All Stories

84 Stories

Filter By Category:

Filter by Time Period:

Clear All
  1. “These Young Americans”

    When Japanese Americans were willing to wash dishes and stock shelves, the University opened its doors. When they applied as students, the doors closed.
    When Japanese Americans were willing to wash dishes and stock shelves, the University opened its doors. When they applied as students, the doors closed.
  2. The Campus that Never Was

    Truly a magnificent design.
    – John D. Pierce, state superintendent of education
    In 1838, a brilliant architect designed a campus for Michigan. It was never built.
  3. How the Net Was Won

    Most people today don’t know that the heart of the internet was once on North Campus.
    – Craig Labovitz, Merit engineer
    Credit a relatively obscure Ann Arbor-based group with building -- and ultimately saving -- the Internet.
  4. A Sub Goes Missing

    It was like hearing the facts of life for the first time.
    – Alumnus Charlie Canby
    As the Cold War raged, the CIA launched an undercover operation to recover a lost Soviet nuclear submarine -- with U-M engineers in tow.
  5. A Cabin in the Woods

    Allow this place to be your haven.
    – U-M Biological Station student
    Rustic tin shacks at the U-M Biological Station hold a century's worth of student signatures and messages.
  6. How the Michigan Union Came to Be

    The new building is to be the place where the average student can get something of that extra-curriculum training which counts for so much.
    – U-M Alumni Association
    A late-night idea in the mind of one undergraduate was the seed of Michigan's landmark Michigan Union.
  7. Kelly Johnson to the Rescue

    Just give me the specs!
    – Clarence "Kelly" Johnson
    As German jet fighters menaced the skies over Europe in the thick of World War II, Army brass turned to a U-M engineer to thwart the Nazi threat.
  8. Invitation to a Nazi

    Should he be allowed to use a University facility to shout his diatribe?
    – U-M student Lloyd Graff
    George Lincoln Rockwell’s appearance at Michigan became a classic battle in microcosm over the proper role of the First Amendment on a college campus.
  9. “The Dignity of Man”

    All of us will have to change our way of thinking much more drastically than we have had in the past.
    – Paul B. Cornely
    Dr. Paul Cornely devoted his career to improving health care for African Americans.
  10. The First Teach-In

    The American people were silently, disinterestedly accepting this eerie atrocity.
    – Jack Rothman, professor of social work
    The Vietnam Teach-In of 1965 signaled times to come, when faculty would step out from behind the lectern to declare war on the social and political status quo.
  11. The Fraternity War

    Our crazy faculty … seem determined to annihilate every secret society in College.
    – Alpha Delta Phi member
    The founding of fraternities pitted students and citizens against faculty upset about the distraction of secret societies.
  12. No Laughing Matter

    There is enough ill-feeling and racial hatred and misunderstanding abroad the world over without deliberately setting out to create any more.
    – Hsiao Chuan Chang, graduate student
    Chinese students found nothing funny about how a campus comedy portrayed their homeland and religion.
  13. The Assassin’s Widow

    I’m just like everybody else, and I’ve had more than enough.
    – Marina Oswald
    Marina Oswald was an unlikely but welcomed Michigan student.
  14. “Of Splendid Ability”

    She will be the first colored lady that enters the institution.
    – Ann Arbor Courier, 1876
    Mary Henrietta Graham was the first Black woman admitted to Michigan.
  15. Picture Perfect

    It is a view looking west ... and the picture is now considered very valuable.
    – Ann Arbor Courier
    How an artist saw a young campus that aspired to be “decidedly superior” to others.
  16. Man’s Best Friend

    I retain his photograph and I never look at it without experiencing in my heart a gush of tenderness.
    – President Henry Philip Tappan
    U-M's first president had lifelong affection for his beloved mastiff, Leo.
  17. The Fake News About James Neel

    Almost anywhere we scratched the surface, a tangle of funhouse falsity would erupt through.
    – John Tooby
    A cautionary tale of what happens when the appetite for outrage overcomes the search for truth.
  18. Madelon’s World

