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SFF Auction Prizes Range from 'Wrecking' It with Miley to Mr. Wolverine Date Night

By Jenny Whalen
March 17, 2014

How much would you pay to see Miley Cyrus in concert? What if the package included the company of Deans Mark D. West, Sarah Zearfoss, '92, and five of your best friends?

The opportunity to belt “Wrecking Ball” with Michigan Law’s top brass isn’t the only surreal experience for sale at this year’s Student Funded Fellowships (SFF) Auction, but it is the one organizers are counting on to start a bidding war.

SFF Auction 2014

Holding true to the decadence of the event’s Great Gatsby theme, prizes range from a starring role in one of Prof. Eve Brensike Primus’ trial simulation videos to a five-day stay at a Naples, FL, vacation home. With more than 240 items up for grabs during the live and silent auction portions of the evening, co-chairs Michael Schmale, 3L, and Kate Aufses, 2L, say the 36th annual SFF Auction offers a prize for just about every interest and income.

And, as always, proceeds from the Thursday, March 20, event benefit 1L students pursuing public interest work.

“Over the years SFF’s role has changed from trying to reward and recognize the few who would forego paid summer internships to do public interest work to trying to support as many classmates as possible,” Schmale said. “It’s a meaningful contribution.”

Working to ensure as much money is raised as possible during the evening are the night’s celebrity auctioneers, better known as Profs. Nick Bagley, Len Niehoff, ‘84, Eve Brensike Primus, '01, Sonja Starr, Richard Friedman, and Gil Seinfeld. Alyson Robbins and 3L Betsy Fisher will lend their talents to the role of emcee.

The revelry begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday with the silent auction. The live auction follows at 8 p.m. in 100 Hutchins Hall and then it’s anyone’s guess as to what hijinks will ensue in the hours to follow.

“It’s an auction, but it’s also a show,” Schmale said. “We have a really enthusiastic crowd and the professors really get into it.”

Open to all members of the Michigan Law community, Aufses also encourages those attending Preview Weekend, March 20-22, to attend.

“You’ll see what the Law School is like on this night and it's a good way of gauging whether you're going to enjoy yourself at Michigan Law,” she said. “Obviously, this is one night and it's not always like this, but you will see how many people are involved in the community here and what a special place this is."

A complete list of auction items—divided into various categories such as night on the town, baked treats, fun with faculty, and sports—is available for review in the 2014 program. There are more than 200 items in the silent auction and 24 once-in-a-lifetime opportunities on the block for live bidding.

If you can’t make the auction, but don’t want to pass up the chance to tandem skydive with Prof. Mathias Reimann or enjoy date night with Mr. Wolverine (and four runners-up), proxy bidding is available. Arrangements can be made through sffauctionproxy@umich.edu.

For more information, or to preview the auction items, visit the SFF website.

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