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September 10, 1981 - Image 45

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The Michigan Daily, 1981-09-10

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 10, 1981-Page 5-B

In the early days of the University, admission
requirements dictated that students pass certain proficien-
cy levels in the classics, be able to pay the $10 entrance fee,
and "furnish satisfactory testimonials of good moral
Fron that beginning 164 years ago as a tiny public college
of the Michigan Territory to its current status as one of the
nation's most respected institutions of higher learning, the
University has grown and changed with the students,
faculty, and administrators who lived and shaped its
A new path in education
I BACK IN 1817, three men - a judge, a Catholic priest,
and a Protestant clergyman in the half-French town of
Detroit - had some innovative ideas about higher
education. They felt a university should teach not only the arts
and humanities, but also economics and the natural scien-
Because the University was founded in the still-
developing area of Michigan, it could enjoy freedom
unavailable to the established eastern schools to ex-
erimnent with new types of education.
Its' founders believed the University should not be an
"isolated tower of learning," but the head of a state wide
system of education, supported by public taxation.
The early days
PATTERNED AFTER these ideas, the University was
established in October of 1817, but it wasn't until 1841 that
the school was ready to offer courses. The seven students
enrolled that year were required to take a classical
curriculum that included rhetoric, grammar, Latin, Greek,
algebra, geometry, and natural sciences.
In the first days, the student body lived in and attended
classes at an earlier Mason Hall. Paying $7.50 per term for
Om (they ate at boarding houses in town), the students
were awakened each day at 5 a.m. and had to be back in the
dorm by 9 p.m.
Although the new university could be considered suc-
cessful, it had already experienced a number of problems
by 1851 that would reappear in its history. Anthor Howard
Peckham, in The Making of the University of Michigan,
summed.up these problems:
' political meddling by the state legislature;
" financial squeezing until a crisis is reached;
" intrusion from the Board of Regents on matters that
ould be of faculty concern;
" factionalism among the faculty;
rowdy or lawless student behavior outside of class,
" irritations between Ann Arbor and the University.
When the Michigan Territory became a state in 1837, the
University was enlarged and moved to Detroit to a 40-acre
plot iA Ann Arbor which now constitutes the core of Central
Further growth took place in the mid-19th century under
President Henry 'Tappan. The concept that a professor
hould engage in research in addition to teaching
inated during this administration, and the University
-Iblished graduate schools in medicine and law.
Minorities gain acceptance
In 1870, Erastus Haven assumed the presidency. One of
the' most signifiant achievements of the haven ad-
ministration was the admission in 1870 if Madelon Stock-
well, the first woman to enter the University.
Advocates of equal educational opportunities for women
had been lobbying the University and Regents for 20 years,

Uiverst, then and now


to gain admission for women, but it wasn't until the state
legislature passed a resolution favoring it that the Univer-
sity responded.
THE MEDICAL SCHOOL continued to insist on separate
The University had admitted two black students two
years earlier, three years after the Civil War. That
milestone was somewhat marred because they were not
recorded as being black.;
A grwoing university and reputation
The first student newspaper, the University Chronicle,
began publication in 1867. The Chronicle came out bi-
weekly 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 country.
James Angell succeeded Haven as University president
in 1871. During his presidency 50 buildings were construc-

Charges were dropped after the student body paid $1000 in
NEARLY A DECADE later the students had calmed
down considerably in at least one area: consumption of
spirited liquids. The University had always considered
drinking a major problem among students, but prohibition
fever swept the campus at about the same time a state
amendment was up for adoption. A poll taken in 1916 in-
dicated almost 80 percent of the students favored
The spirit of patriotism also ran high during World War I.
The campus was filled with young cadets, and temporary
military buildings sprang up as many joined the armed
services or campus reserves.
Boom and depression
The twenties were rowdy years for Michigan students.
Fraternities boomed, and the football season became the

