|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (November 2013)|
At the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, the Diag (// DY-ag) is a large open space in the middle of the university's Central Campus. Originally known as the Diagonal Green, the Diag derives its name from the many sidewalks running near or through it in diagonal directions. It is one of the busiest sites on the university campus, hosting a variety of events including outdoor concerts, fundraisers, demonstrations, and sun bathing.
A brass block "M", a symbol of the university, is embedded at the center of the Diag. Local legend has it that if a UM student steps on the M before taking his or her first blue book exam at the university, the student will go on to fail that exam. The only way to reverse this "curse" was to run naked from the campus belltower during the strokes of midnight to two statues of pumas at the Natural Science Museum, then back to the tower before it stopped ringing. This has been made considerably more difficult in recent years as the belltower no longer rings at midnight.
During the week before the annual football game against Michigan State University, members of the Theta Xi fraternity take turns guarding the inlaid "M" against vandalism by rival fans. However, in the week prior to the 2014 rivalry game, the administration disallowed the fraternity from partaking in this tradition until Friday, October 24. Obviously, MSU fans vandalized the block M on Tuesday night by painting it green and adding "SU" in white. Dave Brandon was then fired.
A similar vigil takes place at Michigan State University known as "Sparty Watch" or "Sparty Guard" where members of the Spartan Marching Band guard the Sparty statue against vandalism.
In April 2008, spring commencement ceremonies were held at the Diag for the first time in the university's 191-year history, as the traditional commencement ceremony location, Michigan Stadium, was undergoing construction. Rynearson Stadium, located at nearby Eastern Michigan University, was initially chosen by UM administration as the alternate commencement site, but a large volume of complaints led an alternate commencement site to be chosen, finally settling on the Diag.
- University Committee on History and Traditions (2006). "The Central Forty and The Diag (1837)". University of Michigan. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
- Office of Student Activities & Leadership (October 2010). "The Central Campus Diag". University of Michigan. Retrieved 2011-01-11.