The Michigan League's 85-Year History

The Michigan League's 85-Year History

Alumnae Jean Dickinson, ’49, and Sheila Sikkenga, ’61, along with producer Chase Becsey, ’13 created a video detailing the history of The Michigan League, which as it turns out, is really the history of women on campus. The League was built as a place for female students, as the Union was built as a men’s commons. 

Watch the video. 

Inspired by these alumnae, we went through our archives and found how Michigan Alumnus magazine covered this historic event in 1929. 

From former Alumni Association President E. J. Ottaway, ‘1894:

“The Michigan League represents an achievement of which every Michigan man and woman is proud. As was the case in the Michigan Union, Michigan has been the first in conceiving and attaining a new and invaluable adjunct  to the University’s program for the education and development of youth. We now have the Michigan Union and the Michigan League, standing side by side and working for the good of the University’s undergraduates and alumni.”


From Arthur H. Vandenberg, ‘1801, HON’1825,  U.S. Senator:

“The truth of the matter is that the selfless devotions of Michigan’s women to their Alma Mater often puts mere man utterly in the shade … Michigan women have given their University the most beautiful building on the Campus-and that is potential with possibilities of superlative service … I congratulate the University and Coeducation.”

From a Michigan Daily editorial:

“It is impossible in an editorial of publishable length to indicate what the new League building will mean for women at Michigan. Let is suffice to say that its conception and erection is in many ways the most significant in the history of Michigan coeducation.”

From Robert A. Campbell, Treasurer of the University:

“To estimate the good which will come from the Michigan League is just as impossible as it was to forecast, ten years ago, the place which the Michigan Union occupies today. Those who have worked so hard and so efficiently to make the League possible have high hopes that it will mean a new era for Michigan women.”

From W. D. Henderson, Executive Secretary of the Alumnae Council:

“We can only be truly thankful that we gave a listening ear and caught the vision of these young women who felt so greatly the need of a cultural and inspirational center for the activities of the young women on the Michigan Campus.”


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