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UMS & Michigan Engineering Collaborate to Bring Trevor Noah’s "Back to Abnormal" Tour to Hill Auditorium on September 16

Trevor Noah

ANN ARBOR—The University Musical Society and the University of Michigan College of Engineering (Michigan Engineering) have teamed up to bring celebrated comedian and “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah to the Ann Arbor campus on Friday, September 16 at 8 pm for a sold out show at Hill Auditorium.

Noah, who appeared as part of a virtual town hall to get out the vote in October 2020, which was presented by UMS with the Ford School of Public Policy, makes his first live appearance on the U-M campus.

The event is the centerpiece of Michigan Engineering’s unique Common Reading Experience, a program that was launched in 2013 and is now in its 10th year. All incoming Michigan Engineering first-year students — more than 1,500 per year — receive a copy of the same book and discuss it in small groups during the fall. The program helps students connect with each other while prompting important conversation about what it means to be an engineer in the world today. Trevor Noah’s autobiography, Born a Crime, was the Common Read in both 2021 and 2022, and this year Engineering faculty, staff, and returning students are also invited to participate in the program.

As part of Trevor Noah’s visit, he will participate in a private chat with Michigan Engineering students, faculty, and staff about the book.

“I am so proud that Michigan Engineering is the title sponsor and partner to UMS for Trevor Noah’s first visit to Ann Arbor,” said Alec D. Gallimore, the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering, the Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Professor, an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and a professor of aerospace engineering. “Trevor Noah’s personal story, combined with his skill as a storyteller, provides an opportunity for us to consider how we think about ourselves as engineers. Understanding the social dimensions and historical contexts of any situation is crucial for developing engineering solutions that close, rather than unintentionally expand, societal gaps.”

“At UMS, we are always looking for artists and performers whose relevance can be appreciated across many different perspectives,” UMS president Matthew VanBesien notes. “We were so impressed to learn of Michigan Engineering’s Common Read program and how Trevor Noah’s story of perseverance connects to the larger values that they hope to instill in their students — a lesson that all of us can take to heart.”

Trevor Noah is the most successful comedian in Africa and is the host of the Emmy Award-winning “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central. He has written, produced, and starred in 11 comedy specials, received several NAACP Image Awards, and is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, which received the Thurber Prize for American Humor and has sold more than 2 million copies across all formats. The book is a collection of personal stories about growing up in South African during the last gasps of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that came with its demise. The stories, sometimes dark, occasionally bizarre, frequently tender, and always hilarious, give an intimate look at the world that shaped him and led to his role as an incisive social and political commentator. In April 2018, he launched the Trevor Noah Foundation, a youth development initiative that empowers youth with the foundation for a better life: access to high-quality education.

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