project and our animator really enjoyed identifying the best way to represent the importance and history of the cabin. Having the different names and tags show up on the wall in the order they were added really conveyed how many people inhabited that space over the years and the tradition that lived on with each visitor. Another one that left a mark this year was the opening of the color garden on campus. Showing a flower being boiled in a pot to create natural dye, which is part of the ultimate use of the flowers grown there, was a unique application of imagery that showed the garden’s intended use to aid students besides beautifying the campus.



The general increase in accessibility resources and diversity of our content creation is a broader integral component of our work that we are incredibly proud of as well. From sharing resources available to students with disabilities from the U-M Career Center to learning from the university’s American Sign Language interpreters to providing guidance and best practices to all campus communicators about the enhancements platforms are making to their accessibility features, it has certainly been a memorable part of our work this year.


Finding new ways to experience campus is always one of our greatest joys. To celebrate the University of Michigan’s birthday, which occurred during move-in week and also on National Dog Day, we hosted a dog birthday party. It was a true celebration with maize and blue party hats, presents wrapped in Michigan paper, dog cupcakes with Michigan toppers, and a group of fun pups and students. It was a blast to get on campus and do something so unusual. Everyone in the area had huge smiles on their faces and so many people stopped to enjoy the moment, and the videos we shared spread the joy to all of our audiences.



Exploring all areas of the university is another fascinating aspect to our work. Visiting the U-M Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum’s 10th anniversary of the Bonsai and Penjing Garden to learn about the collection and the art of Bonsai was an enjoyable outing for team members. The hands-on experience and the knowledge provided by experts made it a compelling video and narrative to share with audiences as the garden received a historical donation that doubled the amount of trees in the collection.


With a marvelous group of interns, we are able to make relatable, fun, and humorous videos that get students engaging in the comments, sharing their own insights, and providing new perspectives to how we can best represent our campus community. In addition to all of the trends we’ve adapted for TikTok this year and the Reels that we’ve crafted to recap campus events, we have also had our students do more acting — like for the Welcome Wolverines video and the Halloween video. Working with a camera crew and multiple locations, interns enjoyed that these projects pushed them to try new things and brought new members of the campus community into our process.


Through our collaboration with Michigan Athletics, we were able to have members of the team at several home Michigan Football games this season as well, which were magnificent Michigan memories. From the home opener to the first night game to The Game, UMSocial staff and interns who spent time at the Big House reflected on a lot of the opportunities that they won’t soon forget. Those who hadn’t been to a game from the field found the new perspective and the fast-paced environment of creating content in such a highly spirited moment remarkable.



The Michigan vs. Ohio State game was of course a massive moment as there was a brief amount of time to create a lot of content to celebrate with all of our audiences and communities everywhere. The amount of content captured and created is impressive and we were able to showcase the elation that Michigan fans felt that day in numerous ways. Balancing the celebratory content with comedic trends before, during, and after the game is something that provided another opportunity to showcase why being a part of U-M is the best college experience.


There have of course been so many other incredible moments, so please learn more about our accomplishments at We can’t wait to get to work on our 2024 memories!