Fifty years of creative expression

May 16, 2022

The 50th-anniversary publication of Lyceum is a one-of-kind mega edition with multiple years of student creative contributions and a cover that’s a collage of the past Lyceum artwork from 1972 through now. It's much more than just a milestone for Lyceum — it also celebrates the evolution of the creative arts while still staying true to its roots.

Photo of Lyceum publications

The floppy disk. Atari video game consoles. The VCR. All of these were revolutionary when Lyceum debuted. And the campus’ creative writing journal outlasted them all. 

With a history as rich and sophisticated as Lyceum, the 50th-anniversary celebrations at the newly inaugurated Wolverine Commons last month were much more than just a release party. As Lyceum heads into the second half of its first century, the student organization’s key figures spoke at length about what Lyceum strives for.

Lyceum is a community of people interested in the creative arts from all different walks of life and majors and interests,” said College of Arts, Sciences and Letters faculty member P.F. Potvin. “The priority is to celebrate the diversity of experiences and voices in our community. This includes students, alumni, faculty and staff. It’s a very nonrestrictive environment, allowing you to explore the many aspects of the human condition.”

Reflecting on the five decades of Lyceum, Potvin says it is significant that the print journal still exists even after 50 years. He was a visiting writer for Lyceum before joining campus as a Composition and Rhetoric lecturer. Fast forward a decade from his first Lyceum experience — he became the faculty adviser in 2015 after Lecturer Tija Spitsberg retired.

The 50th-anniversary publication is a one-of-kind mega edition with multiple years of student creative contributions and a cover that’s a collage of the past Lyceum artwork from 1972 through now. It's much more than just a milestone for Lyceum. It also celebrates the evolution of the creative arts while still staying true to its roots.

“Being physically published year after year shows the investment and value in arts that UM-Dearborn believes in and puts the resources to help us continue doing that. Contributions have increased with more time for students to work on their submissions and think in many ways,” Potvin said.

Photo of CASL student Ava Abramowicz, Lyceum editor

Ava Abramowicz, a sophomore majoring in Professional Writing and Rhetoric and Journalism and Screen Studies, is the Lyceum publishing editor. She took over the role last August when the opportunity arose. “I was looking through Victor’s Link to gauge the clubs, and I found Lyceum, which aligned with my hobbies and interests in writing and fine arts, photography and poetry. As the publishing editor, my tasks include creating posters, publishing info on social media, and running the website."

Significant changes in the organization have happened over the last two years, the biggest being the transition into Wolverine Media Network (WMN). WMN is the umbrella organization that houses campus’ creative outlets like Lyceum, the Michigan Journal and WUMD Radio.

“The change was announced in my freshman year when I didn’t know the magnitude of WMN,” Abramowicz stated. “Funding has been a struggle because publishing is expensive, leaving little room for other events. However, the WMN merger gave us more space to collaborate within and outside the WMN.”

Potvin said Lyceum officers share the roles in putting the publication together and running workshops. Collaboration is key, and the students are competent regardless of their prior experience. Lyceum is open to all majors.

“They do a great job, and I am in awe of their work. In my role, I offer advice and suggestions for the finer workings and help out with the process as much as I can. However, the mentoring program where each member looks out for the other helps bridge any gap quickly, and everyone knows what everyone is up to. The growth is tremendous and always visible no matter what major a student is pursuing.”

No matter what changes, the long-time student organization continues to be a voice and platform for all different people from various backgrounds, helping them express themselves through the written word.

Copies of Lyceum’s 50th Anniversary edition are available in the University Center, room 2128. You can also contact Potvin for a copy.

Text by Rudra Mehta.