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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 - 5C


* When the University
almost hosted the Olympics

JANUARY 14, 2009 - Univer-
sity athletes have always had a
prominent place in the Olympic
Games. From track and field to
the most prominent face of the
2008 games, Michael Phelps,
athletes have represented the
Maize and Blue well in interna-
tional competition. But what if
instead of just competing in the
games, the University hosted
In 1958 the University almost
0 got that chance.
That year the United States,
along with three other coun-
tries - Japan, Austria, and Bel-
gium - was being considered to
host the games in 1964.
Many believed that the Unit-
ed States would be selected, and
if chosen, Detroit would have
been the front-runner to host
the games. The other possible
cities were Chicago, Philadel-
phia and Los Angeles - which
hosted the Games in 1932.
If Detroit had been selected
as the hosting city, former Uni-
versity Athletic Director H. O.
"Fritz" Crisler said he would
have allowed the use of Michi-
gan Stadium, Ferry Field and
Yost Field House for the track
and field games.

Crisler added that he
would've also allowed theuse of
University Housing facilities.
Greg Kinney, associate archi-
vist at the Bentley Historical
Library, said that the Michigan
Stadium was listed to potential-
ly host soccer matches, and the
University could have also been
used for swimming and diving.
Although Michigan never got
the chance to host the Olympics,
the state had a few proposed
plans just in case.
Former State Sen. John
Swainson (D-Detroit) pro-
posed a plan to build a 100,000-
seat stadium at the Michigan
State Fairgrounds in Detroit to
accommodate the Olympics.
In addition, new hotels were
scheduled to be built in Detroit
prior to 1964 to house specta-
But it was not to be. On May
26, 1959, Tokyo, Japan won the
right to host the Olympics with
34 bidding votes by the Inter-
national Olympic Voting Com-
mittee. Detroit came in second
place with 10 bidding votes.
Vienna, Austria and Brussels,
Belgium followed with 9 and 5
biddingvotes, respectively.

NOVEMBER 10, 2008 -The University has had a slew of famous alumni - the man who voiced Darth Vader and
Mufasa from "The Lion King," a modern-day Charlie's Angel, a president, a famed playwright, several notorious
murders. Traces of these four illustrious alumni still survive on campus today, but rather than namesake libraries or
theatres, it's the smaller artifacts that reveal what these alumni were like in their formative days at the University.
By Mike Dolsen, Daily Staff Writer. Illustrations by Allie Ghaman.


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* When dorms were absent
from campus life

SEPTEMBER 1, 2008 - The
anxieties of arriving on campus
for the first time can be intimi-
dating for most freshmen, but
before the 1930s, University stu-
dents had to find a place to sleep
before they could make new
Modeling German campuses,
the first University president,
Henry Tappan, reasoned that
student housing wasn't neces-
sary in an effort to save space for
additional classrooms, so stu-
dents were forced to find room-
ing houses or take up residence
in a fraternity or sorority on
By the mid-1920s, there were
only 325 women and no men
living in select University dor-
mitories, including the Martha
Cook Building, Betsy Barbour
House and Couzens Hall. At the
same time, about 3,000 men and
women lived in Greek housing.
An additional 4,500 men took
up residence in rooming houses,
and another 800 women lived in
approved league houses.
Soon, then-new University

President Clarence Little and
Sociology Prof. Robert Angell
became concerned about the dis-
tractingelements of the fraterni-
ties and rooming houses.
Little decided to introduce
dormitories as a way to ensure
thatintellectual and social needs
were being properly met, with
professors "living in" to look
after student activities.
had a few setbacks. Landlords
lashed out, fearingacatastrophic
loss of tenants, and Little had to
tread lightly, knowing that pow-
erful alumni were loyal Greek
community members.
Eventually, after a decision by
the Board of Regents and finan-
cial help from alumni, construc-
tion of Michigan's first large
dormitory began. In 1930, the
University opened the doors of
the Mosher-Jordan Residence
Later, after the Great
Depression ended, a series of
additional residence halls were

Of all the people featured,
former President Gerald Ford
has undoubtedly left the biggest
mark on the University. The
man has a library and an entire
school named after him.
A more personal legacy,
though can be found at the
fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon.
When Ford wasn't studying
for a dual-degree in political
science and economics or
playing center and linebacker
for the Wolverines, he could be
found at the DKE house at 1912
While he was an active
member in DKE, Ford covered
part of the cost of school by
washing dishes at the fraternity
house in exchange for room and
Ford's involvement with DKE
didn't end when he graduated.
In a place called "The Shant"
at 611 /2 East Williams Street,
DKE has accumulated a large
cache of Ford related fraternity
memorabilia. Inside the
display, are pictures of Ford
outside the fraternity house, a
wood carving he and his pledge
brothers made, and letters of
support and encouragement to
a number of pledge classes.,
In a letter to the DKE
pledge class of Fall 1987: "It
is no coincidence that three
Presidents of the United States
have been Dekes and that
our flag was flown with the
Stars and Stripes on the first
expedition to the North Pole
and the first manned landing
on the moon. The individual
qualities that DKE seeks have
certainly withstood the test of
time and served us all in good

