Old School

  1. April 9, 2018

    Feminine ideal

    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.

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  2. April 2, 2018

    Flying saucers?

    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.

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  3. March 26, 2018

    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.

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  4. March 19, 2018

    Book burning

     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.

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  5. March 12, 2018

    Elizabeth Crosby

    One of the early pioneers of anatomy and neuroscience, Elizabeth C. Crosby, was the first female faculty member to receive the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award and to be named the Henry Russel Lecturer.

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  6. March 5, 2018

    Aunt Ruth

    During World War II, Ruth Buchanan, a receptionist at the Exhibit Museum, had an unofficial second job: writing tens of thousands letters and cards to U-M students, faculty, staff and alumni serving in the war.

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  7. February 19, 2018

    Freedom Writer

    Heralded as “one of the most important studies ever made of the rise and fall of chattel slavery in the United States,” U-M historian Dwight Lowell Dumond’s progressive “Antislavery: The Crusade for Freedom in America” made waves in 1961 for speaking candidly about slavery.

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  8. February 12, 2018

    Negro-Caucasian Club

    Formed in 1925, the Negro-Caucasian Club was inspired after a pair of friends, one black and one white, were deliberately given dirty dishes instead of service at a local restaurant.

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  9. February 5, 2018

    Old School: Unicorn in the Garden

    On the morning of April 27, 1954, University of Michigan students reported numerous sightings of a unicorn in the central courtyard of the Law Quad.

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  10. January 29, 2018

    Cap Night

    In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, an early June ritual known as Cap Night saw U-M freshmen toss their distinctive gray caps into a bonfire in the area then known as Sleepy Hollow.

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