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Create the Future:
"Be a Victor" for the School of Music, Theatre & Dance



Now in its bicentennial year, the University of Michigan has set the stage for unprecedented growth and achievement by launching the biggest fundraising campaign in its history in 2013. The “Victors for Michigan” campaign is the most ambitious ever created for a public university; it seeks to raise $4 billion to enhance U-M’s world-class education and research.

For the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, this campaign will help us to achieve our vision for the future— an exciting and ambitious plan that builds on our position among the top performing arts schools in the nation and aspires to new levels of achievement in excellence and engagement. Our goal is to raise $90 million, with 50 percent focused on building scholarship support. It will have a transformative impact on the lives of our students for generations to come.

The performing artists and scholars educated at Michigan—the next generation of creative visionaries—are versed in the transformational power of the performing arts. By sharing their gifts, skills, and inspiration, they harness that power to positively affect the way the performing arts address the complexities of our world.

The performing arts have the creative capability to address the outstanding challenges of our time. They reflect, explore, explain, and envision the state of the world. They eliminate boundaries, create a universal language, unify disparate factions, and engender dialogue, while creating an avenue for personal expression.

To best prepare tomorrow’s visionaries, we must sustain the disciplinary depth and breadth of our programs and invest in the future. That future lies in building our scholarship base so that the most talented students, regardless of means, can attend U-M and not be burdened by unsupportable debt when they graduate. We are also committed to innovation in a curriculum of established excellence, incorporating entrepreneurship, engagement, and new technologies along with depth of research and practice.

We are excited to share our enthusiasm and belief in the future with all of our constituents, demonstrating all that we have achieved to date, and communicating our vision. We hope you will join us in the conversation about our needs, and our challenges in reaching our goals. Your participation—as a devoted alum, a friend of the School and the University, an ardent lover of the performing arts—is a key in helping us ensure that SMTD remains among the most prestigious, dynamic, and forward-thinking performing arts schools in the nation.

Aaron P. Dworkin

Aaron Dworkin, Dean

Paul Boylan Collegiate Professor of Music

School of Music, Theatre & Dance



The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance educates the artists, scholars, educators, and entrepreneurs of the future. We prepare our students with expert skills, instill them with passionate enthusiasm, and embolden them to challenge and inspire the world through the power of the performing arts.

Widely recognized as one of the preeminent performing arts schools in the nation, the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance has produced performing arts leaders from all disciplines since its founding in 1880. We are renowned for developing gifted performers, scholars, and educators through a rich and comprehensive program of instruction, performance, and pedagogy.

Combining the focus and rigor of performing arts education with the academic breadth and depth of a major public research university, our School attracts creative visionaries—faculty who are masters of their disciplines and students with exceptional talent and drive—who are intellectually curious, socially engaged, and deeply invested in the artistic process.

We teach our students to be masters of their craft, and we are actively committed to creating an educational environment characterized by intellectual diversity, collaboration, risk-taking, and civic engagement.

Our graduates enter into all performing arts fields with the abundant resources of a vibrant, successful, and immensely supportive University of Michigan alumni network—an invaluable career development tool in a highly competitive creative marketplace.

Since our founding, donor support from alumni and friends has contributed to the exceptional learning environment of our institution, allowing students and faculty to thrive, and graduates to become the leaders and best in their fields.

Your support is integral to fostering the next generation of creative visionaries—artists and scholars who are well versed in the transformational power of the performing arts. We invite you to help us secure the future of the arts in America. With your help, our students and faculty will continue to share their gifts, skills, and inspiration, and positively affect the way the performing arts address the complexities of our world.

We invite you to be a Victor for Michigan by joining us as we embark on an exciting new era of growth for the School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

piano student dance student theatre student voice student


The School of Music, Theatre & Dance “Victors for Michigan Campaign” focuses on five major goals to ensure that the School will become stronger by conscious design. We are committed to growing and securing our celebrated reputation as an institution that teaches our students to employ disciplinary excellence to more effectively and deeply engage audiences and communities in the artistic experience. The School’s strategic priorities will allow us to carefully apply available resources to greatest effect in achieving our vision.

Student Focus

The School will achieve the highest standards of excellence by attracting the most gifted students from around the world, regardless of financial means, through the availability of generous scholarship support. We will enhance the diversity and sense of community of our student body while stimulating the creative, intellectual, civic, and artistic growth of each individual.

Academic and Creative Excellence

The School will expand and explore new curricula, include more interdisciplinary and non-major programs, and employ imaginative use of evolving technology while supporting a faculty second to none in quality, commitment, and scholarship. Developing support for faculty and the technological tools and creative spaces needed to do this work will secure the School’s ability to act across disciplines and provide flexible artistic experiences for students.


The School will be a model of how a performing arts institution thrives within a great research university, by exploring innovative on-campus programming and new ways of engaging, stimulating, and enhancing understanding and participation in the performing arts by the larger community beyond the University. By supporting new and existing programs, and the faculty who ensure their success, we will deepen our connection with the University and its global community.


As the performing arts world continues to change, the School will build a strong culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, establishing collaborations with colleagues and the community that translate creative ideas into action, and fully embrace the opportunities of the emerging digital world. Growing resources for new initiatives by both faculty and students will guarantee our ability to support new artistic business models.

Creative Capacity

To adequately house the full range of programs, initiatives, and outreach that fully represent a 21st-century performing arts education, the School will create the best state-of-the-art facilities. We must bring together all of our faculty and students in environmentally sustainable space that accommodates the changing demands of curricular expansion, digital technology, and community outreach. 


These goals define the strategic focus of the School’s commitment to excellence and engagement, and will ensure our ability to develop the artists, scholars, educators, and entrepreneurs who will take their place as the creative visionaries of our world.

Click here for information on how you can Be a Victor for SMTD, or please call, write, or email us at:

University of Michigan

School of Music, Theatre & Dance

Office of Development

2005 Baits Drive

Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2075



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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower