University of Michigan


The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Michigan, U-M, UM, UMich, UMichigan, or U of M) is a public research university located in the state of Michigan in the United States. It is the state's oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan. It also includes two regional campuses in Flint and Dearborn.

The university was founded in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, about 20 years before the Michigan Territory officially became a state. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university has physically expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 35 million gross square feet (664 acres or 2.69 kmĀ²), and transformed its academic program from a strictly classical curriculum to one that includes science and research. During the 20th century and early 2000s, UM was the site of much student activism. When Presidential Candidate John F. Kennedy visited the University on October 14, 1960, he gave an impromptu speech on the steps of the Michigan Union that led to a University of Michigan student movement which contributed to the establishment of the Peace Corps. The University was also a focal point in the controversy over affirmative action within higher education admissions.

Today, the university is considered one of the original eight Public Ivies. In the most recent World University Rankings, the university was ranked 19th among universities worldwide. In 1995, the National Research Council ranked Michigan third nationally for the quality of its graduate programs. Having one of the world's largest number of living alumni at 460,000 in 2007, the university is alma mater to the late U.S. President Gerald Ford. UM owns the University of Michigan Health System and has one of the largest research expenditures of any American university. Its athletic teams, called the Wolverines, are members of the Big Ten Conference and the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. The athletic program is known for its success in ice hockey and football; the football team plays in Michigan Stadium, also known as "The Big House," one of the largest college football-only stadiums in the world.

In 2009, TIME Magazine published an article saying that "some political leaders" are exploring the issue of whether or not to privatize the University. However, University officials maintain that it will remain public, and that no such plan exists.