Timothy Kennedy, Building Automation Services manager, and co-chair of the U-M Bicentennial MStaff200 staff recognition event on June 27, 2017, shared this reflection on recreating the 1967 photo of his father Richard Kennedy with a 200th-anniversary spin.
In the original black and white photo, Richard is shown standing behind the LSA building [then the university’s Administration Building] next to the station wagon with the license plate commemorating the university’s 150th anniversary celebration which he led.
Tim writes: “I still remember the car. It was the station wagon my dad drove to and from work when he was directing the university’s sesquicentennial. From time to time, dad drove my mom and the five of us kids around in the that car with its shiny chrome arm rest buttons that made the windows go up and down. For us kids, it was our first experience with power windows. It was magical. I was 5 years old.
“We were then, and will always be a Michigan family. Dad had a true love and passion for the the university that spilled over into our daily lives. His ethos during his 38 years of service was simple; do what the university asks of you, make decisions that are best for the university and during the time you spend with the organization it is your job, what ever that may be, to take care of the institution.”
Same scene, 50 years later
“Returning to the same spot 50 years later to retake photo in the same location next to my own car and with its bicentennial-inspired UofM200 license plate was an unbelievable experience for me. I am forever grateful to have been given the opportunity to work on the Bicentennial and the MStaff200 recognition event. It has given me the opportunity to pay tribute to my father’s legacy and to apply his lessons to my own 29-year U-M career and to continue to serve a great institution.”
Little sister reflects on legacy; shares admiration
Tim’s younger sister and long-time U-M staff member Peggy Sheagren, University Human Resources program director in Leadership and Diversity Development writes: “My brother and dad have always been deeply committed to honoring legacy, both within and outside of the U-M by honoring the work and the people who have brought us to today, and who will inform our future.
“Seeing these pictures of my brother and dad, each working on incredibly momentous U-M anniversary celebrations—one celebrating the university’s 150-year anniversary and, in 2017, our 200th—reminds me of the deep commitment they have both made, throughout their lives, to acknowledge the impact our predecessors have had on who we are and what we are to become.”
- A Loving Legacy of Stewardship: A daughter and son’s reflections on U-M’s longest serving executive officer.
- Kennedy family works to honor U-M history, by Safiya Merchant, The University Record.