    Memory ... does not reveal a time when I did not long to attend at some time our state university.
    – Madelon Stockwell
    U-M's first woman student came to campus alone, and lived much of her life the same way.
  19. The Scientist of Peace

    The global village remains in great jeopardy.
    – Professor J. David Singer
    A Michigan scholar's quest for peace through the study of war.
  20. Tom Harmon is Missing

    I live in the hope that he is down and all right.
    – Fritz Crisler
    Michigan's greatest football player faced death after twice being shot down in World War II.
  21. The First Flu Shot

    Incontrovertible evidence is now available that the resistance of man to infection by the viruses of influenza A and B can be enhanced.
    – Tommy Francis and Jonas Salk
    As World War II loomed, the military turned to U-M experts to fight a deadly enemy: Influenza
  22. No Admittance

    This University has been organized and established for the education of young men ... to adapt it to the education of both sexes would require a complete revolution.
    – Regent Donald McIntyre
    When women tried to enter the University of Michigan in 1858, the all-male Board of Regents slammed the door shut "for the sake of the young ladies themselves."
  23. The Prisoner’s Dilemma

    The Prisoner's Dilemma captured the essence of the tension between doing what is good for the individual and what is good for everyone.
    – Robert Axelrod
    How a U-M social scientist used the most famous puzzle in game theory to help make sense of human behavior.
  24. Blue Angel

    We go around the world like a lot of sorry ghosts, being forever ashamed of a thing we’ve no reason to be ashamed of.
    – Kurt Gray, from “Better Angel”
    After coming out at 86, alumnus Forman Brown revealed he was the author of a groundbreaking novel about being young and gay at U-M.
  25. The Michigan Scientist Who Was Arrowsmith

    It gives me joy to inform you that Paul De Kruif is perfection.
    – Sinclair Lewis
    Inspired by Sinclair Lewis, Paul De Kruif used the tools of a novelist to tell true stories of science.
  26. In the Face of Fascists

    Perhaps we are wrong, but, up to this point, I cannot believe it. If so, we are innocent offenders.
    – President Alexander G. Ruthven
    Was it right for U-M to join an academic celebration hosted by a university under Nazi control?
  27. 150 Years at the Hospital

    From 20 beds in a converted house to a nationally recognized system of care.
    From 20 beds in a converted house to a nationally recognized system of care.
  28. The Law School Goes Under

    I began to realize that the only way was ‘down.'
    – Gunnar Birkerts, architect
    How the Law Quad went down rather than up for a much-needed library.
  29. The Arsonist Was a Scholar

    He was at worst emotionally unstable. He was sort of a ‘lone duck,’ living all by himself.
    – Warren E. Blake, classical studies professor
    After burning down a campus building, an alumnus began life anew at another university.
  30. The Campus at War

    You must determine what you can do best.
    – President Alexander G. Ruthven
    As World War II raged around the world, the U-M homefront became a very different place.
  31. Dr. Joy’s Undoing

    I regret exceedingly, and as much as one can regret, the whole of this unfortunate business, and I have done everything in my power to undo it.
    – Dr. Douglas A. Joy
    His story is an all but forgotten academic showdown that reached the highest levels of the University and, for a moment, threatened U-M's reputation.
  32. Women Apart

    The recent tendency to formalize social life at Michigan … strikes me as under-cutting the intellectual aspect of co-education.
    – Alumna Ruth Weeks
    Where the first women students had once mixed freely with men, their successors lived in a tightly supervised and segregated sphere.
  33. Carpenter in the Dream Factory

    People love a touch of the risqué just as they love a cocktail before dinner.
    – Avery Hopwood
    The playwright Avery Hopwood led a life of worldly riches and inner despair.
  34. Death of a President

    The never-ending question is, ‘How is President Burton?’
    – The Michigan Daily
    Marion Burton's demise generated an outpouring that is hard to envision today.
  35. J-Hop’s Rise and Fall

