University of Michigan

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University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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University of Michigan Seal

MottoArtes, Scientia, Veritas
(Latin, "Arts, science, truth")
Established 1817
School type Public University
President Mary Sue Coleman
Location Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Enrollment 25,000 undergraduate,
14,000 graduate
Faculty 4,196
Endowment US$4.2 billion
Campus Ann Arbor, 3,177 acres (13 km²); (12.86 km²)

Total, 20,965 acres (84.84 km²) (inclusive of arboretums)

Sports teams Teams are called the Wolverines. 12 men's varsity teams, 14 women's; 2 each men's and women's club varsity teams. UM Athletics (

The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is a public coeducational university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The oldest and primary campus of the University of Michigan, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is one of the world's leading research institutions, and is consistently ranked as one of the top public academic institutions worldwide.

The University's professional graduate schools (law school, medical school, business school, school of engineering, and school of education) are perennially ranked by US News & World Report as some of the best in the country. Considered to be a Public Ivy, it is also highly respected for its departments of philosophy, economics, political science, history, and mathematics.



The nineteenth century

The University of Michigan was established in 1817 by the Michigan Territorial legislature as one of the United States' first public universities on 1,920 acres (8 km²) of land ceded by the Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi people "…for a college at Detroit." The school moved from Detroit to Ann Arbor in 1837, only thirteen years after the latter city had been founded. The first classes were held in 1841; six freshmen and a sophomore were taught by two professors. Eleven men graduated in the first commencement ceremony, in 1845.

The first university president, Henry Tappan, was appointed in 1851. Tappan was a former professor of philosophy at New York University, and was recommended for the post by George Bancroft, a former United States Secretary of War and a noted historian. Tappan modeled the university's curriculum on the broad range of subjects taught at German universities (the so-called "research model"), rather than the classical models (the so-called "recitation" model) employed at institutions such as Harvard and Yale. Michigan's curriculum grew into a model for other universities, including Johns Hopkins.

In 1857, the first student newspaper, The Peninsular Phoenix and Gazetteer was founded. The biweekly University Chronicle followed in 1867, and the Michigan Daily in 1890.

By 1865-66, the university's enrollment increased to 1,205 students, with many of the new enrollees veterans of the Civil War. In the July 1866 issue of The Atlantic Monthly, Harvard Professor F.H. Hedge depicted the university as the model public institution of higher education for the growing nation. Michigan began to draw students from across the United States and abroad, and its student body included African Americans.

In 1867, maize and blue were voted class colors; the Regents made them the official colors of the University in 1912.

The University's first known black student, Gabriel Franklin Hargo (law 1870), was admitted in 1868; the school's first female student, Madelon Louisa Stockwell (lit. 1872) of Kalamazoo, Michigan, was admitted in 1870. The first known black woman admitted was Mary Henrietta Graham, in 1876 (lit. 1880). By 1882, Michigan's alumnae included the president of Wellesley College, Alice Freeman. The growing student body also led to unruliness. In 1872, Ann Arbor hosted forty-nine saloons, and the spectacle of student intoxication and public donnybrooks concerned school administrators and state politicians. Harper's Weekly published an article in July 1887 that noted the school's "broad and liberal spirit" and the wide-ranging freedoms of its students.

In 1871, James B. Angell, president of the University of Vermont, was appointed president of Michigan, a position that he held until 1909. Angell aggressively expanded the school's curriculum to include and expand professional studies in dentistry, architecture, engineering, government, and medicine.

In 1880, President Rutherford B. Hayes appointed Angell a special minister to China to negotiate the immigration of Chinese laborers. Angell's publicity efforts abroad eventually prompted a large influx of foreign students to the university. Michigan also began to attract renowned faculty, including pragmatist philosopher John Dewey, who taught at the school from 1884 to 1894, and Thomas M. Cooley, who left the university when he was appointed the first chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission by President Grover Cleveland.

Cleveland once stated, "When I was in office and needed help I usually turned to the University of Michigan." Forty-seven of the university's alumni served in the U.S. Congress during Cleveland's two administrations. Michigan faculty members also were instrumental in the founding and early leadership of Cornell University, which recruited Michigan history professor C.K. Adams to serve as its president in 1885. As of 2005, six Michigan administrators or faculty members have been appointed president of Cornell.


The first two decades of the twentieth century saw a construction boom on campus that included facilities to house the dental and pharmacy programs, a chemistry building, a building for the study of natural sciences, the Martha Cook and Helen Newberry residence halls, Hill Auditorium, and large hospital and library complexes.

