Three peregrine falcon chicks will be named Mary, Sue and Coleman in honor of U-M’s outgoing president as she takes flight into retirement.
The names were selected from thousands of submissions received through the university’s Facebook page after the community was invited to participate in the online naming contest.
“This is by far the most unique honor in a final year as president that has been so rewarding,” said President Mary Sue Coleman. “It’s great to be a Michigan Wolverine, and it’s also nice to be a falcon, if in name only. They are beautiful birds and it’s an honor to be connected with them this way.”
One Facebook commenter said, “Mary, Sue, and Coleman since they were born as we are saying goodbye to our president!” Another added, “I love Mary, Sue and Coleman.”
The falcons recently hatched in a nesting box atop University Hospital. The young will stay with the adults until about the end of August.
This is the third year the university has hosted an online naming contest for falcon chicks. In 2012, the community selected Bo, Fritz, Lloyd and Yost. The names reference former head football coaches Bo Schembechler, Herbert (Fritz) Crisler, Lloyd Carr and Fielding Yost. In 2013, the falcon chicks were named Blue, (Desmond) Howard, Maize and (Charles) Woodson.
The falcon chicks were banded in late May so they can be tracked by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Coleman will step down as president July 14 and will reside in Ann Arbor with her husband, Ken.