were older and more mature than their earlier counterpar-
ts. Many were married and more interested in careers than
collegiate "antics."
For these students the University introduced "family
housing," and to meet further growth in the 1950s North
Campus was added and the Dearborn and Flint campuses
were established.
Student activities and activism
SOME BRASH MEN from West Quad and South Quad
made the headlines during this decade when they marched
across campus and raided the women's dormitories,
emerging with their underwear. This was alleged to be the
first "panty raid" on any campus, and it was imitated
across the country.
The 1960s brought more serious activities to campus. In
1962 the Students for a Democratic Society was formed at
the University. During the next decade, this group became
a major force behind student activism on campus and
across the country. 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 they would hold a one-day
protest, refusing to teach classes. When disciplinary action
was threatened, they compromised with the administration
and decided instead to hold a "teach-in" on the war. More
than 2500 students attendedthe affair.
WHEN THE TIME came for the University to build a
new administration building in the late sixties, the large
number of student protests prompted it to be structured
almost like a fortress with its concrete walls, small win-
dows, and seal-off system.
Student protests peaked in 1970, when the Black Action
Movement held a nine-day strike protesting the treatment
of blacks at the University. Parts of the University closed
down completely. and one day more than half the student
body showed support of the BAM demands by not attending
After the ninth day of the strike, President Robben
Fleming agreed to negotiate with the strikers, and later the
University decided to supply the necessary funds for a
program aimed at attaining 10 percent enrollment of
blacks by 1973.
AFTER THE BAM protests in the early seventies,
students quieted down and were accused by their
predecessors of being apathetic and materialistic.
But students haven't been totally silent during the past
three years, as occasional issues have sparked their in-
During the last weeks of the 1979 academic year, students
expressed outrage at the University's investments in
"racist" South Africa by storming a Regents' meeting.
Two years ago, demonstrations against the proposed
registration for the draft, the Iranian terrorism, and mar-
ches for the Equal Rights Amendment were attended by
large numbers of vocal students.
Just more than a year ago, a proposal to prohibit
teaching assistants from instructing upper level courses in
the Women's Studies Department was recommended by
the administration. Supporters of the department, claiming
that there' are no professors to teach their upper level cour-
ses, conducted one of the year's most active demon-
strations to keep the program alive.
Economic issues have dominated at the University
throughout the past few years, with steep tuition hikes and
program reductions becoming a grim reality. The
deteriorating financial health of the University was pain-
fully illustrated last June, when the Regents voted to
discontinue the Geography Department (see related ar-
ticle, Section A).

A small University with big ambitions, in the late 1800s.

ted, and a growing number of prestigious scholars joined
the faculty.
Angell served as president for 38 years. During his
tenure, the University established the Michigan football
ANOTHER MAJOR CHANGE during Angell's term has, a
lasting effect on students' academic life. Up until 1907, a
student was -either passed, not passed, on conditioned.
Gradually, with the founding of a Phi Beta Kappa honorary
society, the A to E grading system was established.
Students show spirit in many ways
The years before World War I were generally quiet, but
that doesn't mean life was routine. In 1908, for instance, the
manager of the Star Theater in Ann Arbor said that he did
not care for student patronage.
The next night, armed with vegetables, eggs, and bricks,
about a thousand students stormed the theater. They threw
their ammunition at the walls and tore up the seats.

year's highlight as Michigan won the Big Ten champion-
ship in 1922 and 1923. This was also a great decade of jazz,
and every weekend many students gathered at Drake's
Sandwich Shop to dance.
HOUSING BECAME a problem during the twenties.
Students lived in rooming houses in town or in homes with
friends because there was little University housing. In 1930,
with violent opposition from local landladies who were
afraid they'd go out of business, Mosher and Jordan Halls
were built for female students. Six years later West Quad
was built to house male students.
The University's rapid growth of the twenties slowed,
during the depression years, but it did not cease. The
University benefited from substantial federal funding
through Roosevelt's New Deal programs.
World War II makes its mark
During World War IIthe University offered programs to
train officers and other military personnel. After the war,
enrollment continued to rise with many new students
taking full advantage of the GI Bill. These new students

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