U-M Heritage

  1. June 20, 2022 When he was 86 years old, Forman Brown walked into a gay bookstore in Los Angeles and asked a manager if the shop carried "Better Angel." The manager handed Brown a copy of the novel. The book was well done, he told Brown, and quite popular. “I think you’ll like it.” “I’m sure I shall,” Brown replied. “You see, I wrote it.”

    Blue angel

    When he was 86 years old, Forman Brown walked into a gay bookstore in Los Angeles and asked a manager if the shop carried “Better Angel.” The manager handed Brown a copy of the novel. The book was well done, he told Brown, and quite popular. “I think you’ll like it.” “I’m sure I shall,” Brown replied. “You see, I wrote it.”

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  2. June 6, 2022 Robert H. Stacy wrote to U-M President Alexander G. Ruthven that he was being falsely accused of setting the fire that destroyed Haven Hall on June 6, 1950, and felt that his life’s goal of becoming a college professor was “all but destroyed.” Stacy would be proven wrong on both counts.

    The arsonist was a scholar

    Robert H. Stacy wrote to U-M President Alexander G. Ruthven that he was being falsely accused of setting the fire that destroyed Haven Hall on June 6, 1950, and felt that his life’s goal of becoming a college professor was “all but destroyed.” Stacy would be proven wrong on both counts.

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  3. May 23, 2022 Right around Christmas 1950, a string of hold-ups were reported around Detroit. The culprit turned out to be 20-year-old James Minder, a very bright undergraduate in LSA. Over the course of several years and repeated arrests, the university gave Minder several opportunities to redeem himself, to no avail.

    The robber’s third chance

    Right around Christmas 1950, a string of hold-ups was reported around Detroit. The culprit turned out to be 20-year-old James Minder, a very bright undergraduate in LSA. Over the course of several years and repeated arrests, the university gave Minder several opportunities to redeem himself, to no avail.

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  4. May 2, 2022 Since its founding, the mid-year social event that became known as the Junior Hop, then simply and universally as J-Hop, had swelled into a glittering three-day-and-night festival. But nearly a century later in 1960, the future of the event was up the Student Government Council, who had a lot of history to consider.

    J-Hop’s rise and fall

    Since its founding, the mid-year social event that became known as the Junior Hop, then simply and universally as J-Hop, had swelled into a glittering three-day-and-night festival. Nearly a century later in 1960, the future of the event was up the Student Government Council, which had a lot of history to consider.

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  5. April 25, 2022 The Ann Arbor campus was barely 20 years old when Andrew Dickson White first saw it. He arrived from Yale in October 1857 to teach history and English literature. He was less than impressed with the look of the campus upon which sat the buildings dedicated to learning. The place needed trees, and he went to work.

    Professor White’s Diag

    The Ann Arbor campus was barely 20 years old when Andrew Dickson White first saw it. He arrived from Yale in October 1857 to teach history and English literature. He was less than impressed with the look of the campus upon which sat the buildings dedicated to learning. The place needed trees, and he went to work.

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  6. April 18, 2022 For a few days in March 1970, U-M hosted what may have been the most important single event in its history, an event that pushed on the wheel of history and launched the modern movement to save the planet from environmental disaster. It changed lives, especially the lives of the organizers.

    Earth Day eve

    For a few days in March 1970, U-M hosted what may have been the most important single event in its history, an event that pushed on the wheel of history and launched the modern movement to save the planet from environmental disaster. It changed lives, especially the lives of the organizers.

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  7. April 11, 2022 When Professor Edward Campbell lost his sight in an 1892 laboratory accident, only a tiny minority of blind adults in the nation was self-supporting. The most potent antidote given to the newly blind Campbell was the encouragement of his family, friends and students. The pursuit of science would continue to be his calling.

    Blinded by science

    When Professor Edward Campbell lost his sight in an 1892 laboratory accident, only a tiny minority of blind adults in the nation was self-supporting. The most potent antidote given to the newly blind Campbell was the encouragement of his family, friends and students. The pursuit of science would continue to be his calling.

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  8. April 4, 2022 Avery Hopwood was a gay Midwesterner with a superb sense of humor who, in the span of a few months in 1905, wrote his first play, graduated from U-M and sold the play to a Broadway production company for an advance against royalties of $250. This combination of quick effort and quick reward set the pattern of his life.

    Carpenter in the Dream Factory

    Avery Hopwood was a gay Midwesterner with a superb sense of humor who, in the span of a few months in 1905, wrote his first play, graduated from U-M and sold the play to a Broadway production company for an advance against royalties of $250. This combination of quick effort and quick reward set the pattern of his life.

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  9. March 28, 2022 On a Friday morning on the U-M campus in February 1925, eight young men made their way into the President’s House to accept a solemn invitation. They would do something none had done in the history of the university: lift a casket to their shoulders and carry away the body of U-M president Marion Leroy Burton.

    Death of a president

    On a Friday morning on the U-M campus in February 1925, eight young men made their way into the President’s House to accept a solemn invitation. They would do something none had done in the history of the university: lift a casket to their shoulders and carry away the body of U-M president Marion Leroy Burton.

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  10. March 21, 2022 U-M scientist Elzada Clover and her graduate assistant, Lois Jotter, made history in 1938 by becoming the first known women to navigate the Colorado River. The historic trip down 40 miles of treacherous rapids to discover new specimens to elevate U-M’s botanical gardens garnered national media attention.

    River rat

    U-M scientist Elzada Clover and her graduate assistant, Lois Jotter, made history in 1938 by becoming the first known women to navigate the Colorado River. The historic trip down 40 miles of treacherous rapids to discover new specimens to elevate U-M’s botanical gardens garnered national media attention.

    Read a summary of this story