The author of "The Crucible"
and "Death of a Salesman" was
first recognized at the University
with the Hopwood Awards he won
for the plays "No Villain" in 1936
and "Honors at Dawn" in 1937.
Before Arthur Miller was on his
way to becoming the preeminent
American playwright, though, he
was interested in pursuing a career
in journalism. During his fresh-
man and sophomore year, Miller
was a reporter for The Michigan
Daily and eventually became a
night editor in his junior year.
While working for the Daily,
Miller developed his liberal politi-
cal ideology covering events like
the United Auto Workers' union-
ization efforts in Detroit and
But Miller soon realized that
fact-based writing didn't really do
it for him.
"He said he stopped writing
for the Daily because he didn't
like sticking to the facts," English
and Theatre Prof. Enoch Brater
told the Daily after Miller died in
2005. "He much preferred making
things up. The rest, you know, is
Late in college, Miller changed
his major from journalism to Eng-
lish and quit the Daily to write for
campus's satirical magazine The
Gargoyle, which provided Millera
more fiction-focused outlet for his
writing talents.
Excerpt from "You Simply Must
Go To College" in an 1938 issue of
The Gargoyle
Really, we collegepeople arethe
pick of the crop. Whatever these
reformers say about education
being all wet is just so much
melonwater and anybody will
agree. Education is fitting us
See MILLER, Page 8C

William Ayers - the man
who the McCain campaign
would have had sink Obama's
candidacy - garnered most his
anti-establishment fame from his
involvement with the militant
Weathermen in1968 and 1969.
Although his radical leftism
hadn't yet reached the point of
bombing public buildings, Ayers
was already getting in trouble
with the law as an undergrad at
the University.
In October 1965, Ayers and 38
others participated in a sit-in at
the Ann Arbor Draft Board. A
week later, they were found gauilty
of trespassing and eventually
sentenced to 15 days in jail.
Five days after Ayers was
released, he wrote a two-part
opinion article in The Michigan
Daily about his experience in
Among many revealing
anecdotes in the two-part series,
the most distressing is how
Ayers spent his birthday in jail.
On that day, he and seven other
cellmates were put into a tiny
room with "no toilet and absolute
minimum of ventilation" for two
days simply because one of Ayers'
cellmates tried to make a little hot
chocolate. - -
Excerpt from All-American jail,
part 1:
I don't mind terribly much that
I can't get books, because I don't
think I'll be able to do much reading
anyway. I thought that being
locked into a quiet, unstimulating
place would help me catch up
on some work: actually, reading
is very difficult and I've found
that this place is most conducive
to sitting on the steel bench and
dumbly contemplating the floor
See AYERS, Page 8C

Before hewenterazyand started
sending bombs to universities, Ted
Kaczynski (a.k.a The Unabomber)
was one of the brightest
mathematicians at the University
of Michigan.
Before he wentcrazy and started
sending bombs to universities, Ted
Kaczynski (The Unabomber) was
one of the brightest mathematicians
at the University of Michigan.
Kaczynski came to Michigan
in 1962 to earn his masters,
and eventually his doctorate,
in mathematics. While here, he
received the University's Sumner
B. Myers Prize, which is awarded
to the best Ph.D. dissertation of
the year. The dissertation, titled
"Boundary Functions," is listed on
a plaque of Myers prize winners
in East Hall. The work Kaczynski
published while here was on the
cutting edge of mathematics for
the time.
"I would guess that maybe
10 or 12 people in the country
understood or appreciated it,"
Mathematics Prof. Maxwell O.
Reade, who was on Kaczynski's
dissertation committee, told The
New York Times in 1996.
The future Unabomber was also
worked here as a graduate student
instructor, and was evaluated by
his students as merely average, and
in one case,incompetent.Evidently,
he spent most of his time focused
on his own research, primarily
solving difficult math theorems.
The five years spent on campus
were miserable for Kaczynski, who
now resides in a super-maximum
security prison in Colorado.
"My memories of the University
of Michigan are NOT pleasant,"
Kaczynski wrote in a letter to a
Daily reporter in 2006.

RA N G S The key to interpreting college rankings is understanding the methodology
behind them. Which of these wildly differing systems are worthwhile?

