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Michigan Law's SFF Auction to be Held March 19Nerd Olympics and Dinner with Dean West Highlight Michigan Law's SFF Auction on March 19

By Lori Atherton
March 11, 2015

Fancy yourself a Scrabble master or a Bananagrams champ? The opportunity to outsmart Professor Gil Seinfeld in the Nerd Olympics is up for grabs at the Student Funded Fellowships (SFF) Auction.

The new offering—Item 9, to be precise—also includes a round or two of Boggle, as well as beer and dinner from Zingerman's. Three people can take part in the showdown at Professor Seinfeld's home.

If a night on the town is more to your liking, Item 12 might pique your interest: Dinner and drinks at the swanky Black Pearl restaurant with Dean Mark West, a professor or administrator of your choice, and three of your closest friends.

There's something for every budget and interest—191 items in all—at the 37th annual SFF Auction on Thursday, March 19. The silent auction begins at 6:30 p.m.; the live auction follows at 8 p.m. in 100 Hutchins Hall, whose Monopoly-themed décor, organizers hope, will inspire the Law School community to open its wallets and bid generously.

Last year's auction raised more than $51,000 and provided grants to 59 first-year students who pursued public interest work. "We're looking to top last year's proceeds so that we can fund as many students as possible," said 2L Michael Brown who, along with 2L Katherine O'Koniewski, is an auction co-chair.

In addition to the Nerd Olympics and dinner with Dean West, attendees can vie for a Lake Erie sailing trip with Professor Michael Barr; a tour of Facebook's headquarters; or a trivia night with Professor Kyle Logue at Conor O'Neill's. If you missed your chance last year to create your own Zingerman's sandwich or skydive with Professor Mathias Reimann, don't despair. These tried-and-true favorites are back on the auction block.

In an effort to generate more interest in the silent auction—which includes a tour of the U.S. Capitol, restaurant and theater tickets, and opportunities to mingle with faculty—organizers have implemented a new bidding process through the mobile app Handbid. To bid on (and pay for) any silent auction item, users must create an account on Handbid using their iPhone, iPad, or Android device. Once registered, users should search for the SFF Auction page to see a list of items, which are available for bidding on March 12. Bidders will receive alerts if they are outbid on an item, so Brown encourages users to pay attention to their mobile devices—or one of the iPads that will be circulating around 100 Hutchins Hall—during the live auction.

Helping to facilitate bidding wars during the event are faculty auctioneers Nick Bagley, Len Niehoff, John Pottow, Eve Brensike Primus, Gil Seinfeld, and Rich Friedman, while emcees George Barchini, 3L, and Sarah Zearfoss, '92, senior assistant dean for admissions, financial aid, and career planning, will keep the revelry going. "Adding to the event's overall liveliness," Brown said, is a photo booth sponsored by HopCat brewery.

For a complete list of auction items, check out the 2015 SFF Auction Program.

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