The University of Michigan and Michigan Medicine have a long standing history of milestones and "firsts." This Black History Month, we celebrate these and many others who have blazed a trail of academic excellence at our institution. Are we missing anyone? We would like to keep this list as updated as possible, please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice a missing milestone.
Samuel Codes Watson, medical student, is the first known African American student admitted to the University
Madelon Louisa Stockwell is the first woman admitted to the University; she graduated in 1872 (Literature).
Amanda Sanford becomes the first woman alumna of the University of Michigan by graduating from the Medical School (her grades were the highest of the 90 students). Sarah Killgore of Crawfordsville, Indiana, graduated with a law degree on the same day
Dr. William Henry Fitzbutler became the first African American person to graduate from the University of Michigan Medical School (Homeopathy).
First Asian student (Japanese) admitted to University of Michigan
Mary Henrietta Graham, lit. 1880, is the first known African American woman admitted to the University.
First Puerto Rican student enrolls at University of Michigan in the Department of Medicine and Surgery '80, José Celso Barbosa
First African American to receive M.D., Grace Roberts
Martha Hughes Cannon, MD. University of Michigan Medical School graduate and first female State Senator elected in the United States of America
First sorority, Eta chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta, established at University of Michigan.
June Rose Colby is the first woman to receive a Ph.D. upon examination.
First women graduates from the Medical School (Sophia Bethena Jones).
Women's League established for women students, alumnae, and faculty; the Michigan League building is dedicated in 1929.
First Chinese students admitted to University of Michigan.
Marian Sarah Parker becomes the first woman to graduate with a B.S. in Civil Engineering.
Eliza Mosher is appointed first Dean of Women, and becomes first woman faculty member.
First woman instructor in the sciences, Fanny Elizabeth Langdon.
Barbour Gymnasium, a facility specifically for women, is completed.
Association for Mutual Aid of Colored Students is established.
Women's Athletic Association is formed.
First Jewish sorority, Alpha Epsilon Phi, is established.
Alpha Phi Alpha is established and is the earliest known University of Michigan African American fraternity.
First Jewish faculty member, Louis A. Strauss.
University's first two all-women residence halls, Martha Cook and Helen Newberry, open.
A central corresponding committee of alumnae, which in 1920 changes its name to the Alumnae Council of the Alumni Association, is established. Claire Sanders is the first dean and Regent Levi Lewis Barbour establishes the Barbour Scholarships for Oriental women.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Nu Chapter was chartered on April 7, 1921 on the University of Michigan's campus.
Negro-Caucasian Club founded.
The Michigan League is opened as a meeting place for female students, faculty, and staff.
International Center established with J. Raleigh Nelson as director.
Elizabeth C. Crosby, Neuroanatomist, first woman to receive full professorship at the University of Michigan Medical School
Center for Japanese Studies formed.
Latunde Odeku– the first African-American neurosurgeon trained in the United States and also Africa’s first neurosurgeon, who completed his neurosurgical residency at U-M from 1954-1960.
Co-educational dormitories are approved beginning with the Fall term, and a single director of residence halls is appointed to administer both men's and women's housing.
Center for Continuing Education of Women founded (now called the Center for the Education of Women).
First male undergraduate nursing students graduate; the first male completed the nursing graduate program in 1964.
Barbara Newell is appointed the acting vice president of Student Affairs. She is the first woman to serve as an executive officer of the University.
Center for Afro-American and Africa Studies is launched.
Commission for Women established.
Henry Johnson appointed as VP for Student Services, the first African American administrator.
Intercollegiate varsity athletic program for Michigan women established with the introduction of six varsity sports.
Dr. Keith Black at Cedars Sinai – graduate of our program and now the first African-American chair of a neurosurgery department with a residency program
University faculty members from Psychiatry and the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education conduct seminal research on diversity in higher education (ongoing).
The Board of Regents outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Dr. Terry Samuels, Michigan Native American medical student, of the Little Traverse Bay Band of Indians, graduates from the University of Michigan Medical School.
Dr. Patricia Gurin (Psychiatry/Women’s Studies) provides the expert report on the Educational Value of Diversity for admissions lawsuits.
First female University of Michigan President (Dr. Mary Sue Coleman).
Affirmative Action lawsuits decision handed down (discussed in the section below).
First female Medical School department chair (Dr. Valerie Castle, Department of Pediatrics).
First female Department of Neurosurgery chair in the nation (Dr. Karin Muraszko).
First female University of Michigan Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs (Dr. Theresa Sullivan).
Proposal 2 was adopted by Michigan voters.
University of Michigan launched the Diversity Blueprint Task Force.
University of Michigan Medical School revised admissions and financial aid policies, but still supports a diverse environment.
First female Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs (Dr. Ora Pescovitz).
First African American Medical School department chair (Dr. John Carethers, Department of Internal Medicine).