U-M Heritage

  1. November 22, 2021 Marina Oswald was left a 22-year-old widow with two young children when her husband, Lee Harvey Oswald, was killed after being accused of assassinating President John F. Kennedy. Unable to speak much English but desiring to stay in the United States, Oswald was invited to study at U-M’s English Language Institute.

    The assassin’s widow

    Marina Oswald was left a 22-year-old widow with two young children when her husband, Lee Harvey Oswald, was killed after being accused of assassinating President John F. Kennedy. Unable to speak much English but desiring to stay in the United States, Oswald was invited to study at U-M’s English Language Institute.

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  2. November 15, 2021 In the middle of the 20th century, the architectural crown of U-M's campus was the Law Quadrangle, and the jewel in that crown was the Law Library. A new addition was needed to handle the books, and architect Gunnar Birkerts figured the only way to add space and not interfere with the building's beauty was to go down.

    The law school goes under

    In the middle of the 20th century, the architectural crown of U-M’s campus was the Law Quadrangle, and the jewel in that crown was the Law Library. A new addition was needed to handle the books, and architect Gunnar Birkerts figured the only way to add space and not interfere with the building’s beauty was to go down.

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  3. November 8, 2021 By the thousands and with clockwork precision, Ruth Buchanan wrote to U-M students, faculty, staff and alumni serving in World War II. Whether they were stationed stateside, recuperating in hospitals, or seeing action in Europe and the Pacific, students could expect to hear news about Ann Arbor from Buchanan.

    Dear Aunt Ruth

    By the thousands and with clockwork precision, Ruth Buchanan wrote to U-M students, faculty, staff and alumni serving in World War II. Wherever they were stationed, servicemen and women with ties to U-M could expect news about Ann Arbor from “Aunt Ruth.”

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  4. November 1, 2021 Robert Axelrod, today a professor emeritus in the Ford School of Public Policy and the Department of Political Science, encountered the Prisoner’s Dilemma as a young man in the 1960s. It is the most famous puzzle in the scientific field called game theory, the mathematical analysis of strategic interactions between rivals.

    The Prisoner’s Dilemma

    Robert Axelrod, today a professor emeritus in the Ford School of Public Policy and the Department of Political Science, encountered the Prisoner’s Dilemma as a young man in the 1960s. It is the most famous puzzle in the scientific field called game theory, the mathematical analysis of strategic interactions between rivals.

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  5. October 25, 2021 Already flourishing with students, professors and facilities, U-M was also determined to be the state's agricultural school. It was a headiness that would fuel heated rhetoric and an animated rivalry that continues today between U-M and the school that prevailed as the agricultural school, Michigan State University.

    Seeds of discontent

    Already flourishing with students, professors and facilities, U-M was also determined to be the state’s agricultural school. It was a headiness that would fuel heated rhetoric and an animated rivalry that continues today between U-M and the school that prevailed as the agricultural school, Michigan State University.

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  6. October 18, 2021 With the United States on the brink of war in 1941 and visions of the devastation wrought by the influenza pandemic during the first world war, U-M virologist Tommy Francis was assigned a monumental task. He had to advise the Army on healthy housing and sanitation, treat flu outbreaks and develop a vaccine.

    The first flu shot

    With the United States on the brink of war in 1941 and visions of the devastation wrought by the influenza pandemic during the first world war, U-M virologist Tommy Francis was assigned a monumental task. He had to advise the Army on healthy housing and sanitation, treat flu outbreaks and develop, test, manufacture and administer a vaccine.

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  7. October 11, 2021 Alexander Ruthven and Margaret White

    ‘Our linked lives’

    Alexander Ruthven and Margaret White met as professor and student in 1923. Ruthven became president at U-M, and White became a nationally renowned photographer. Their friendship lasted 50 years.

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  8. October 4, 2021 She was the first tenured professor of astronomy at U-M, officially Michigan's only Homecoming Queen for Life and for many years presided over the coin toss before football games. Professor Hazel Losh — known by most as Doc Losh — just might have been the most popular teacher in the university's history.

    Doc Losh

    She was the first tenured professor of astronomy at U-M, officially Michigan’s only Homecoming Queen for Life and for many years presided over the coin toss before football games. Professor Hazel Losh — known by most as Doc Losh — might have been the most popular teacher in U-M history.

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  9. September 27, 2021 Sarah Burger was 21 years old in 1858 when she prepared a letter saying she and 11 other women desired to enroll at the University of Michigan. Later that year, the regents voted unanimously against women on campus. It would be another 11 years before U-M opened its doors to women. 

    No admittance

    Sarah Burger was 21 years old in 1858 when she prepared a letter saying she and 11 other women desired to enroll at the University of Michigan. Later that year, the regents voted unanimously against women on campus. It would be another 11 years before U-M opened its doors to women. 

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  10. September 20, 2021 Mary Henrietta Graham

    Of splendid ability

    When she stepped foot on the Michigan campus in September 1876, Mary Henrietta Graham became the first Black woman to attend the university. Her senior year, Professor Alexander Winchell published a book claiming Black people were inferior.

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