University President Marion Leroy Burton continued the construction boom through the 1920s, including the construction of Michigan Stadium. Burton's tenure also saw the advent of major field research initiatives in Africa, South America, the South Pacific, and the Middle East. Burton raised admissions standards and sought to heighten the academic rigors of the university's courses, while taming the often-rowdy social lives of his students.

In 1924, Burton made the nominating speech at the Republican National Convention for Governor Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts for president. Shortly after his place in the national spotlight, Burton died of a heart attack. The memorial bell tower that bears his name remains a prominent campus landmark. Burton was succeeded by Clarence Cook Little, a highly divisive figure who, among other things, offended Roman Catholics with his vocal endorsements of contraception.

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An aerial view of the Law Quadrangle at the University of Michigan.

The 1930s saw a major crackdown on the consumption of alcohol and the rowdiness that had characterized student life practically from inception. In February 1931, local police raided five fraternities, finding liquor and arresting seventy-nine students, including the captain of the football team and Michigan Daily editors. During the Great Depression, ritual and widespread freshman hazing all but ceased. Long known as a "dressy campus," student attire became less formal. Fraternities and sororities became less prominent in student life, as their finances and memberships went into steep decline.

The school's position as a prominent research university gained momentum in 1920 with a formal reorganization of the College of Engineering and the formation of an advisory committee of 100 industrialists to guide academic research initiatives. In addition, 1933 saw the completion of the new Law Quadrangle, a gift from alumnus William W. Cook. The quadrangle quickly became a campus landmark, known for its integration of residence and legal scholarship.

During World War II, the university grew into a true research powerhouse, undertaking major initiatives on behalf of the U.S. Navy and contributing to weapons development with breakthroughs including the V.T. Fuse, depth bombs, the PT boat, and radar jammers. By 1950, university enrollment had reached 21,000, of whom 7,700 were veterans supported by the G.I. Bill.


Harlan H. Hatcher, an administrator at Ohio State University who once aspired to be a novelist, was appointed university president in 1951. Hatcher fostered early construction in the school's nascent North Campus, and created an Honors College for 5 % of entering freshmen. As the Cold War and the Space Race took shape, Michigan became a principal recipient of government research grants, and its researchers were on the vanguard of exploring peacetime uses for atomic power. During Hatcher's administration, the Institute for Social Research, an ambitious ongoing effort focused on research and applications of social science, received its own building. In a 1966 report by the American Council on Education, the university was rated first or second in the nation in graduate teaching of all twenty-eight disciplines surveyed. In 1971, the central library on campus was named for him, the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library (

Strangely, the beginning of Hatcher's presidency saw the university in the national spotlight over the first-ever "panty raid," an event cheered on by hundreds of students and chronicled by the national press, including Life Magazine. Hatcher's legacy is marked, however, by a much more serious controversy: his suspension of three faculty members---Chandler Davis, Clement Markert, and Mark Nicholson---under pressure from Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Subcommittee on Un-American Activities. Davis ultimately was sentenced to prison for contempt, a conviction that he appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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John F. Kennedy outlines his vision for the Peace Corps on the steps of the Michigan Union.

During the 1960s, numerous Michigan faculty members served in the administrations of presidents Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy. During their administrations, fifteen alumni served in the Senate and House of Representatives. On October 14, 1960, Kennedy announced his intention to form the Peace Corps in a speech on the steps of the Michigan Union. By 1966, 332 alumni were serving in the Corps. Kennedy once referred to Harvard as "The Michigan of the East". In a commencement address at Michigan Stadium on May 22, 1964, Johnson first announced his intentions to pursue his Great Society reforms.

Perhaps the enduring legacy of the era was the sharp rise in campus activism. The campus tumult of the 1960s was to some extent foreshadowed during World War I, when disputes arose between faculty, administrators, and students over issues including military instruction and teaching of the German language. In the 1930s, student groups had formed to promote socialism, labor, isolationism, and pacifism, as well as interest in the Spanish Civil War. Political dissent, largely mollified by campus consensus during World War II, returned to Michigan with a vengeance during the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War.

On March 24, 1964, a group of faculty held the nation's first "teach-in" to protest American policy in Southeast Asia. 2,500 students attended the event. A series of 1966 sit-ins by Voice, the campus political party of Students for a Democratic Society, prompted the administration to ban sit-ins, a move that, in turn, led 1,500 students to conduct a one-hour sit-in in the administration building. In September 1969, a 12,000-student march followed a Michigan football game; on October 15, 1969, 20,000 rallied against the war in Michigan Stadium. Radicals adopted increasingly confrontational tactics, including an episode in which members of the Jesse James Gang, an SDS offshoot, locked themselves in a room with an on-campus military recruiter and refused to release him. Hatcher's successor, Robben Fleming---an experienced labor negotiator and former chancellor of the University of Wisconsin---is credited by university historian Howard Peckham for preventing the campus from experiencing the violent outbreaks seen at other universities.

