The Internet was Born Here
In 1966, the University of Michigan's Computing Center formed the Merit Network to interconnect three universities — the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University — and this was the beginning of the Internet. From 1987–1995, Merit managed the NSFNET backbone, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which in the 1990s became known as the "Internet."
Among U.S. colleges and universities, U-M has the largest Spanish language presence on the Internet
The U-M web Portal En Español offers more than 600 pages of Spanish language content focused on student information, public affairs, news announcements, Health System research efforts, podcasts and more.
Polio Vaccine Announced Here
The first successful polio vaccine was announced on the U-M campus in 1955 by U-M School of Public Health faculty member Dr. Thomas Francis. Francis made the announcement following two years of national field trials of the vaccine developed by his former student, Jonas Salk.
The Cube Has Siblings
Designed by U-M alumnus and sculptor Bernard "Tony" Rosenthal ('36), the eight-foot square, 2,400-pound Cube was installed on Regents' Plaza in 1968. While seemingly massive, the Cube will rotate on its axis, given a gentle push. The piece's dimensions were determined by the size of the truck available to transport the sculpture to Ann Arbor. Rosenthal created another cube, entitled "Alamo," and had plans to install it in Ann Arbor, but students from Cooper Union, near his New York display site petitioned successfully to keep it there. Rosenthal preferred the U-M cube to the New York one because he was able to refine the design for the U-M campus installation.
There are over 101 outdoor sculptures and architectural features on the Ann Arbor campuses.
And they're catalogued with images and descriptions that you can see here.
Humanitarian Raoul Wallenberg Studied Here
Raoul Wallenberg was a Swedish humanitarian who worked at great personal risk to save tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust. He later disappeared following his arrest and incarceration in a Soviet prison. Wallenberg received a bachelor's in architecture from U-M in 1935. In 1885, the Wallenberg Endowment was established which sponsors an annual lecture and award to perpetuate the memory of Wallenberg’s heroism and nobility of spirit.
Laser Eye Surgery was Developed Here
Research in the Center for Ultrafast Optical Science at the College of Engineering led directly to the development of laser eye surgery.
First Educational Towing Tank is Housed Here
The first towing tank owned and operated by an education institution in the United States is the main model basin in the Marine Hydrodynamics Laboratory at Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, University of Michigan Engineering College. Built in 1905 (remodeled 1962, 1980, 1990).
Intramural Sports Building the First in the Country
Dr. Elmer B. Mitchell, creator of the IMSB, wanted a place on campus where a thousand students at once could come to exercise and socialize. When the IMSB was built in 1928, it was a novelty and a curiosity. It became the forerunner of all campus recreation centers, and also incorporated many innovations that were ahead of its time.
Creation of The Peace Corps was Announced Here
The goal of establishing the Peace Corps to promote volunteer service to aid people in developing nations was announced by President John Kennedy in a late-night speech in front of the Michigan Union on October 14, 1960, and there is a plaque to commemorate it on the steps there. Since the formal establishment of the Peace Corps in 1961, U-M has consistently been among the top senders of volunteers.
Robert Frost was a Poet-in-residence Here
Robert Frost was the first recorded poet-in-residence at
U-M. He was on campus for 10 months in 1921–1922.
Madonna Studied Here
Madonna was a dance major at U-M in the late 1970s before moving to New York to seek her fortune.
Other Famous Alumni
- Playwright Arthur Miller
- Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan
- Actor James Earl Jones
- Actresses Christine Lahti and Lucy Liu
- Comedienne Gilda Radner
- Television journalist Mike Wallace
- Television chef Sara Moulton
- Thomas Knoll, creator of PhotoShop
- Larry Page, co-founder of Google
- Former President Gerald Ford