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Staff Highlights

  • Gregor Nagele

    Anatomist and Janitor

    When Gregor Nagele emigrated to the United States from Wittenberg, Germany, he came with a peculiar and valuable skill—commandeering cadavers.

  • William Bliss Jolly

    Custodian, Bell Ringer, Chaser of Sheep

    William Bliss Jolly

    From 1856-64, William Bliss Jolly worked as a janitor, chopping wood, chasing sheep (and sometimes donkeys) out of classrooms, and ringing the campus bell.

  • "Uncle Jim" Ottley

    Beloved Janitor "Uncle Jim" Ottley

    As "Uncle" Jimmy Ottley’s famous hair turned from brown to white, his duties changed from janitor to hat-check man; a position he kept well into his 80s.

  • Power to the People

    U-M Central Power Plant's First Hundred Years

    By 1911, the university had expanded beyond the capacities its three original heating plants. A central plant was designed and built in 1914 to service the expanding campus. This plant became known as the Central Power Plant.

  • Father and Son Bookbinders

    George and James Craven retired from U-M with notable record of achievement and 100+ years of service between them.

  • Agnes Inglis in front of Inglis Barn

    Radical Curator

    Agnes Inglis' Single-Minded Pursuit

    For 26 years, Agnes Inglis devoted herself, largely without pay or recognition, to "fixing" the publications of the Labadie Collection.

  • Michigan’s Wartime Hospital

    As the Second World War intensified, millions of Americans were called for service in both Europe and the Pacific. Swept up along with these soldiers were the men and women of the University of Michigan’s medical unit, the 298th General Hospital.

  • Secretary and Screenwriter

    At age 48, while working as a top university administrator, Shirley Smith wrote a story in which a scientist discovers a formula to make wood-repellent baseballs. The story was adapted as a screenplay for the Oscar-nominated film “It Happens Every Spring.”

  • Karen Dickinson

    Belief in Possibilities

    “Karen Dickinson’s belief in the impossible changed and enriched our world." — Laurita Thomas, Associate Vice President for Human Resources

  • Medical Student Advocate

    “At the time I was hired, the medical school was very intent on enrolling more African American students. I feel that I greatly contributed to their efforts to make the medical school more diverse because I took my role seriously..." -Shirley Martin

  • Climbing the Mountain Together

    Jim Toy is known as the first man in Michigan to publicly announce he was gay, at a 1970 anti-war rally in Detroit. He has worked tirelessly for more than 40 years advocating for the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and others.

  • Roy Wentz

    Future tech, ancient art

    Harald Eberhart and Roy Wentz are among a group of just 69 university glassblowers left in the U.S. Their dwindling numbers may change the face of scientific research.

  • Leading through Teaching

    Making the Michigan Difference in Teaching Young Children

    Joan Rehak and Dee Wellwood together have spent fifty years making the Michigan Difference in early childhood education.

  • Chris Savoie with President Coleman

    Keeping the Wheels Spinning

    Fitting kids for wheelchairs since 1999

    Chris Savoie has been fitting kids into wheelchairs for U-M’s Wheelchair Seating Services since 1999, and he says he sees the work differently than most.

  • Doug Armstrong’s Labor of Love

    In 2007, Doug Armstrong incorporated North Star Reach Camp, a non-profit organization located on 105 acres in Pinckney, MI that will offer camp experiences to children with chronic and life-threatening health challenges.

  • From Sudan to Sin City

    From Ghanian "chief" to Las Vegas

    Dante Vasquez put his experiences eradicating disease in Africa to work to reelect Barack Obama.

  • On the Front Line Against Poverty

    Dearborn associate provost for metropolitan impact Ismael Ahmed

    Ismael Ahmed, made his dreams come true, against the odds. “My dad was a peddler. My stepfather was a factory worker, an auto worker, as was my grandfather. I come  [more]

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  • Feb. 14 marked 30 years since the “new” University Hospital opened its doors. It was a significant milestone for UMHS and its faculty and staff.

  • 1817

    Legislative act establishes the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania.

  • 1817

    Legislative act establishes the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania

  • 1821

    The university adopts the official name of "The University of Michigan" and reorganizes to form a board of twenty-one Trustees, including the Governor (chosen from the faculty).

  • 1841

    University's first year of classes in Ann Arbor; the student body consists of six freshmen and one sophomore taught by two professors.

  • 1852

    Henry Philip Tappan inaugurated as first president of the university.

  • 1869

    Michigan establishes the nation's first university-owned hospital.

  • 1870

    Madelon Stockwell of Kalamazoo is the first woman officially admitted to the University.

  • 1880

    Organization and incorporation of the University Musical Society/Choral Union.

  • 1890

    Michigan Daily begins publication.

  • 1891

    University RECORD established.

  • 1896

    Eliza Mosher appointed first dean of women, and becomes first woman faculty member.

  • 1898

    "The Victors" is written by Louis Elbel, a senior music student.

University Milestones