Old School

  1. August 13, 2018

    Angell’s diplomatic journey to China

    U-M President James Burrill Angell once played a crucial role in negotiating two treaties with China — an immigration treaty at the behest of the U.S. government, and a second trade treaty drafted by the Chinese, which in part enacted an absolute ban on Chinese-American commerce in opium.

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  2. July 23, 2018

    Failed predictions

    Despite perceptions in the media, Albert Porta, a civil engineering professor who developed a weather and earthquake forecasting service never served on the U-M faculty, but a U-M professor and The Michigan Daily ultimately cast doubt on his cataclysmic predictions.

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  3. July 2, 2018

    After loss, a medical journey begins

    The Thomas Henry Simpson Memorial Institute for Medical Research on Observatory Street was the result of a $400,000 bequest by Christine Simpson of Detroit to aid the study of pernicious anemia.

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  4. June 25, 2018

    The legendary ‘Cat Hole’

    Along Washtenaw Avenue toward the sharp bend into Huron Street is the site of a long-lost Ann Arbor landmark known to generations of Michigan students and staff as the Cat Hole. The origins of its name are varied and uncertain, but in U-M’s earlier years it was a popular place to throw things.

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  5. June 11, 2018

    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.

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  6. May 21, 2018

    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.

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  7. May 7, 2018

    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.

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  8. April 30, 2018

    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.

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  9. April 23, 2018

    Cadaver collector

    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.

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  10. April 16, 2018

    Women’s Studies

    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.

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