The president and the photographer
As a U-M student, Margaret Bourke-White's interest in photography was encouraged by Professor Alexander Ruthven. She would go on to become a legendary news photographer and he would later become the university's seventh president. Their friendship would last for nearly 50 years.
Feeding the animals
In 1929, an anonymous benefactor paid for the construction of a small zoo behind the Alexander G. Ruthven Museums Building on Washtenaw Avenue. The donor in part hoped the zoo would bring comfort to the children in University Hospital across the street.
U-M's jazz paradise
In 1894, U-M alumnus and regent Levi Lewis Barbour donated a patch of property along Woodward Avenue in Detroit. Eventually, the university sublet the property, leading to the eventual construction of the Graystone Ballroom.
Michigan in Detroit
Close to the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Detroit Public Library in downtown Detroit is U-M's Rackham Educational Memorial. Built in 1941, the building is noteworthy for its reliefs crafted by acclaimed Michigan sculptor Marshall Fredericks.
Gregor "Doc" Nagele was a janitor at the U-M Medical School from 1849-1900. His official duties consisted of ringing the bell to awaken students, however his more important and surreptitious role was to collect cadavers.
The first women's studies course at the University of Michigan, one of the first of its kind in the country, was organized by a group of volunteer female professors in 1971, just as the women's rights movement was sweeping the country.
Alumna Marian Van Tuyl is "perhaps the only Michigan student ever depicted in a permanent piece of campus architecture." Van Tuyl is illustrated in a prominent mural in what was originally a females-only lounge in the Michigan League.
On March 20, 1966, Dexter Township resident Frank Mannor claimed to have investigated a UFO that landed in a swamp near his house. Over the next few weeks, police received hundreds of accounts of mysterious lights. One possible explanation offered by a U-M professor was swamp gas.
Homecoming queen controversy
In 1967, a black U-M student, Opal Bailey, was named homecoming queen in the second year of a relatively new tradition at the university. But the honor was tinged with racial controversy — both that year and the next.
In the spring of 1973, local activists calling themselves Advocates for Medical Information charged that "Obstetrics and Gynecology," a textbook written by the chair of obstetrics and gynecology, J. Robert Willson, was sexist and should be burned.