Heritage/Tradition

  1. Mr. Smith’s baseball adventure

    Shirley Wheeler Smith was Michigan’s classic behind-the-scenes man in 1949 — chief financial officer, liaison to the Regents, and all-around troubleshooter — until he wrote an ‘America’s-Pastime’ story that took him to Hollywood.

  2. Bentley website tracks African American students to 1853

    A new database lists the names and years of attendance of every African American student who enrolled at the University between 1853-1956. It features anecdotes, autobiographies, and biographies — and reveals some significant family legacies.

  3. The power of the pin

    The Michigan Union button, a tiny symbol of loyalty pinned to the lapel, once held tremendous power for alumni. One 1904 graduate traveled around the world to replace the button he lost in World War II.

  4. The first Teach-In

    In 1965, U-M professors took the lead in stirring national opposition to the war in Vietnam. Their example inspired a new form of campus protest nationwide.

  5. The Tappan Oak: A tale of life, death, and rebirth

    On a sad day in November, U-M foresters felled the Diag’s decayed ‘Tappan Oak,’ so named by the Class of 1858. But thanks to a solitary student, that is not the end of the story.

  6. ‘This line of bullets missed me by 15 feet’

    Herb Elfring, BS ’50, is one of the few remaining survivors of Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. At age 99, the Army radar specialist remembers this ‘day that will live in infamy’ as though it happened yesterday.

  7. Fleming Building, RIP

    No, it wasn’t designed as a fortress against student radicals. But it could have been, based on architect Alden Dow’s ‘Michigan Modern’ aesthetic. The administration’s homely headquarters has gained few admirers since opening in 1968; now it’s staring down the wrecking ball.

  8. Willis Ward: More than the game

    When Fielding Yost infamously benched Michigan’s best player during one football game in 1934, he set in motion a one-dimensional narrative about the athlete. Now a digital exhibit at the Bentley explores Willis Ward’s expansive and complicated legacy.

  9. Gather and sift

    The true tale of George Koval, ‘the atomic spy in America who got away,’ makes for enthralling narrative nonfiction in the hands of a gifted writer. Learn how author/journalist Ann Hagedorn, MLIS ’75, transformed mountains of research about this ‘hero of the Russian Federation’ into a compelling page-turner.