University observes its official 200th birthday

Saturday, August 26, 2017 - 11:35am

Saturday, the University of Michigan celebrated its official 200th birthday, an event being celebrated all year, though several events, including four festivals.

The Spring Festival, which took place in April, marked the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I with a flag-raising ceremony, as well as a presidential colloquium, at which former University presidents joined current President Mark Schlissel to discuss the role of research institutions.

The Summer Festival took place in June to celebrate longstanding contributions of University staff members and featured several speakers and festivities across the Diag; it also consisted of another colloquium, in which several leaders from universities across the country discussed the role of public universities in society.

The Detroit Festival will take place on Sept. 15 to celebrate the University’s founding in, and continued connection with, the city of Detroit. The Fall Festival, set to take place October 26 through October 28, will consist of the third colloquium event. This event will feature a Campus of the Future competition, which has transpired throughout the year, which asks students to design spaces on campus and learning techniques; the projects will be showcased on October 26 at the Duderstadt Center before being judged by a panel of world-renowned innovators and leaders in higher education.


August 26 marks the day the University was founded in Detroit in 1817 as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, by Judge Augustus Woodward, Reverend John Monteith and Reverend Gabriel Richard; on this day, the University was established by territorial law.

The University also created a video, featuring notable alumni, Schlissel and E. Royster Harper, vice president of student life, among several others, wishing the University a happy 200th birthday.  


Additionally, to celebrate the occasion, the Spirit of Detroit — a large bronze statue located in Detroit — was dressed with a University of Michigan bicentennial jersey.