January 9, 2017
Old school: U-M in History
U-M's third president, James Burrill Angell, was born Jan. 7, 1829. (Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library)
This month in history (188 years ago)
James Burrill Angell, the third University of Michigan president, was born Jan. 7, 1829, in Rhode Island. Known as "Prexy" to students, he served as U-M's president from 1871 to 1909. Before that, he served as the president of the University of Vermont. During his tenure at U-M, the university grew from three departments to seven and the number of faculty increased from 35 to about 250. Student enrollment also grew by the thousands during his presidency. Angell altered the curriculum, transitioning the system from one where students took the same courses to a new version in which electives were emphasized. During his time at U-M, Angell helped establish the university as a place where students from households of various means could receive a top-notch education. He also made several notable, influential hires, including the philosopher John Dewey and the economist Henry Carter Adams. The former president died at the age of 87 in 1916.
— from the U-M Office of the President; "Who was James Angell?" July 29, 2013, Michigan Today; and "Death of an Angell," March 25, 2016, Michigan Today