It’s a big deal when you are invited to “The Big House.” It’s an even bigger deal when you are invited to the University of Michigan’s iconic football stadium to produce its Bicentennial Commencement. That’s why all of us at Bartha were thrilled and honored to provide a full-range of services for this historic occasion earlier this spring, including creative event design and large-scale staging and production.

After thoroughly exploring the details of the university’s RFP, and our own additional research, our overall objective was to design an experience that paid respect to the historical significance of this event and the university, while at the same time adding impactful theatrical elements to the ceremony. As the name “Big House” implies, the venue is larger than most – accommodating well over 100,000 attendees – meaning that the scale of the ideas, staging and audience experience had to be larger than most as well.


In addition to staging and scenic elements, technology was leveraged to tell the 200-year story of the University of Michigan while connecting the program’s essential elements, including the Procession of Graduates, Voice of the Past, Student Message of the Future, University Bicentennial Alumni Awards Presentation, the President’s Address and the Presentation of Graduates.

Our Creative Services and Video Production teams provided support and partnered with the University of Michigan to produce a series of videos celebrating the impact of recent graduates. We also produced video and PowerPoint content celebrating the university’s history and future, which were shown during the Procession of Graduates.

In addition to providing creative and production support, we also arranged for the setup of the field cover and on-field chairs for the graduates.

The University of Michigan’s Bicentennial Commencement was a grand occasion in “The Big House” that highlighted the 200-year history of one the country’s finest learning institutions, set the stage for the next 200 years and made memories that will last a lifetime for thousands of graduates and their loved ones. Whether your next event is in a stadium, arena, exhibit hall, ballroom or any other venue, let Bartha put this level of creativity and expertise into your next event. Click here to get started today!