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August 29, 1967 - Image 37

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1967-08-29

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ESDAY, AUGUST 29, 1967

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

TUESDAY, AUGUST 29, 1967 TIlE MICHIGAN DAILY

Saga

of

Catholepistemiad: 150

By STEPHEN WILDSTROM and is still remembered by the
The University of Michigan was maze of streets in downtown

born' out of a confltence . of
dreams in the early 19th century.
First of all, there was the great
dream, the American Dream, the
dream of the Confederation Con-
gress for a vastly expanded coun-
try and an improved Northwest.
Congress took a step toward
realization of this dream in 1787
when the Northwest Ordinance!
was passed, wisely declaring thatj
"schools and the means of edu-
cation shall forever be encour-
aged."
Pioneer settlers in the village of
Detroit also had a dream of cre-
ating an institution of higher ed-
ucation in the Territory of Mich-
igan.
Father Gabriel Richard, a Ro-
man Catholic priest; the Rev.
John Monteith, Michigan's first{

Detroit.
Clearly, a new school in the
West required a new terminology
and Judge Woodward generously
provided it. The school was to be
called the Catholepistemiad of1
Michigan, to be made up of 13
"didaxiim" of professorships with
the "didactor of Cathofepiste-
mia," or universal science, to serve
as president.
Even the local Indian tribes
were caught up in the dream.
They gave the school three sec-
tions of land "because their chil-
dren might want to-go to college."
It seems a shame that until this
year, these founders of the Uni-
versity were all but forgotten by
their dream-child. While later

In 1821. the Catholepistemiad
folded and the territorial govern-
ment created a university in De-
troit as its legal successor. How-
ever, like its predecessor, the uni-
versity never got off the ground
and never offered any college-
level courses.
Finally, in 1837, the University
as we know it -was born in Anp
Arbor with the admission of Mich-
igan into the Union and the es-
tablishment of the Board of Re-
gents.
The new school needed a site
and some enterprising local land
speculators offered two 40-acre
tracts to the Regents. One was in
the gentle hills along the Huron
River, now the site of North Cam-
pus, and the other was a square
of spent farmland just' east of

University builders-Haven, Tap- the tiny settlement. For reasons
pan, Angell--are well-remember- of their own, the Regents chose
ed, no fitting monuments. to the the barren piece that is now the
Rnn nn~nth x~hnhQQQ nna Din

Angell

protestiant m~iinister; and udgeUSK. IV. 1VeiObU, wn.o Inas a ollege g.seven students taught by a faculty In 1871, 42-year-old James Bur-
Augustus Woodward, a man of named after him at Wayne State The perennial financial prob- of two. For a $10 entrance fee, rill Angell became University
fertile mind and fantastic imag- University, Judge Woodward, who lems still plagued the school and these first students were entitled president. He started younger and
ination, were three men who felt is recalled by Detroit's main street, no construction was started until to be awakened every morning served longer than any other
that Michigan should have a pub- or Fr. Richard, who has a park in 1840 when four houses for pro- at 5:30 for compulsory chapel. president and under Angell, the
lic school system. They persuaded Detroit, has ever been erected at fessors were built. One of these a : for cm ry capel, rersit g erm A rther
and badgered the territorial gov- the University. forms the core of the President's In the summer of 1852, an event University grew from a rather
ernment until they received per- For the most part, the Cathole- House on South University, mak- that was to have a lasting effect backwoodsyinstitution intooneof
mission to proceed with their plan. pistemiad remained little more ng that the oldest building on on the development of the Un- the countryxs major universities.
Any project that the good judge than a dream. It was chartered in campus and one of the oldest in versity took place. A distinguished In 1890, the University became
thestatEastern educator, Dr. Henry Philip the largest school in the United
undertook bore the clear stamp 1817 but was constantly on the e se.Tappan, became president. Tap- States with 2,692 students. Until
of his highly original mind. He verge of bankruptcy. It held very It was 1841 when the University panbecame president stdes.rUntil
laid out the first street plan for few classes of any sort and never of Michigan finally got down to mitment to the Prussian system of a sort of super-professor. Angell
Detroit - strongly influenced by offered any courses on the college the business of educating stu- education, a system dedicated to made the job a purely adminis-
L'Enfant's plan for Washington-- level, dents. The first class consisted of ections andysemrdhdaterhtatejo a.dpuheUnisy
lectures and research rather' than trative function and the University
the English system of tutorials entered into a period of great
:.;:. ...::: and residential colleges. growth. During Anell's 34-year
Tappan was convinc th tre- tenure, theUniversity firs
..................................................<"'' ' search was a vital part of a uni- achieved a formidable reputation
::.t ::}x. ;.:.. ...". ? , f, ' .v: ..::.# versity, largely a new concept- in for academic excellence.
'.5}::=-.._.:?:::: -:?:..... . ?}::.. }:.. Michigan. He also abolished the Also in 1890, a group of dissi-
:::<>rsidntil rrangements that had dent non-fraternity men left the
been in effect since 1841 and stu- staff of the student newspaper,
r k dents were given their introduc- The University Chronicle, and in-
tion to Ann Arbor landlords. itiated a new, sports oriented
-.The 19th eintry wa largely paper, The Michigan Daily.

a period of quiet, steady growth
for the University. The major con-
troversy was a long-running feud
between the Legislature and the
University over the teaching of
homeopathy, a long extinct form
of medical. practice. The Legisla-
ture insisted that that a chair
of homeopathy be established in
the medical school and the Uni-
versity, ignoring annual threats of
being cut off without a penny,
steadfastly refused. The chair
never was established.
Although political protests were
virtually unheard of until World
War I, the students were not
really a passive lot. Their favorite
stunt was crashing the gates of
any circus that dared to come to
town and raising as much hell as
they could get away with.

Early 'U' Building on the Newly-Opened Ann Arbor Campus

__ __ _ _ __

7Te /of 1QSx

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