Welcome to Southeast Michigan Mensa!

Mensa is the largest of the international high-IQ societies. The purpose of our Southeast Michigan chapter is to provide opportunity for intellectual and social belonging and networking among diverse people. Bookmark this site to see SEMM’s calendar of events for members and their guests. In addition to local events and monthly meetings, SEMM hosts a Winter Bash (games party), SEMMer Bash (picnic), and a Regional Gathering held each April and known as SEMMantics. We're also on Facebook!

08 December 2014

RG Hospitality

Hi. My name is Kathy Phipps and I’ve been a member of SEMM since early 1987 and I’ve volunteered for the 2nd year to coordinate Hospitality at the RG. Please note, this year the RG has been moved earlier, April 24-26, to hopefully conflict with fewer graduations.

Last year we did something new with hospitality. I coordinate the purchasing and getting everything to the hotel, set up and break down, and the people and getting things out are coordinated by someone else. Who wants to spend all weekend in Hospitality?

If you’re like me, you might have some diet restrictions/preferences. One reason I volunteered for purchasing was to make sure there was a good selection of items I could eat. In the past, I have stayed away from events due to the food selection. Never fear this is the case at the RG. Several years ago, we started introducing healthier snacks such as veggie trays, cheese trays, nuts and fruit. I myself am low carb so be sure that there will be plenty of options there. Coincidentally, low carb options also cover sugar free and gluten free for the most part although we will have some more specific gluten free and sugar free items.

We also have a good selection of soda (diet and regular), water (regular and flavored) and non-carbonated beverages (ice tea and lemonade). The coffee is the good stuff from Starbucks. For those not under any restrictions, plenty of chips, chocolate and other candy can be found. And again this year, hot dogs will be available pretty much round the clock. Planning is key so as I’m writing this in December, I’m making my lists and checking them twice.

The meals provided by the hotel are a compromise between feeding a hoard and keeping prices reasonable. Friday night is pizza, Saturday noon is a taco bar and Saturday night is a pasta bar. If you believe you will not partake, please let the registrar know so we don’t have to pay for a meal that we don’t have to. There will also be a “decadent dessert” bar – and again, if you’re going to skip, please let us know.

It takes a lot of time to organize a party for over 100 people and “many hands make light work” so please consider arriving early to help set up Hospitality or staying an hour or two on Sunday to help pack up and go. Also, I know the schedule isn’t out yet , but when it is out, please consider volunteering an hour or two of your time in Hospitality. None of that, “I don’t know what to do”. There will be signs and a check list in the prep suite. We’ve made it fairly easy, no slicing or dicing but just getting things out and tossing what needs to be tossed. There will be space on the online registration for volunteering as well as a request from the Registrar in April.

Hope to see you there!!

23 November 2014

RG Sing-Along

It is traditional to have a sing along at the Regional Gathering (April 24-26, 2015), but we need volunteers to lead it.  Do you play an instrument or sing?  Would you be willing to lead a singalong?
Please contact Jean Becker at JeanKBecker@nullgmail.com or 810.229.2113.

23 November 2014

Detroit Before the Automobile

Detroit Before the Automobile at the University of Michigan Museum of Art


“Motown” was already two centuries old by the time the Model T rolled off the first assembly line. Detroit Before the Automobile examines the first 200 years of the city’s history using rare books, manuscripts, maps, and graphics from the extensive collection of the University of Michigan’s William L. Clements Library.


Detroit was founded by the French in 1701 as a trading center and agricultural settlement. In 1760 it passed to the British and became an important post for them during the American Revolution. It was ceded to the United States by the peace treaty of 1783, although the United States did not actually take control of the city until 1796. In 1805, Detroit became the capital of the Michigan Territory, but it was destroyed by fire the same year. Rebuilt to a radical new design, the town and fort were taken by the British at the outset of the War of 1812 and then recovered by the United States in 1813. In 1817 it saw the birth of the University of Michigan. During the nineteenth century, Detroit matured and grew in importance as a shipping center with a developing industrial base of shipbuilding, rail-car construction, stove manufacturing, and similar industries that ensured the city would have the infrastructure and transportation network needed to greet the infant auto industry at the dawn of the twentieth century.

