Great public spaces provide comfort and accommodation, while, at the same time, recognizing that those words can mean different things to different people. While some love the excitement and energy of busy spaces, others gravitate toward quiet corners. Some choose a spot by the windows, others prefer a seat with no distractions. Across the years, students have helped shape their Unions into spaces that serve, unite, inspire, and meet a host of different needs. Here are some of the special spaces that you’ll find in University Unions.
The Michigan Union
The Michigan Union Reflection Room is available for use when the building is open. The reflection room is a space for members of the university community to meditate, pray or spend time in quiet reflection, and can be used by more than one person at a time.
The courtyard provides a cheerful, bright and sunny place to pass the time. Grab a table and do some reading, sip a coffee or meet up with friends. And since the courtyard is open whenever the building is, it’s a great place to linger when the sun sets, too.
The Union’s “Quiet” Study Lounge is located just inside the State Street entrance on the first floor and is a place where students can study without distraction. Student behaviors have established the lounge as a quiet space—there are no building rules to enforce the silence. Equipped with comfortable chairs, tables and good lighting, this room was created to support students as they tackle homework, read and study for exams.
Willis Ward Lounge
This gracious space welcomes guests who enter the building through the east doorway. Students, faculty, staff and community members are welcome to socialize, study or relax in the lounge’s comfortable chairs and couches.
The Willis Ward Lounge was named in honor of one of the most successful athletes in U-M history. Ward was an African-American football player who, in 1934 and at the peak of his ability, was benched because Georgia Tech refused to compete against an African-American player. There was notable outcry on campus and the issue made national news. An accomplished athlete, Ward went on to beat Jesse Owens at Yost Fieldhouse in the 60-yard dash in 1935 and, later in life, served the community as a lawyer and a judge.
The Michigan League
The Reflection Room
The Michigan League Reflection Room is located on the third floor in room 347 and is accessible by elevator. The room is open from 7:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. daily. The reflection room is a space for all members of the university community to meditate, pray or spend time in quiet reflection.
The Michigan League Underground is one of the best kept secrets on campus. With plenty of tables and booths, it’s a natural place to study alone or in a group. The Underground also has a stage, run by the Center for Campus Involvement, which can be used for practice or performance.
The Eula D. Marcks Courtyard Garden
The Courtyard Garden is located on the north side of the Michigan League and is open daily. Beginning in early spring, the courtyard garden provides a lovely natural retreat for students and community members to eat, study and relax. And in autumn, when the leaves are changing, the courtyard is a comfortable campus location to enjoy the colorful show.
The garden is named in honor of Eula D. Marcks who, in 1961, created a giving campaign that ran for more than thirty years and raised more than two million dollars to support continuing education for women.
The Pierpont Commons Reflection Room is located on the ground floor, by the north staircase, and is available for use anytime the building is open. The reflection room is a space for students and other members of the university community to meditate, pray or spend time in quiet reflection, and can be used by more than one person at a time. To gain access to the room, students can swipe their MCard.
The Piano Lounge is located on the first floor of Pierpont. With relaxed lighting, study tables, multiple computer stations and comfortable chairs, it’s a natural spot to study or hang out between classes.
When winter hits and the days are short, the Atrium is a cheerful place to study or meet. With its generous windows and high ceilings, it’s a favorite spot to soak up precious vitamin D.
The Commons Corner is diverse enough to accommodate the studious and the social. On one end there is a large screen TV and, on the other, a full-size pool table. In the center, you’ll find lots of comfortable seating for studying or reading. This room often goes from lively to quiet and back again as the events of the day unfold. And for those who come to shoot pool, you can borrow cues and balls at the Campus Information Desk.