Daily Staff Writer
The University of Michigan
calls itself home of the leaders
and best. And while the
catchphrase might smack of
arrogance, there is plenty of
support that this school does
lead the pack and is one of
the best - application rates,
research grants, alumni base
and college rankings.
The U.S. News and World
Report lists the University
as the 26th-best institution
of higher education in the
country, wedged comfortably
between the University of
California at Los Angeles and
the University of Southern
California, respectively.
Forbes Magazine,
meanwhile, listed the
University at 161st, right
between Lake Forest College
and Wisconsin Lutheran
In the world of college
rankings, neck-breaking
double takes abound. But it's
the nature of the business that
discrepancies exist - why
would Forbes begin ranking
schools if its list was going
to match up almost exactly
with U.S. News, the leading
rankings publication? The
flip side to that, of course, is
how could a dozen different
publications differentiate

their rankingsystems enough
to make printing them
worthwhile? The trick is
so that the same qualities
that got a university in one
publication's top 20 barely
warrant a ranking above 200
to another publication.
College rankings might
not be what they appear
to be, but they can't be
written off altogether. At
least prospective students
don't think so. According
to Michigan Cooperative
Institutional Research data,
41.6 percent of students
entering the University in Fall
2008 said that rankings were
"very important" in deciding
where to attend, compared
with only 3.4 percent ten
years ago. The same data has
the percentage of students
answering "very important"
at 33.5 percent five years ago.
The importance -
perceived importance, at
least - of college rankings is
as objective as the rankings
are subjective. To decide
which publications give the
University a fair shake and
which are just talking trash,
it's crucial to look at the
methodology of the ranking
system. Here is a breakdown
of four very different
approaches to ranking the
nation's colleges.



Undoubtedly the recognized authority on college rankings, the U.S. News
list can be likened to the hyper-masculine, turbo-Neanderthal fourth-grad-
er that dominates the blacktop and crushes the meekcompetition. But name
recognition does not necessarily translate into respect.
The Education Conservancy, an education reform organization, has an
open letter on its website signed by several university presidents that criti-
cizes the U.S. News rankings as "misleading" and says that its system tends
to "overlook the importance of a student in making education happen and
overweight the importance of a university's prestige in that process."
As detailed on its website (college.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com),
U.S. news obtains its rankings by averaging together differently weighted
components. First is peer assessment, weighed at 25 percent, for which
university administrators rate schools' academic programs on a 1-5 scale.
Second is retention rate, weighed at 20 percent, which measures how many
See U.S. NEWS, Page 8C
Harvard is ranked 28th. Enough said?'
On its website, The Washington Monthly prefaces its rankings with
the following: "Welcome to The Washington Monthly College Rankings.
Unlike other college guides, such as the U.S. News and World Report, this
guide asks not what colleges can do for you, but what colleges are doing for
their country." Kennedy allusions aside, The Washington Monthly aims to
create rankings of colleges based on one question: "Are they doing well by
doing good?"
To actually measure universities' devotion to the adage "do goodby doing
good," The Washington Monthly determines its rankings by three compo-
nents. The first is a school's capability to perform as an "engine of social
mobility" based on the projected graduation rate of Pell students (grants
received by lower-income students).
Factored in next is research inthe humanities and sciences, determined

Playing apparent foil to the U.S. News is Forbes Magazine, whose rank-
ings are based on "the quality of education (universities) provide and how
much their students achieve."
Rankings are determined in conjunction with the Center for College
Affordability and Productivity and include five components. First, weighed
at 25 percent, is the number of alumni in the yearly "Marquis Who's Who in
America" list, a directory of influential people in the nation. A description
of the rankings system's methodology onForbes.com said this measurement
was selected over the peer assessment method used by U.S. News and stu-
dent opinion prioritized heavily in Princeton Review. The Forbes list focus-
es on alumni achievement more directly than any other rankings.
Accounting for another 25 percent is student evaluation of professors,
compiled from entries on RateMyProfessor.com. Anyone who's posted
a too-harsh review on the website out of temporary anger might see how
See FORBES, Page 8C



Perhaps the most novel rankings system belongs to the Global Language
Monitor, a linguistics organization ranking schools based on, according to
languagemonitor.com, a school's "appearance on the Internet, throughout
the blogosphere, aswell as global print and electronic media."
This system seeks to measure prominence of a school's "brand name" by
counting how many times its name is mentioned online as well as in print
and electronic media. GLM attains this information with its "Trendtopper
analysis" system, which the company has used to track trends in word usage
over the last five years.
GLM President Paul J.J. Payack said on the website that the students who
go farthest are those who carry the best name recognition.
"Prospective students, alumni, employers, and the world at large believe
that students who are graduated from such institutions will carry on the
all the hallmarks of that particular school," Payack said. "Our TrendTop-
See GLOBAL, Page 8C

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