The Clements Library has a rich variety of primary sources documenting the history of Detroit before 1900, from maps outlining the distinctive “ribbon farm” land pattern of the French, to plans of the town, and prints charting the city’s increasing size and the height of its buildings. Together this array of primary documents brings to life the early history of one the oldest cities in the Midwest.

Join us for a Guided tour of this special exhibit on Sunday, November 30th from 2-3 pm at the UMMA, Admission to the museum is always free, although a $5 suggested donation is appreciated.

UMMA is located at the intersection of South State and South University. 734.996.0400. Parking is available in garages on Maynard and South Forest, with metered parking on adjacent streets.


One of more groups will probably select an area restaurant to adjourn to after the tour to discuss the exhibit and who knows what all in addition.


20 October 2014

Winter Bash

Saturday, January 17, 2015
6:00pm – 11:00pm

Berkley VFW Hall
3025 Coolidge (Between 11 and 12 Mile Road)
Berkley 48072

There will be salad, pizza, beverages, munchies, a pool table, dance floor and darts. Also featuring Magic: The Gathering, Rock Band 3 and other games.

Plenty of free parking!

In advance through January 9, 2014:
$12 for ages 12 and up
$8 for ages 11 and younger

At the door:
$15 for ages 12 and up
$10 for ages 11 and younger
Children 4 and under: Free

To use PayPal, go to PayPal.com and click on the “Send Money” tab. Enter e-mail address:
semmantics@nullsbcglobal.net and your payment amount. If registering more than one person,
please enter each registrant name in the Comments section on the confirmation page.

Or please fill out form and mail with check made payable to SEMM to:
Harley Berger
7269 Creeks Bend Court
West Bloomfield, MI 48322

Any questions? Call 248-210-3563.

07 October 2014

The 2015 RG team is looking for new volunteers

The Regional Gathering is the biggest Mensa event of the year in Michigan. If you have attended SEMMantics before, you know how special it is. If you would like to get more involved, this is a perfect way to become part of our team.

To make SEMMantics happen and keep costs down, many member volunteers are needed. Jobs to be done range from small, one-time tasks to major responsibilities. Helpers are needed both before and after the actual RG.

Every year many volunteers return to do the job they did last year, or try a new one. But people move, have babies and that sort of thing—so we always need new team members. This year, these big jobs are open: Publicity Coordinator and Volunteer Coordinator. Registration is fully or partially waived for those who fill any major RG position.

We have spots for extroverts (seeking speakers or helping with hospitality) and introverts (scribe, shopping, making signs and other behind the scenes jobs to be done). We are especially in need of new members with fresh, new ideas. Working on the RG is a fun, safe way to try something different, with plenty of returning volunteers who can help.

You are invited to be part of the SEMMantics 2015 team from the very beginning. We will gather at our RG hotel, the Holiday Inn and Suites, 37529 Grand River Avenue, Farmington Hills MI 48335, on Thursday, November 13th, at 7 pm. We will set future dates that night, so please contact me before the meeting about your preference, if you can’t be there. We usually meet once in January, February, March and April, and always finish before 9 pm.

November 13th is the only time we will meet before the holidays. At that meeting we will set policies, talk about new events, speakers, and briefly critique SEMMantics 2014. If you cannot make any meeting in person, we are happy to have you participate via Skype or phone. Not all jobs require attending our meetings, but we welcome anyone who can, as that is where the great ideas are usually hatched.

To learn more or volunteer please contact JeanKBecker@nullgmail.com or 810.229.2113. Also look for future articles as the RG takes shape. And definitely make a note that SEMMantics 2015 will be held on April 24-26 next year.