U-M: optiMize is the future of education

By Jeff Sorensen, co-founder of optiMize

Occasionally moments come along that make me pinch myself and ask, “Is this really happening?”

One of these moments happened recently. The University of Michigan is celebrating its “Bicentennial” 200th anniversary this year. As part of the celebrations, President Schlissel is hosting three “Presidential Colloquium” events to showcase the university’s past, present, and future.

Each event has a moderator. The first was moderated by the host of NPR’s All Things Considered, and the second was moderated by the President Emeritus of Brown University.

To my surprise, I will be moderating the third and final event during Homecoming weekend this fall.

The final event focuses on the “campus of the future.” In their invitation letter, the organizers told me they wanted a moderator who is “exemplary of some of what is best about the current trends in higher education.”

“It was kind of a no-brainer that you would be the ideal person,” they wrote.

It’s a bit awkward for me to share that, but I think it’s so important for everyone in optiMize to realize how much traction we have with our work. By inviting me, the university chose *us* as their top example of the future of education!

We all know our work isn’t really about these kinds of recognitions. It’s about the daily experience of working together toward a better future.

But when things get difficult and tiring, it helps to know that the work we’re doing here is not going to end any time soon. If we can convince Michigan that optiMize is the future, why not every campus in the country?

I hope I’ll see lots of optiMizers from the last 5 years in the audience at the Homecoming colloquium on October 26! Please do come… seeing your faces will make me less nervous!