Low minority enrollment was also a cause of unrest. In March 1970, the Black Action Movement, an umbrella name for a coalition of student groups, sponsored a campus-wide strike to protest low minority enrollment and to build support for an African American Studies department. The strike included picket lines that prevented entrance to university buildings and was widely observed by students and faculty. Eight days after the strike began, the university granted many of BAM's demands.

Campus activism also changed the character of student social life. By 1973, only 4.7 % of the student body participated in fraternities and sororities. The university's student government fell one vote short of approving a marijuana co-op that was based on the premise of high-quantity purchases and free distribution. Such attitudes persist in the Hash Bash, a rally and festival calling for the legalization of marijuana use held annually on and near campus.

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The renovated interior of the historic Hill Auditorium, hailed for its unusually fine acoustics.

During the 1970s, severe budget constraints hindered to some extent the university's physical development and academic standing. For the previous fifty years, all major academic surveys had listed Michigan as one of the nation's top five universities, a standing that began to diminish. For instance, the student-faculty ratio at the Michigan Law School became the highest of any elite law school in the country. The university's financial condition improved under the leadership of President Harold Shapiro during the 1980s. Shapiro, a former economics professor, completed a distinguished tenure at Michigan and was appointed president of Princeton University. The university again saw a surge in funds devoted to research in the social and physical sciences, although campus controversy arose over involvement in the anti-missile Strategic Defense Initiative and investments in South Africa.

President James Duderstadt, whose tenure ran from 1988 to 1995, was a nuclear engineer and former engineering dean who emphasized uses for computer and information technology. Duderstadt facilitated achievements in the campus's physical growth and fundraising efforts, but was pushed out of office due to political infighting within the university's polarized governing board. His successor Lee Bollinger had a relatively brief tenure before departing to lead Columbia University.

During the 1980s and 1990s, the university devoted substantial resources to renovating its massive hospital complex and improving the academic facilities on the school's North Campus. In the past decade, roughly $2.5 billion has been budgeted and expended toward such construction, with approximately another $4.8 billion in construction projects in 17 new buildings underway or in planning for the coming decade. Recently, the university has constructed over 1 million square feet (90,000 m²) of academic and laboratory space devoted to the life sciences (LSI ( In 2005, the university unveiled a development master-plan for the medical campus that is expected to add 3 million square feet (270,000 m²) to the existing 6 million square feet.

In 2003, two lawsuits involving the school's affirmative action admissions policy reached the U.S. Supreme Court (Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger). President George W. Bush took the unusual step of publicly opposing the policy before the court issued a ruling, though the eventual ruling was mixed. In the first case, the court upheld the Law School admissions policy while in the second, it ruled against the university's undergraduate admissions policy.


Michigan's teaching and research staff is highly regarded, including an astronaut, noted world authorities, Pulitzer Prize winners, recognized artists (performing and otherwise), composers, novelists, artists, and filmmakers. Michigan has more than 300 named endowed chairs. In one recent rankings summary, more than 70 % of Michigan's more than 200 major programs, departments and schools (including its law, medical, and business schools) were ranked in the top 10 nationally, and more than 90 % of programs and departments were ranked in the top 20 nationally [1] ( A recent global ranking placed the university in the top 20 academically. In the 2003-2004 school year, Michigan led the nation in the number of Fulbright scholars and teaching assistants, and placed second in the director's cup for aggregate athletic achievement. The university's combination of academic and athletic success is generally considered second in the country only to Stanford University.

The students at the University of Michigan come from all 50 states and over 100 foreign countries. The university is one of the most selective public universities in the country as almost 50 % of undergraduates come from the top 5 % of their graduating high school class and most are in the top tenth of their class.

Founded in 1854, the College of Engineering extensively supports numerous engineering and science related degree programs. The Aerospace Engineering program at the University of Michigan was the nation's first in 1914 and maintains relationships to corporations such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing. The College of Engineering also sponsors a Solar Car team ( that is one of the most successful fundraisers in the competition.

The University is the largest pre-law and pre-medicine university in the country as well as having the largest yearly research expenditure of any public university in the United States, totaling roughly 750 million dollars in the most recent calendar year. It also houses the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program ("UROP") as well as the UROP/Creative-Programs, which received a #1 national ranking [2] (,2034,5377%255Farticle%255F7354,00.html).