    There is a band playing no matter what anyone tells you and if you don’t believe it just go up to the hospital and ask someone who got there early and saw it before the crush of the crowd got them.
    – Student Roy Heath
    For generations of students, J-Hop occupied a pedestal in Michigan tradition just one level lower than football itself.
  36. The May Festival Rising

    There are not too many hours of spiritual twilight in this busy age. The Festival supplies one such space for refreshment; an hour for reflection ...
    – Anonymous U-M student
    An orchestra cancellation in 1894 gave birth to one of Ann Arbor's greatest musical traditions.
  37. Angell, China and Opium

    The opium trade ... was the most long-continued systematic international crime of modern times.
    – John King Fairbank
    How an immigration crisis of the 1880s led to a blow against the first global drug trade.
  38. Professor Porta’s Predictions

    It will be a gigantic explosion of flaming gases, leaping hundreds of thousands of miles into space.
    – Albert F. Porta
    In 1919, a University astronomer forecast devastating storms that would rock the globe. Or did he?
  39. ‘Our Linked Lives’

    Margaret Bourke-White and Alexander Ruthven shared a deep friendship - and a terrible illness.
    On the lifelong bond between Margaret Bourke-White and a U-M president.
  40. Birds in the Library

    John James Audubon showed birds as they seemed in life, frenetic or graceful, stealthy or soaring.
    To have a great library, the fledgling University of Michigan needed a great book.
  41. Me Too, Circa 1970

    At Michigan, I have had a claustrophobic sense of living in a man's world.
    – Mary Maples Dunn, visiting professor of history
    The tale of a few women who overturned a century of male preference at Michigan.
  42. Professor Ford

    It would give immense satisfaction to both faculty and students of the University to have you as one of our colleagues.
    – President Robben W. Fleming
    In the spring of 1977, hundreds of U-M students faced a new faculty member: Gerald R. Ford, adjunct professor of political science and 38th president of the United States.
  43. The Robber’s Third Chance

    When the facts warrant, [we] take a calculated risk — to give a young man or a young woman an opportunity to redeem himself.
    – Associate Dean James Robertson
    What happened when Michigan took a chance on a three-time loser.
  44. Backstage at the Graystone

    The most beautiful ballroom in the middle west if not all the land.
    – Graystone Topics newsletter
    A UM-owned club that drew Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong and Jimmy Dorsey also collected bad debt, lawsuits and shady characters.
  45. War Over Words

    He dared to criticize the dictionary and its editor.
    – Michael Adams
    How an arrogant prig's passion saved one of Michigan's greatest achievements.
  46. Mysteries at Michigan

    Even by day, the Library felt like a dark, dense warren inhabited by nocturnal creatures.
    – From "Maze" (1982), by A.H. Garnet
    Ever hear of the Michigan law prof who was baked to death?
  47. Lost Star

    "I can’t banish the feeling that there is a serious deficiency of academic freedom..."
    – Lawrence Klein
    How Michigan drove away one of its greatest minds.
  48. The Vanishing of Schoolgirls’ Glen

    It should be kept so that it might become a haven of quiet one hundred years from now.
    – Alexander Ruthven
    How human heedlessness compromised a lovely slice of Nichols Arboretum.
  49. The First Freshmen

    “The course of education to be pursued will be of the most liberal kind.”
    Six young, white males, all from southeastern Michigan and all with family roots reaching to the Northeast, can lay claim as the entering class at the University of Michigan.
  50. Rhapsodies in Blue

    Resolved, That Azure Blue and Maize be adopted as the emblematic colors of the University of Michigan.
    – Student resolution, 1867
    Michigan's love affair with the color blue has been long and complicated.
  51. Tappan’s End

    ... He is hereby removed from the offices of President of the University of Michigan and Professor of Philosophy therein.
    – U-M Board of Regents
    Michigan's visionary first president was brought down by editors, teetotalers, professors, regents...and his own arrogance.
  52. Michigan in the Making

    "You have the men to talk to."
    – Henry Carter Adams to James Angell, 1882
    Four innovative minds in the social sciences made Michigan a leader in American education.
  53. The Negro-Caucasian Club

