The Start of Another Rewarding Year at UM-Dearborn (September 14, 2021)

Dear UM-Dearborn Alumni and Friends, 

As we begin another exciting fall semester at UM-Dearborn, I would like to share a few important updates about campus and highlight some new exciting events that have happened over the past months. Our university has so far weathered the pandemic well. We remained at consistent enrollment levels, and this past spring, thousands gathered for in-person commencement ceremonies to celebrate the classes of 2020 and 2021.

The fall semester has gotten off to a fast start. Faculty and staff are excited to see so many students on campus once again. Our community has been pitching in to ensure that we continue this semester in an effective and safe way. On August 31, we hosted Wolverine Welcome Day, an event for incoming students to discover campus. This was followed by the Go Blue Bash, an opportunity for new and returning students to connect with student organizations, campus resources, and community partners. Everyone had a great time and was welcomed with a rousing rendition of Hail to the Victors!

Although we are expecting a robust return to on-campus learning, events and activities, throughout the pandemic we have learned that our students can succeed in virtual learning environments. Therefore, we will continue to offer online options where appropriate. Either way, I am confident that our students will receive an excellent higher education this fall. They always do.  

I am grateful for everyone in the UM-Dearborn community who has extended their support throughout the pandemic. You have helped us navigate these unprecedented times. On behalf of our university: Thank You!  

Here are some highlights of what's happening at UM-Dearborn.  

Returning to Campus 

The university has a number of health and safety measures in place this fall aimed at keeping our campus community safe. Our face covering policy requires all faculty, staff, students and visitors to wear a face mask covering the mouth and nose at all indoor venues and on university transportation, regardless of vaccination status. Extensive research shows that transmission of COVID-19 is greatly reduced, and lives are saved when all individuals wear face coverings, including visitors, while in public. 

University of Michigan students, faculty and staff are required to receive the COVID vaccination, with limited exceptions. So far, vaccination rates for groups regularly coming to campus have crossed the 75 percent threshold. With on-campus vaccination and testing sites going strong, we expect that number to climb. You can learn more about our vaccination policies at our website. 

If you are coming to campus as a visitor you will be required to complete the daily health screening at

Go Blue Guarantee

In June, the Regents extended the Go Blue Guarantee to UM-Dearborn and Flint. This program promises four years of free tuition to high-achieving in-state undergraduate students from low-income backgrounds. We piloted this program over the past year, but extending it officially to our campus allows us to continue our efforts to provide an accessible University of Michigan education to high-achieving students throughout southeast Michigan. This will be a game-changer for many families and students across the region. Program specifics are available on the UM-Dearborn Go Blue Guarantee website. 

New Interim Provost 

In May I announced Gabriella Scarlatta as the university's interim provost. Since 2014 Gabriella has served as Associate Dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters and the Director of the French Studies Program. 

Working with undergraduates and taking part in numerous university service activities, her long career at UM-Dearborn has been marked with distinction. Gabriella joined UM-Dearborn's faculty in 1998. She was promoted to professor of French, with tenure, in 2017. She has served as chair of the Department of Language, Culture, and Communication, has been a member of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters' Executive and Curriculum Committees, and has served on the Faculty Senate.

Gabriella has spent the summer guiding and leading the academic fall return to campus. She will also advance our strategic plan and finalize the strategic enrollment management plan.  

Opening the Engineering Lab Building 

The new Engineering Lab Building opened during the winter with a limited number of classrooms and labs in use. This fall, the building is much more active, with faculty research labs, classrooms and student collaboration spaces bustling with activity. Our students and faculty have so far loved the experience and atmosphere the state-of-the-art building provides.

The ELB is designed to inspire collaboration, innovation and cross-disciplinary teamwork and will help southeast Michigan maintain a leadership role in engineering. This building will support innovative education and research opportunities for students while giving faculty the tools needed to develop technological breakthroughs. We are grateful for all the support that alumni have given in helping us make this brand new building a reality. Look for pictures and a video highlighting the new building soon. We are also hoping to be able to invite many of you to campus this year to see the building for yourself. 

Alumni Town Hall 

I hope you have a chance to attend the Alumni Town Hall with UM-Dearborn campus leadership on Tuesday, October 26 at 5:00 pm. This will be an excellent opportunity for you to ask questions while also giving you a chance to learn more about the great things happening on campus. You can register at this website. I hope to see you there.  

Mission First, People Always

It's an exciting time at UM-Dearborn. All of us are ready to return to a sense of "normal" this fall. You can always learn about what's happening on campus or find ways to volunteer and connect with fellow alumni by visiting our Alumni Engagement website

Join us for Homecoming activities this year either virtually or in person. Homecoming will be held September 20-25 and features a variety of opportunities to engage. 

We would not have made it through the pandemic without the support of our alumni. Thank you for being part of our community. I look forward to seeing you soon on campus or at alumni events.  

Go Blue - Go Dearborn!

Domenico Grasso


Office of the Chancellor

1070 - Administration Building
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
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Phone: 313-593-5500
Fax: 313-593-5204