THE MICHIGAN DAILY
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PAGE TWO THE MICHIGAN DAILY TTW~fl&V AT1(iT~?3 'fll IflflA
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By MICHAEL HEFFER
The history of the University is
very much the story of the nine
presidents who have guided it'
It took some time for the Uni-
versity to realize it needed strong,
full-time administrators. The first
nan to be called president of the
University, although not counted
in the above nine, was the Rev.
John Monteith. He was appointed
in 1817, before the school was
really a university.
In Monteith's time administra-
tion was taken care of by 13 di-
dactors, or professors, and a pres-
ident and vice-president. There
was no difficulty in choosing
them: Monteith was made presi-
dent andi six didaxiim; another
man was made vice-president and
However, after 1837 and the
move to Ann Arbor, University
problems increased in complexity.
At first they were all handled by
the Regents, without a president.
The only people who could
check on and alter the Regents'
actions were the state governor
and superintendent of public in-
struction, who in 1837 vetoed the
Regents' plans for spending more
than double available University
funds for the first building.
In the following years it be-
came increasingly clear that the
Regents were having difficulties
running everything without ad-
ministrators. For example, when
the faculty discovered the exis-
tence of fraternities and tried to
dissolve them, -the Regents were
divided on the issue and a great
state-wide controversy ensued.
Educators soon realized the po-
sition of president had to be fill-
ed, and a new constitution in 1851
made the hiring of one manda-
In 1852, therefore, Henry Tap-
pan, theologian and educator, be-
came the first University presi-
dent, after a bitter struggle
among members of the Board of
Tappan came to Ann Arbor
with a grand design for the Uni-
versity and must be best remem-
bered for giving the young institu-
tion its first directions. He looked
forward to full programs of both
undergraduate and graduate edu-
During Tappan's administration
the law school and the depart-
ment of civil engineering began.
Tappan was a strong administra-
tor, and this led to great conflicts
with the faculty and Regents.
Unfortunately, Regents then
were elected in a group every six
years, which tended to break con-
tinuity. Those elected in 1858 were
very much against Tappan, and
wanted more power for the Board.
A climax was reached in 1863
when the Regents fired Tappan.
A major reason waskreportedly
the fact that Tappan kept wine in
his cellar and often served it at
dinner. There was a great uproar
over the dismissal, but the deci-
sion held. In later years Regents
expressed regret for the incident.
Today Tappan is remembered
on campus by the old red brick
building which bears his name
and houses the art department.
Tappan's successor was Erastus
Otis Haven, a former University
Haven turned out to be an able
administrator, and unlike Tappan,
retired quietly after six years as
president. Haven Hall is named
With Haven's resignation Latin
Professor Henry Frieze was made
acting president until a new man
could be elected.
He served for two years then,
and later was acting president
twice during the next administra-
tion. While he was acting presi-
dent, women were first allowed to
come to the University. The Frieze
building is named for him.
James Burrill Angell was presi-
lent of the University of Vermont
when he accepted the University
presidency. He served from 1871
The Angell administration saw
many -University firsts. Angell
started out by reminding friends
and alumni that the University
could be great only if it had
enough money. He added that the
University was very dependent on
a state legislature that had not
been very reliable. Donor money
Angell saw the beginning of
baseball and football on campus.
te initiated a full range of elec-
tives to streamline the tedious un-
dergraduate progrom and he in-
troduced the "faculty advisor" to
"bring reason and method to the
fantastic schedules undergradu-
ates dream up for themselves."
When Angell retired he remain-
ed in his house on South Univer-
sity. This has since become the
Angell was succeeded by Harry
B. Hutchins, the first University
graduate to become its president.
Hutchins served as acting presi-
dent several times during the An-
gell administration, and was so
popular he was unanimously elec-
ted president in 1910 by the Re-
Hutchins, former dean of the
Law School, went on speaking
tours to get donor support for the
University. One result of this was
Hill Auditorium, built with funds
donated by an alumnus. Also built
at this time were Natural Science,
i'ost Field House, General Li-
brary, Martha Cook, Helen New-
berry and Betsy Barbour build-
Much of theh Hutchins admin-
istration took place during the
first World War. Even so, atten-
dance almost doubled during his
years. Hutchins Hall is named
In 1920 Marion L. Burton suc-
ceeded Hutchins. Burton was re-
garded as a specialist in expan-
sion, and that became his major
He initiated a program of con-
struction that included Randall
Laboratory, East Medical and
East Engineering buildings. He
traveled to Lansing to ask the Le-
gislature for needed funds and
successfully obtained them.
Later in his administration he
again succeeded in wresting ano-
ther appropriation from the Leg-
islature to construct Angell Hall
in memory of the late president.
Clarence C. Little was elected
president in 1925, after the death
of Burton. He had been president
of the. University of Maine.
Little was concerned with the
methods used by colleges in deal-
ing with students and felt the
individual was being neglected.
He sought to revise the curricu-
lum and establish the practise of
majoring after two years of un-
dergraduate education. That way
each student could take programs
more suited to his individual
One day a reporter asked Little
how he thought the modern gen-
eration could best be "whipped in-
"I don't know," he retorted.
"Birth control, I guess."a
By the time that replpy reach-
ed the public through the news-
papers, Little had been turned in-
to an advocate of birth control
and an uproar ensued.
Little resigned in 1929 to be
succeeded by Alexander Grant
Ruthven, University dean of ad-
ministration. Ruthven set about
Immediately to reorganize the
University's administrative struc-
ture by appointing vice-presidents
to assist him.
University building continued as
the University successfully weath-
ham Hall and the Health Service
Bred the depression years. Rack-
building, Stockwell Hall, East
Quadrangle and other dormitories
were built .during the Ruthven ad-
World War II brought another
change to the University as mili-
tary training programs were es-
tablished to aid the war effort.
After the war enrollment boomed,
increasing to 22,000 as returning
servicemen .took advantage of the
As the century passed the half-
way mark, Ruthven announced
his plans for retirement. He was
replaced by Harlan H. Hatcher,
who had been vice-president of
Ohio State University.
This year and next the Regents
will seek to find a tenth. presi-
dent, someone to meet adminis-
tration problems in the late 1960's
as the other nine managed the
University in their time,
The procedure for choosing a
president has changed in the last
150 years, for this time students
and faculty will have a voice in
the search to find the right man.
Today, buildings from Angell
Hall to Tappan Hall mark the
face of a changing University. To
those who seek to influence the
future they are, reminders of those
who have determined the past.
Henry Tappan became the first University President in 1852.
During the Tappan regime, the law school and department of
civil engineering were begun. After eleven years of strong admin-
istering, Tappan was removed by the Board of Regents..
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The house on South University Avenue has housed University Presidents since Henry Tappan. The house was acquired in 1840; the
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James Burrill Angell was the third president of the University.
uj H [4: h ar hHis administration made many financial and athletic firsts wtih
donor funds and spectator sports on campus.
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