Over a half century ago a University of Michigan faculty group considered housing for senior faculty and staff. They wished to provide a home with a living style which was as intellectually satisfying as they had found in their academic lives. They wanted to concentrate on living and life-long learning, providing for senior access and mobility needs while avoiding the orientation of an elder-care facility. Several succeeding faculty groups kept the idea and preliminary planning active, and one group with enough dedication founded the Commons. The first residents came in 2000. They, and those who followed, molded the Commons and helped it evolve to the present community.
Educational and cultural opportunities were stressed from the early planning and are striking components of the programs at the Commons. University faculty and staff, and residents themselves provide a pool of speakers for late afternoon events. Many recitals and musical programs are available as a part of the relationship between University Commons and the School of Music, Theatre & Dance and other parts of the University.
A large elegant room contains the lecture/recital area at one end and the dining area at the other The dining area is supported by a fully equipped commercial kitchen. Optional four course dinners are served two evenings a week. The preparation and service are conducted by culinary arts students from Washtenaw Community College, as a part of the relationship between University Commons and another Ann Arbor institution.