Office of the VP for Communications – Keeping alumni and friends connected to U-M

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“A place with ghosts”

Welcome to “Listen in, Michigan,” a new podcast for Michigan Today readers and fans of the audio format.

In this debut episode, historian Jim Tobin, PhD ’86, reflects on some of the heroes, villains, and eccentrics who populate the University of Michigan’s rich, 200-year history. He covers a wide range of lesser-known tales in this 18-minute trip through time, from inspiring barristers to bone-chilling body snatchers.

Are you interested in pursuing some of the stories Tobin teased?

Check out and read The Warrior Scholar to learn more about the legacy of Yale Kamisar. Popular astronomy professor Doc Losh is profiled on the site in a piece aptly named Doc Losh. In The Lost Campus, you’ll learn much more than the history of “the Campus Beauty” and if you’re into cadavers, Such Horrible Business is sure to delight.

Meanwhile, if you’re wondering Who was Alice Lloyd? Or who were Mr. Cook’s Women?, Michigan Today has some answers in the archive. And now, thanks to Tobin, the next time you walk on the Diag, you can think about Andrew Dickson White’s Trees.

We certainly hope you enjoyed listening and invite you to share comments below. Also, if you’re curious about the lead-up to the U-M bicentennial in 2017, please visit

Hear more “Listen In, Michigan” podcasts. Subscribe at iTunesTunein, and Stitcher.

(Audio editing by Alexandra Nowlin; sound design and music by Barry Holdship.)


  1. Ken Powell - 1973

    I have way more better stories. It starts in 1971 and goes through there. Both Martha Cook and the Law Quad are included. Please contact me because they are so sweet and the best of Michigan.


  2. Valerie Block - 1974

    Podcasts are a great idea! Thanks.


  3. Harold Kellman - 1968

    Great podcast. Re: medical student and cadavers. My wife’s (Mary
    Sadowski Kellman – 1969) grandfather graduated from U of M Medical School. In those years you didn’t need an undergraduate degree and medical school was only two years. But you did need your own cadaver.
    Roman Sadowki (U of M Medical School 1906) “found” a dead body in the U of M Hospital, put the cadaver on his back and carried it to the U of M hospital. There was some air in the lungs of the dead body which made a moaning sound and nearly scared him to death.


  4. Karol Krohn - BBA 1981

    Beautifully done! Hearing about the upcoming bicentennial triggered a question & an idea. Has anyone ever compiled & published graduation addresses given at U of M? If not, I thought that might make an inspiring book: 200 years of graduation speeches, short bios of each speaker, & an historical look at what major things happened at U of M, in the U.S. or elsewhere in the world that influenced U of M students in each of the last 20 decades. If historic campus photos were available for each decade, that would be a great addition. The book might sell well to alumni, perhaps as a fundraiser to help start the next century on even stronger financial footing. Just a thought….


  5. Drew Paterson - 1966

    A nice discussion. I look forward to future ones.
    Doc Losh… her photographic memory was illustrated nearly every day -“your father John Bigelow Smith sat in row seven seat eight, your grandfather David Allen Smith was in row six seat three.” She even remembered cousins and all your friends. My wife and I ran into her at Art Fair about ten years after we graduated and she asked about my wife’s father – “Sorry to see that he passed two years ago” and her mother and brothers, all by their names – and they hadn’t even had her class. She asked how our five and two year olds were doing, and how Sally, who sat next to my wife in Doc’s class, was. She was one of those rare people that truly had a photographic memory.
    I also remember her inspirational speech to the pep rally on the diag the night before the MSU game. “It is written in the stars… the Michigan men have their heads held high, looking up to the heavens and drawing inspiration from all the universe for their task, which will be rewarded tomorrow with victory. The opponents have their heads down – they are tillers of the soil – they lack inspiration from the heavens and will suffer a deserved defeat.”
    Her home was a pile of papers everywhere – almost a firetrap. It seems she had kept nearly every student paper from all the years – as well as the “special projects” extra credit efforts of (mostly) jocks that needed the extra credit to get their grade up so they could remain eligible. That, of course, endeared her to the entire athletic department.


  6. Arnold Goldstein - 1966

    I remember that rally, having been in the Marching Band. The word about Doc Losh was that her grading system was A for athletes, B for boys, and C for the rest (i.e., girls). I’m sure that was the stuff of myth, however, at least for the C part.


  7. Amy Spooner - 1995

    I loved listening to this! I have a long commute, so this was the perfect accompaniment to my drive this morning. Keep them coming!


    • Deborah Holdship

      Thanks so much, Amy!!!


  8. Shawn Sieg

    Kudos on the SoundCloud integration!


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