UM Does Big ThingsBIG_THINGS.html

Among American institutions of higher education, the University of Michigan was the first ...

Large state institution to be governed directly by the people of the state (1817)

To provide in its charter for state-wide instruction (1837)

To de-emphasize the classical college curriculum and sponsor such newer studies as the sciences and modern languages (1842)

To establish a professorship in zoology and botany (1842)

First in the west to have a medical school occupy its own building (1849)

To have a professor of chemistry, mineralogy and geology (1853)

To have a professor of physics and civil engineering (1853)

First University in the west, to offer a program in engineering leading to a degree (1854)

To own a telescope constructed entirely within the U.S. (1854)

To construct a building designed and equipped solely as a chemical laboratory (1856)

To establish a professorship in modern history (1857)

Along with Harvard, to introduce moot courts in law curriculum and first to follow actual court procedure by leaving development of cases entirely To students (1859)

"Real" university (having multiple schools) in the west, with the founding of the Law School (1859)

To offer a course in American Literature (1867)

To offer a course in pharmacy (1868)

To entirely own and operate a hospital (1869)

First large institutions to admit women (1870)

First state institution to establish a department of dentistry (1875)

To have a full-time professor of science and art of teaching (1879)

To offer a course in forestry administration (1882)

To have a speech department (1884)

To establish a professorship in anatomy and diseases of the mind and nervous systems (1888)

To offer instruction in journalism (1890)

To employ a full-time salaried alumni secretary (1897)

To send a visiting football team to play in the Rose Bowl (1902)

To have a naval tank for study of ship design (1904)

To provide instruction in aeronautical engineering (1913)

Along with Harvard, to announce degrees in public health (1915)

To build a men students' social building on a large scale, the Michigan Union (1919)

To establish a professorship in transportation engineering (1922)

To own a large wind tunnel (1924)

To build an observatory in the Southern Hemisphere (1928)

To provide buildings with athletic facilities for the whole student body (1929)

To make an effort to preserve state and university archives (1935)

To sponsor a project designed to study and develop the uses of atomic energy for other than war-time purposes (1949)

To offer a program in nuclear engineering(1952).

These are only a portion of a list that is more extensive.

The Michigan Alumnus

June 1976, page 3

University of Michigan “Firsts”