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

Heritage/Tradition

  1. The fake news about James Neel

    Upon his death in 2000, this pioneer in human genetics was lauded as one of U-M’s greatest scientists. But a post-mortem assault on his honor provides a cautionary tale of what can happen when ideas become weapons and an appetite for outrage overcomes the search for truth.

  2. The assassin’s widow

    In the surreal days after the 1963 assassination of JFK, one Ann Arbor churchgoer sought to redeem the tragedy through a controversial – and secret – move. She invited Marina Oswald to U-M.

  3. Mysteries at Michigan

    Before COVID-19, the college campus could be described as America’s ‘last idyll.’ Perhaps that is why so many mystery writers over time have set their tales of terror at a fictionalized University of Michigan.

  4. ‘Of splendid ability’

    In 1880, the parallel lives of a misguided scientist and U-M’s first Black female student revealed a contrast of white and Black, privilege and struggle, and more than anything words and actions.

  5. The strategic suffragist

    When meeting with political adversaries, she made lace to appear ‘completely domestic.’ But Lucia V. Grimes, BA 1902/MA 1906, was a canny organizer who pioneered a legislative ‘pressure system’ that propelled ratification of the 19th Amendment. She even enlisted her daughter in the movement (above).

  6. The beginning of what?

    U-M commencement speakers have imparted wisdom, warnings, predictions, and platitudes to graduates since 1845. A common theme: Each class inherits the great events, problems, and possibilities of the time. Plus: 2020 Commencement.

  7. The idea to ‘flatten the curve’

    Decades of studying pandemics and how to curb them led a U-M physician-historian to coin a term the rest of us now use in daily conversation.

  8. Two weeks in 1918

    This bizarre business of social distancing is not new. When the ‘Spanish’ Flu stalked Americans, Ann Arbor all but shut down. Nurses, meanwhile, delivered supplies to victims.

  9. A tale of two writers, an editor, and one amazing box

    As co-founder of ‘Esquire’ magazine, Arnold Gingrich, BA ’25, was a headhunter of literature’s leading talent, from Ernest Hemingway to F. Scott Fitzgerald.