The University was at the center of the development of one of the first university networks and has made major contributions to the mathematics of information theory, notably through Claude Shannon. Other major contributions include the construction of the precursor to the National Science Foundation backbone ("NSF") (the history of the Merit network may be found at (PDF) (, as well as the NSF backbone, the virtual memory model, and computer databases.

The University is home to the National Election Studies and one of the nation's most watched economic index, the University of Michigan's Consumer Confidence Index.

Academic units

University of Michigan Health System

The University of Michigan hosts of one of the largest health care complexes in the world, the University of Michigan Health System ( (UMHS). UMHS includes University Hospital (, C.S. Mott Children's Hospital (, Women's Hospital (, 30 health centers (, 120 outpatient clinics (, and an HMO, MCare (

The university opened the first university-owned hospital in the United States in 1869. The EKG, gastroscope, Jonas Salk's polio vaccine, and the ECMO (extracorporal membrane oxygenation) system were invented at the university. Currently, the university is breaking new ground in femtosecond keratotomy using chirped-pulse lasers developed by a University professor in the NSF center for applied high-speed optical systems.


The University Library ( is one of the largest university library systems in the country . The library system comprises 24 separate collections, and roughly 7.96 million volumes, 8.8 million microforms, and 18 million graphical objects. The collection grows at the rate of 150,000 volumes, or roughly 2.5 miles (4 km), per year. The University was the original home of the JSTOR database, about 750,000 pages digitised from the entire pre-1990 backfile of ten journals of history and economics. The university recently entered into a path-breaking book digitization program with Google.

Many of the university's libraries are highly regarded. They include:

There are also a number of collections that are affiliated with the University, but are not part of the University Library System. Two historical libraries are the Bentley Historical Library ( and the William L. Clements Library ( The former is home of the University's archives as well as the Michigan Historical Collections, while the latter houses original resources for the study of American history and culture from the 15th to the early 20th century. The Clements Library is believed to be the first stand alone rare books collection at a public university.

Other libraries include the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library (, the Law School Library (, the Ronald and Deborah Freedman Library ( of the Population Studies Center, and the Transportation Research Institute Library ( It is one of the world's most extensive collections of literature on traffic safety. There is also a large number of independent departmental libraries (


The University of Michigan is also home to a number of museums, with a majority on Central Campus. One such museum is the Exhibit Museum of Natural History. Aside from a planetarium and exhibits on geology, the building also houses:

  • Museum of Anthropology - home to the program in anthropological archaeology in the United States
  • Museum of Paleontology
  • Museum of Zoology - collection includes over 15 million specimens representing all orders of birds, amphibians and reptiles, mites, and insects, and over 80% of orders of fish and mollusks

The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology has a collection of Roman, Greek, Egyptian, and Middle Eastern artifacts. The University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) has approximately 14,000 art pieces, including European, American, Middle Eastern, Asian, and African, as well as changing exhibits. Also on Central Campus and housed in the School of Dentistry building is the Gordon H. Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry, which contains artifacts pertaining to the history of the dental profession.

The Detroit Observatory is adjacent to the University Hospital complex. Containing two telescopes, it is the first observatory in Michigan and the second in Midwest, and is the second oldest building remaining on campus. The Nichols Arboretum is also adjacent to the University Hospital complex.

Other museums include the Matthaei Botanical Gardens (located on the eastern outskirts of Ann Arbor), the UM Herbarium, and the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments (located in the Earl V. Moore Building of the School of Music on the University's North Campus).


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The Bell Tower reflects the architectural style of North Campus.

For various images of the campus, see here: [3] (
For campus maps, see here: [4] (

The Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan is composed of three main areas: North Campus, Central Campus, and South Campus. The physical plant is comprised of more than 300 major buildings with a combined area of more than 29 million square feet (3 km²).

North Campus houses the College of Engineering, the Schools of Music and Art and Design, and the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. The College of Literature, Science and the Arts and most of the graduate and professional schools occupy Central Campus, with the Medical Center between North and Central Campuses. South Campus houses the athletic programs, the Buhr library storage facility, Institute for Continuing Legal Education, and the Student Theatre Arts Complex, which provides shop and rehearsal space for student theatre groups. Central and North Campuses differ notably in architecture; while the buildings in the former appear rather classical or gothic, the latter has a much more modern architectural look. North and Central Campuses each have unique bell towers which reflect the predominant architectural style of their surroundings.

