Old School

  1. April 24, 2017

    The first commencement

     By the time of the university’s first commencement on Aug. 6, 1845, the first days of the entering class must have seemed like ancient history. Enrollment had grown nearly tenfold, to 52 students, with a full complement of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. 

  2. April 17, 2017

    The first freshmen

    Lyman Norris, George Parmelee, Judson Collins, William Wesson, Merchant Goodrich and George Pray can lay claim as the first entering class at the University of Michigan. 

  3. April 10, 2017

    U-M’s Uncle Jimmy

    James Ottley, the University of Michigan’s custodian and “hatman,” was known to scores of U-M students as Uncle Jimmy.

  4. April 3, 2017

    A furry icon in the making

    The pudgy, curious and oftentimes fearless squirrels that roam the Ann Arbor campus have delighted students, faculty, staff and visitors for decades. 

  5. March 27, 2017

    The Wolverine jingle

    Albert Ahronheim, a former Michigan Marching Band drum major and graduate assistant, created a full arrangement for the “Let’s Go Blue” tune-and-cheer, but the history behind the iconic jingle is not as simple as one might predict. 

  6. March 20, 2017

    The origins of ‘Go Blue!’

    History does not paint a clear, definite picture of how “Go Blue” became the rallying cry of University of Michigan Wolverines.

  7. March 13, 2017

    The history of maize and blue

    In the late 1860s, a committee of U-M students charged with choosing the university’s colors recommended that “azure blue and maize” be adopted as the institution’s symbolic colors.

  8. February 20, 2017

    Tappan’s dismissal

    On June 25, 1863, the University of Michigan Board of Regents voted to remove the university’s first president, Henry Philip Tappan, from office.

  9. February 13, 2017

    Targeting Tappan

    Although the University of Michigan’s first president earned the love of students and the respect of many faculty, Henry Philip Tappan also had his fair share of critics.

  10. February 6, 2017

    Charles Horton Cooley and the looking-glass self

    After graduating from U-M in 1887, Charles Horton Cooley earned a master’s degree in economics at U-M and started working at the Interstate Commerce Commission. Henry Carter Adams later hired Cooley to be an instructor in U-M’s economics department.