    The colored were not part and parcel of the school.
    – Joseph Leon Langhorne
    In the 1920s, black and white students formed an association to promote interracial understanding—but the University resisted.
  54. When Heads Rolled

    ...let the gargoyles stand headless.
    – William Wilson Cook
    First a clash of egos, then an order: "Off with their heads!"
  55. First in Class

    There’s an advantage to standing out as an individual, because if you’re liked, you’ll probably be remembered.
    – Orval “Val” Johnson, Class of 1949
    In the race of his life, Michigan senior Val Johnson made history as a Black student.
  56. The Great Rush

    As fast as a man is pushed over and falls, he arises and puts his breast to the solid wall of human beings and shoves.
    – A spectator at the Great Rush of 1872
    In 1872, the Medics met the Lits in a classic example of the warfare known as "the rush."
  57. Campus Characters

    Ann Arbor is nothing but a playhouse for me.
    – Shakey Jake Woods
    Since long before Shakey Jake, distinctive figures have put their stamp on Michigan.
  58. Vulcan’s Muddy Light

    Our astronomer has inscribed his name with those of Galileo, and Herschel and Le Verrier, on tablets which must endure as long as man shall continue to gaze upon the heavens.
    – Henry Simmons Frieze
    James Craig Watson was certain he had discovered Vulcan, a mysterious planet believed to hover between Mercury and the sun.
  59. The War of 1817

    Hell’s bells, 1837 isn't a date! It's a disease – an obsession… an incurable mania.
    – Judge Samuel Spill
    A battle over U-M's founding date added 20 years to the University's life.
  60. Doctor Dock

    If we only heard loud sounds we would not have to take the trouble to listen carefully. You can’t expect your patients to go around with sirens on them.
    – Dr. George Dock, teaching the proper use of a stethoscope
    Michigan's first full-time professor of medicine was one of its greatest.
  61. Earth Day Eve

    We never in our wildest imagination conceived at the outset how big it was going to be.
    – Doug Scott
    How a handful of Michigan grad students launched the modern movement to save the Earth.
  62. Just Nuts

    Why, it’s some of my oldest friends – always ready to help when everything goes wrong – the squirrels in the trees.
    – Student Jim Barbour, a Michigan Union Opera character
    The ubiquitous squirrel and its timeless hold on the campus imagination.
  63. Doc Losh

    You can’t just have astronomy all the time.
    – Professor Hazel M. Losh
    A pioneer woman astronomer reigned for decades as Michigan’s superfan.
  64. Blinded By Science

    I cannot idly pick up a book and glance through it. Nor can I sit and look out the window. I must spend my time in reflection.
    – Edward De Mille Campbell
    A story of one professor's fate and focus.
  65. Two Against Football

    [A new stadium] will be a permanent concession, set in concrete for years to come, to the notion that college is nothing more than a Roman holiday.
    – Neil Staebler
    In 1925, two lonely rebels said no to the formidable Fielding Yost—a contest of ideas that still echoes today.
  66. The Gift of Vision

    Some of the Ottawa, Chippewa, and Potawatomy tribes … believing they may wish some of their children hereafter educated, do grant to … the college at Detroit, for the use of the said college …
    – Treaty of Fort Meigs, 1817
    Early donors of land, artwork, scientific specimens and books gave the University its physical and intellectual foundation.
  67. Professor White’s Diag

    Without permission from anyone, I began planting trees.
    – Andrew Dickson White
    The unauthorized project that created the campus as we know it.
  68. “Lonely As Hell”

    The reality was so massive that all a person of good will could do was make token gestures.
    – Willis Ward
    In a forgotten series of interviews, Black Michigan athletes of the past recalled times when racial lines in sports were firm—then faded.
  69. A Different Diag

    We can only imagine now how much more beautiful the campus might have been...
    – Wilfred Shaw
    If not for the influence of eager land developers, Michigan's campus might have looked out over the Huron River.
  70. The Lost Campus

