Choosing the top moments from 2017 isn’t easy, considering the celebration of the University’s bicentennial, record-breaking enrollment numbers, excellence in academic rankings, and other notable news. But we’ll give it the old college try and summarize the past year as our beloved alma mater moves into its third century.
The University offers the first in a series of “teach-outs” for online learners. The teach-outs are modeled after the historic U-M teach-ins, which started in 1965 in response to military action in Vietnam. Initial teach-out topics include authoritarian rule and fake news. Organized by the Office of Academic Innovation, the series continues into 2018.
U-M Professor Heather Ann Thompson wins the Pulitzer Prize for History for her book “Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy” (Pantheon, 2016). It’s just one of many faculty recognitions during the year, including Guggenheim Fellowships for Adela Pinch and Paolo Squatriti and MacArthur Fellowships (aka “genius grants”) for Jason De Leon and Derek Peterson.
U-M maintains its ranking as the top U.S. public university, according to the QS World University Rankings for 2017-18. The ranking includes 959 universities in 84 countries and takes six factors into consideration. It is just one of many rankings that recognize the University’s academic excellence.
U-M announces a new financial aid program for in-state students that offers a "Go Blue Guarantee" of free tuition for up to four years for students with family income of up to $65,000. The new program—which includes families earning up to what is roughly the state's median income—will launch Jan. 1, 2018.
Martin Philbert assumes the position of provost at U-M, succeeding Martha Pollack, who left earlier in the year to become president of Cornell University. Formerly the dean of the School of Public Health, Philbert is the chief academic officer and chief budgetary officer of the Ann Arbor campus in his new role.
U-M officially names the rink inside Yost Ice Arena after Red Berenson, who retired after 33 seasons as head coach of the ice hockey team. The Red Berenson Rink will be formally dedicated Jan. 5, 2018, when the Wolverines host Notre Dame.
The University breaks ground for the new Trotter Multicultural Center on State Street. The $10 million building will serve as a new home to the center, which is currently located on Washtenaw Avenue.
The U-M Museum of Natural History will celebrate its last night in the Ruthven Museum Building with a special event. The museum will reopen in 2019 following a move to the new Biological Science Building, currently under construction next door.