Ten of the buildings on Central Campus were designed by Detroit-based architect Albert Kahn between 1904 and 1936, while Birmingham, Michigan-based Eero Saarinen created one of the early master plans for North Campus and designed several of its buildings in the 1950s [5] ( The most notable of the Kahn-designed buildings are the prominent Burton Memorial Tower and nearby Hill Auditorium; Saarinen designed the Earl V Moore School of Music Building (


Main article: Athletics at the University of Michigan

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University of Michigan "Block M"

Michigan's sports teams are called the Wolverines, after the state's nickname. They participate in the NCAA's Division I-A and in the Big Ten Conference in all sports except hockey, which competes in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.
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Football Saturday at Michigan's "The Big House".

The Michigan football team won the first Rose Bowl game in 1902, and has won an NCAA-record 842 games through the 2004 season. The football team is the NCAA's all-time winningest program - in both total wins and winning percentage. The team is popular throughout the country. A survey conducted by ESPN showed the Michigan football uniform to be the most popular uniform amongst fans in all of sports. (ESPN ( Michigan's famous football coaches include Fielding Yost, Fritz Crisler and Bo Schembechler. Michigan Stadium is the largest football-only stadium in the world, with an official capacity of 107,501 and with attendance commonly exceeding 110,000. NCAA record-breaking attendance has become commonplace at Michigan Stadium, especially since the arrival of Schembechler in 1969. The University of Michigan has fierce rivalries with many teams, including Michigan State and Notre Dame; however their football rivalry with The Ohio State University is widely considered to be the greatest in all of college athletics, and was called the greatest sports rivalry of all time by ESPN (

The Michigan men's basketball team, which plays at Crisler Arena, and the ice hockey team, which plays at Yost Ice Arena, are also highly-popular teams on campus.

Michigan's women's softball team won the 2005 Division 1 NCAA Softball Championship, defeating two-time defending champion and perennial softball power UCLA. Michigan is the first school east of the Mississippi River to win this title. In six of the past 10 years, Michigan has finished in the top five of the NACDA Director's Cup, a list compiled by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics that charts institutions' overall success in college sports.

Michigan Olympians

Olympic Quick Facts (Michigan in the Olympics (

  • Through the 2004 Summer games in Athens, 178 Michigan students and coaches had participated in the Olympics
  • List of participants ( (Bentley Historical Library)
  • Michigan has had medal winners in every Summer Olympics except 1896 and gold medallists in all but four Olympiads
  • A total of 22 countries, including the United States, have been represented by Michigan athletes
  • A dozen athletes have been three time Olympians and 30 have been two-time Olympians.
    • Total medals won:116
      • 54 gold
      • 27 silver
      • 35 bronze
  • By total medal count, Michigan would constitute the 26th most successful country out of 122
  • By gold medal count, Michigan would constitute the 17th most successful country out of 122 (Sports Illustrated (

Michigan "fight song"

The school "fight song" is The Victors, written by student Louis Elbel in 1898 following a last-minute victory over the University of Chicago that clinched a league championship (lyrics ( The song was declared by John Philip Sousa as "the greatest college fight song ever written." Largely believed to be an original creation, the melody of the fight song is actually the same as the breakup strain from George Rosey's The Spirit of Liberty March, copyrighted earlier in 1898. The alma mater song is The Yellow and Blue (lyrics ( A common rally cry at Michigan football games is "Let's Go Blue!"

Varsity sports teams

Student life

Student government

Housed within the Michigan Union, the Michigan Student Assembly (MSA) is the central student government of the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus. With representatives from each of the University's colleges and schools, the MSA represents the voice of students, and manages student funds on the campus. The Michigan Student Assembly is a member of the state-wide Association of Michigan Universities.

Within each college and school, there are also student governance bodies. These bodies represent the needs of their respective college or school.

The two largest colleges at the University of Michigan are the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LS&A) and the College of Engineering. Students in the LS&A are represented by the LS&A Student Government. The University of Michigan Engineering Council (UMEC) manages student government affairs for the College of Engineering.

Famous alumni and faculty

Main article: List of University of Michigan people

There are over 425,000 living alumni and 4,196 faculty of the University of Michigan. Famous alumni include the first American to peform a space walk, a US President, the "father" of the iPod, the founders of Sun Microsystems and Google, the father of information theory, and the voice of Darth Vader.

In fiction

Literature/Collected stories
  • Ann Arbor in literature ( lists stories in, near, or centered around Ann Arbor and the university
  • Tom Grace's Series with Nolan Kilkenny as sleuth and scientific investigator.

See also


External links

University media


Template:Big Ten Conference Template:Public universities in Michigan Template:University of Michigan campusde:University of Michigan ja:ミシガン大学 zh:密歇根大学


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