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September 06, 1979 - Image 107

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-09-06

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 6, 1979-Page F-7i

'U' matures during 162 years of educating
and picks up football and prestige on the way

Regents decide to increase fees in all
-headline from the Daily,
Jan. 27,1923
Some things never change, or so it
may seem.
But things have changed around the
University in the last 162 years. The on-
ce-sprawling landscape is now enclosed
by buildings. Much has grown and ex-
panded from the days when the Univer-
sity was just getting off the.ground.
BACK IN 1817, three men-a judge, a
Catholic priest, and a protestant
clergyman-in the half-French town of
Detroit had many ideas about higher
educations They felt a university should
not only teach the classical curriculum
of the Eastern schools, but should also
emphasize science and economics. This
university should not be an isolated
tower of learning, but the head of a
statewide system of education, and it
ought to be supported by public
'Patterned after these ideas, the
University of Michigan was established
in October of that year, but it wasn't un-
til 1841 that the college was ready to
start offering courses. The seven
students were required to take a
"backbreaking" curriculum that in-
cluded rhetoric, grammar, Latin,
Greek, algebra, geometry and natural
sIn the first days of the University, the
student body lived and attended classes
irh an earlier Mason Hall. Paying $7.50
pgr term for room (they ate at boarding
houses in town), the students were
awakended every morning at 5 a.m.
and were required to be "on campus"
b9 p.m., when most went to bed.
;THE FIRST admission requirements
dictated that a student pass certain
proficiency levels in_ mathematics,
geography, Latin, and Greek, be able to
ppy the $10.00 entrance fee, and "fur-
nish satisfactory testimonials of good
moral character."
As the enrollment increased, the
Greek fraternity system was slowly in-
tUoduced. Beta Theta Pi, establishing a
chapter at the Univesity in 1845, was the
first of a number of fraternity houses on
Although the new university could be
termed "successful," it had already
experienced a number of problems by
1951 that would appear again and again
i its history. Author Howard H.

Peckham, in The Making of the Univer-
sity of Michigan summed up these
problems: 1) political medling by the
state legislature, 2) financial squeezing
until a crisis is reached, 3) intrusion
from the Board of Regents on matters
that should be of faculty concern, 4)
factionalism among the faculty, 5)
rowdy or lawless student behavior out-
side of class, and 6) irritations between
Ann Arbor and the University.
The concept that a professor should
engage in research in addition to
teaching originated in the mid-19th cen-
tury when Henry Tappan became
president of the University.
KNOWN EARLY as a liberal in-
stitution, the University admitted two
blacks in 1868, three years after the
Civil War, not even recording that they
were black. It wasn't until 1870,
however, that women were admitted,
and even then it was with some reluc-
tance. The Medical School insisted it
would have to offer segregated lec-
The first student newspaper, The
University Chronicle, began in 1867.
The Chronicle came out biweekly until
a new student newspaper, The
Michigan Daily, was published in 1889.
By the turn of the century the Daily was
the largest student newspaper in the
The advent of organized athletics at
Michigan gave birth to the Michigan
football team in 1878. An earlier attem-
pt to challenge another school at the
game had failed in 1873, when Univer-
sity President James Angell said, "I
will not permit thirty men to travel four.
hundred miles merely to agitate a bag
of wind."
AT THE beginning of the twentieth
century, a very important change oc-
curred in the grading structure. Up un-
til 1907, a student either was "passed,"
"not passed," or "conditioned."
Gradually, with the founding of a Phi
Beta Kappa honorary society, the A to
E evaluation system was established.
The years before World War I were
generally quiet, with the exception of
an incident that occurred in 1908. The
manger of the Star Theater in Ann Ar-
bor announced that he did not care for
student patronage. The next night, ar-
med with vegetables, eggs, and bricks,
about a thousand students stormed the
theater. They threw their ammunition
at the walls and tore up the seats.
Charges were dropped once the student

Daily Photo by LISA UDELSON
THE TOP DRAWING of the Diag area was made in the first decade of this motive building was located near the present location of the Undergraduate
century. Several of the buildings, such as the Art Museum and Tappan Hall, are Library. The building directly to the left of the art museum in the drawing was
still standing today, as seen in the above photograph. But many, including the used for language classes. To the left of that edifice is what is now called Angell
automotive engineering building shown below, have been demolished. The auto- Hall.

body paid $1,000 in damages, and
Angell never mentioned the incident.
School spirit was high in the early
1900's and classes were close-knit.
Today a class of engineers from 1914
still reunites on a regular basis.
THE UNIVERSITY had always con-
sidered drinking a problem among
students, but apparently prohibition
fever swept the University about the
same time a state amendment was up
for adoption. A poll taken in 1916 among
students indicated that almost 80 per
cent of the students favored prohibition.
The twenties were rowdy years for
Michigan students. Fraternities
boomed, and football season was the
highlight of every year as Michigan
won the Big Ten championship in 1922
and in 1923. This was the decade of jazz,
and every weekend students would
gather at Drakes Sandwich Shop to
Housing for studlents became a
definite problem during the twenties.
Students lived in town in league houses
or homes with friends, since there was
little University housing. In 1930,
Mosher-Jordan Hall was built for
female students, and six years later
West Quad was built to house male
students. Other dorms were later built,

offered programs to train officers and
military personnel. The Engineering
Defense Training Program included
parts of LSA and the Business Ad-
ministration School in addition to the
College of Engineering, and enrollment
in the 'U' program grew.
AFTER THE WAR, enrollment con-
tinued to rise with many new students
taking advantage of the GI Bill. But
these new collegians were different,
more mature than the other students.
Many were married and more in-
terested in careers than college pranks.

IN 1962 THE Stuaents for a
Democratic Society (SDS) was formed.
During the next decade this group
became a major force behind student
unrest on campus. Committed to daily
struggles for social change in all
spheres of society, SDS was involved in
many protests and marches, some of
which became violent.
Concerned about the war in Vietnam,
a group of faculty members announced
in 1965 that they would hold a one-day
protest, refusing to teach classes. When
disciplinary action was threatened,

held a nine-day strike, protesting the
treatment of blacks at the University.
Parts of the University closed down
completely, and one day over half the
student body did not attend classes in
support of BAM demands.
AFTER THE NINTH day of the
strike, University President Robben
Fleming agreed to negotiate with the
strikers, and later the University
decided to supply the money necessary,
for a program aimed at attaining 10 per
cent enrollment of blacks by 1973.
After the BAM protests in the early

"I will not permit thirty men to travel four hun-
dred miles merely to agitate a bag of wind."
- University President James Angell
commenting on his refusal to allow
the foot ball team to travel to another
school in 1873.
... ......................^...:.-:.:.. :::::::::.:: ., .........v. ::::.v::..........:ny:}aiiiai: i:: 4:::":i ::<"Eii

Fqjgmppp ' "' 7r'.

. ,;

The fifties was a Deriod of growth and

they compromised with the ad-

seventies, students quieted down. The.

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