A New Trotter Initiative (University of Michigan) records: 2013-2016
Summary Information
Title: A New Trotter Initiative (University of Michigan) records
Creator: A New Trotter Initiative (University of Michigan)
Inclusive dates: 2013-2016
Extent: 294 MB (online)
Student led project to plan a new facility for the William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center located on Central Campus. Meeting agendas and minutes, photographs, surveys, working papers, project reports and timelines.
Call number: 2017047 Bimu 2
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid created by Elizabeth Hannigan, October 2017

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Donated by New Trotter Initiative (donor no. 11574) in August 2016.

Access Restrictions:

This collection is open without restriction.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.


Copyright is held by the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright is not held. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item],[URL], A New Trotter Initiative (University of Michigan), Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.


The collection is arranged into 1 series: Core Team


The A New Trotter (ANT) Initiative was a student-led project at the University of Michigan from 2013-2016. The purpose of the project was to find a new home for the William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center. The original facility was founded as the Trotter House in 1971 and originally served as the Black student cultural center on campus. The house was named after William Monroe Trotter, a prominent African American businessman and activist in the early 20th century who was also involved in the establishment of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The Trotter House was originally created in response to the Black Action Movement (BAM) strike in the early 1970s. during which students expressed the desire for a space for African American students and faculty to hold meetings and cultural events. In 1981, the facility was renamed the Trotter Multicultural Center and merged with the Office of Multi-Ethnic Affairs to broaden the range of students it served.

In the fall of 2013, students began to advocate for the development of a new Trotter House away from the original Washtenaw Avenue location. The desire for a new space on Central Campus was sparked by concerns about the deteriorating condition of the house, security concerns following an August 2013 break-in and desire to be located in a more accessible and active area of campus. The A New Trotter Initiative was formed to work towards building a facility that would better suit the needs of students.

Additional attention was brought to the movement when on January 20th 2014, the Black Student Union (BSU) presented the University of Michigan administration with a list of seven demands focused on improving the climate for minority students at the university. The demands included a new Central Campus location for the Trotter Multicultural Center. In February 2014, the ANT group officially partnered with the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs to work on the project and the university committed $350,000 to renovate the existing Trotter Center and explore plans for a new location. Throughout the spring of 2014, the ANT project conducted meetings with other students to brainstorm ideas for a new facility that could better fit their needs as a community space. The project team also met with consultants hired by the university to discuss student concerns and create a project timeline.

Through the fall of 2014 and winter of 2015, the ANT group and the university consultants continued to gather information about student preferences, conducted site visists to multicultural centers at other institutions and identified four potential sites for the new facility. Students overwhelmingly supported the proposed State Street location on the Betsey Barbour/Helen Newberry lawn. In December 2015, the University of Michigan Board of Regents approved a $10 million proposal to build a new Trotter Multicultural Center at this location.

The schematic design for the new facility was developed in collaboration between the ANT group, the Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company design team and university staff from the Trotter House, Office of Student Life, the Provost's Office and the Office of Architecture, Design and Engineering. The design team periodically held town hall meetings and met with student groups to allow students to participate in the planning process. The schematic design for the new Trotter Multicultural Center was completed in May 2016. In response to concerns from students, faculty and alumni, the university affirmed the new facility would continue to be named after William Monroe Trotter. After the design stage was completed, the A New Trotter project transitioned to the Trotter on State initiative, a continuing effort to ensure the Trotter Multicultural Center meets the needs of students on the University of Michigan campus.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The A New Trotter Initiative (University of Michigan) records contains digital files from the "Core Team", the group of students who directly collaborated with university staff and design contractors to plan the new facility for the William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center. Materials include meeting agendas and minutes, working papers, presentation materials, photographs and survey data. The collection highlights the motivations behind establishing a new location for the Trotter House on Central Campus and the importance of the center as a multicultural space for students. It also highlights the collaborative process used to select a new location for the Trotter Center and the interior design of the center.

The collection is organized into one series of records. The Core Team series is further organized into two subseries, the Working Documents subseries which contains materials from 2015-2016 and the Retired Documents subseries which contains materials from earlier stages of the project in 2013-2014.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Minority college students -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
  • Multiculturalism -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
  • Digital file formats.
  • A New Trotter Initiative (University of Michigan)
  • University of Michigan. Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs.
  • University of Michigan -- Buildings.
  • University of Michigan -- Students.
  • University of Michigan -- Students -- Social life and customs.
  • William Monroe Trotter House (University of Michigan)
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
Core Team 2013-2016 [series]
Working Documents 2015-2016 [subseries]
Core Team Meetings 2014-2016 [access item]
Mass Town Hall Meetings 2013-2014 [access item]
Website and Social Media 2014-2016 [access item]
Project Documents undated [access item]
Retired Documents 2013-2014 [subseries]
Meetings with Administration 2013-2014 [access item]
Bus Trip 2014 [access item]
Data Collection 2014 [access item]
Renovation Documents 2014 [access item]
Security Updates 2014 [access item]
Summer Email Updates 2014 [access item]