    My memories of the place are sweet, and so many things that formed those memories have been altered.
    – Arthur Miller (LSA, 1938)
    The campus is haunted by landmarks, vistas and views now buried under the avalanche of time.
  71. Depression Generation

    My generation learned to look at things as they were, not as they were supposed to be.
    – Edmund Love
    What was it like to go through Michigan in the desperate years of the Great Depression?
  72. River Rat

    Each moment might easily have been our last, but fortunately we were too busy to meditate upon our imminent untimely end.
    – Professor Elzada Clover, 1938
    When a pioneering botany professor set out to explore specimens along the Colorado River, she made discoveries of a different sort.
  73. The End of ‘Hours’

    We know a great deal more about methods of injecting information into students than we do about how to make them civilized human beings.
    – U-M President Robben Fleming, 1968
    In 1967-68, the rules of sex-segregated dorm life came tumbling down, and students entered a new era of freedom.
  74. Madonna Slept Here

    There are other places, surely, for other people, but for me there is one place, Ann Arbor, for there it was I discovered what life’s bright possibilities were.
    – William Shawn, editor of The New Yorker
    Today’s dorm room was yesterday’s home for James Earl Jones, Gilda Radner, Sanjay Gupta and other notable alumni. A tour of campus housing points out who lived where before achieving fame.
  75. Wallenberg at Michigan

    My school work has, on the whole, paid off not only when it comes to grades, because that isn’t too important, but because I really feel that I’ve learned something.
    – Raoul Wallenberg
    Before rescuing thousands of Jews during World War II, Raoul Wallenberg learned and grew at Michigan. No other individual has been credited with saving so many from extinction.
  76. Revelli: The Long Note

    You are not a conductor of bands, you’re a conductor of people.
    – William D. Revelli
    William D. Revelli did more than transform the Michigan Marching Band. His unyielding drive for perfection changed conducting, performing and music education across the country.
  77. “Our Brilliant Miss Sheldon”

    I knew in that moment that my hour had come.
    – Mary Downing Sheldon
    A star student in Michigan's first generation of women searches for her calling and comes of age in the "dangerous experiment" of coeducation.
  78. Dear Aunt Ruth

    People just don't realize how serious this thing really is. I certainly didn't until I came face to face with the realities here.
    – Arlie D. Reagan, U.S. Navy, Aug. 15, 1943
    Ruth Bacon Buchanan corresponded with thousands of Michigan students who went off to war. Her archive is extraordinary documentation of lives anchored at U-M in the midst of the world crisis.
  79. Such Horrible Business

    Anatomy… familiarizes the heart to a kind of necessary inhumanity.
    – William Hunter, Scottish anatomist
    The study of anatomy demands human specimens, but public opinion recoiled. The result was a steady commerce in cadavers, better known as grave-robbing.
  80. The First Women

    [Professor Sewall] called my name three times, yet I could not muster enough courage to answer.
    – Ella Kyes, 1924
    A 1924 survey of Michigan's early "co-eds" reveals what life was like for a generation of pioneers.
  81. Seeds of Discontent

    We have established and will carry on an Agricultural Department for those who intend to devote themselves particularly to Agriculture.
    – Henry Philip Tappan
    U-M's rivalry with Michigan State grew out of a battle—intellectual as well as political—over the future of the state's economy. In the end, all students were the winners.
  82. The Warrior Scholar

    One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.
    – George Orwell
    How a tough son of the Bronx grew up to fight for the rights of the accused.
  83. The 1913 Lectern

    Could the Class of 1913 have known the voices of influence, controversy and power that would one day stand at this very lectern?
    Through a century, the beautifully carved gift of the Class of 1913 has symbolized the University's role as a democratic forum, a place where society's challenges are debated and struggled over.
  84. “A Creation of My Own”

    I cannot speak of the Observatory without emotion. No one will deny that it was a creation of my own.
    – Henry Philip Tappan
    Michigan's founding president fights a demagogue in pursuit of a new kind of university.