From the Archives #42 — Spring Fling

By Sebastián Encina, Collections Manager

Each May, the College of Literature, Sciences, and the Arts (LSA) at the University of Michigan treats its staff to Spring Fling, an opportunity to celebrate the end of the academic year. This festivity is the college’s thank you to all who contributed to another successful year for the students within the college. Various departments come together to be treated to lunch and be thanked by the Dean’s office.

Every year, LSA selects a theme for Spring Fling. This past May (23 May 2019), the theme was “Out of This World” and staff were encouraged to dress in “space-inspired attire.” The Kelsey Museum decided to participate by dressing as the Greek/Roman gods who represent the various planets and moons. At the time of writing, a vote is underway to select the best-dressed department at Spring Fling 2019. We think we have it in the bag.

people dressed as Roman gods
Kelsey Museum staff in costume for U-M’s 2019 Spring Fling. Left to right are Sarah Mullersman (Mercury), Leslie Schramer (Nyx), Carrie Roberts (Uranus), Alex Zwinak (Mars), Lorene Sterner (Saturn), Dawn Johnson (Neptune), Lisa Rozek (Jupiter), Scott Meier (Charon), and Cathy Person (Pluto).

This image is reminiscent of a photograph from 2008 when members of the Kelsey staff also dressed in Roman attire for Spring Fling. For this month’s “From the Archives,” we present this earlier photo, in which we were not dressed as gods, but as Roman citizens. Unfortunately, the attire did not match the theme of that year’s Spring Fling, but it was still fun to dress up.

people dressed in Roman costume
Kelsey Museum staff on the front steps of the Kelsey Museum, in costume for Spring Fling 2008. Left to right are Sandra Malveaux, Kate Carras, Tracey Miller, Sebastián Encina, Helen Baker, Jackie Monk, and Michelle Fontenot.

Pay particular attention to Alex Zwinak (2019) and Sebastián Encina (2008). Both are wearing Roman armor that is housed at the Kelsey (not accessioned). The armor is actual metal and is very heavy and quite unwieldy, but it is attention-getting and a fun opportunity to dress like a Roman soldier (or Mars, the Roman god of war …).

Maybe in 2030, a future Kelsey staff member will wear this same armor for Spring Fling.