The University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit ... Through the Years
The University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit was founded in Detroit on October 31, 1895 as
the "University of Michigan Association of Detroit" with 170 members; its stated objectives were:
A. The promotion of the best interests of the University of Michigan.
B. The cultivation of friendly relations among members of the Association.
C. An annual banquet.
The above mentioned "annual banquet," held during the early days of the Association, was that group's
main social event, and was always a Detroit dinner to honor Michigan's "Grand Old Man," University
President James Burrill Angell - and to hear his annual report. Newspaper accounts of that period
described President Angell coming to the City of Detroit by train accompanied by an entourage from Ann Arbor.
President Angell was charming and a friendly man, so good fellowship prevailed and the dinners
were apparently a great success. They continued until President Angell retired in 1909.
Except for expanding the "annual banquet" into a rather wide scale of social events, the three stated
objectives of 1895 could still be considered the cornerstone of our Club today. In 1911, the "University of Michigan Association
of Detroit" became the "University of Michigan Club of Detroit." We certainly have the "promotion of the best interests of the University
of Michigan" as our primary objective, be it in the area of fund raising, providing scholarships, supporting University activities, providing assistance
and counsel to our University administration on occasion, or by contributing in whatever other way we can to maintain and enhance the prestige of
our great University. The second objective stated above, "the cultivation of friendly relations among members," is hardly an objective since it is a
natural out-growth of the pride and good fellowship that all supporters of the University of Michigan feel whenever they get together.
The Football Bust is by far our largest event as attendance is usually over 1200 people. In 2003, we held our 83rd Annual Football Bust. This event
is held just after the completion of the football team's regular season. We host a breakfast each year for incoming freshman and their parents from the Detroit
Metropolitan area in late August. At this event, freshman and their parents learn about the University and what they will experience in the coming years.
Our speakers are the Deans of the various schools and different representatives from the University. We also have a Kick-Off Party in connection with the upcoming football
season in late August or early September of each year, a Hockey Night at the Joe in February and our Annual Meeting and Golf Outing in June. The Golf Outing is a very special event
since it is held at the Radrick Farms Golf Course. Radrick Farms is one of two University of Michigan gold courses. This course is located on land that was donated by former
Regent, Past President and longtime member of the University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit, Frederick C. Matthaei, (1914). We also have out-of town football trips, which were
started at the request of former University of Michigan Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Fritz Crisler in the 1940's. We have been traveling as a Club to support our team ever since.
These trips have always been a fundraiser with all profits going to support our Club's scholarship fund. Other events over the years have included theater nights, concerts featuring the University
of Michigan Band and Glee Club, boat excursions, skating parties, picnics and other family outings. We have had many other events, which are too numerous to mention. We are always looking for new ideas
to meet the first two objectives, for which we were founded. The leadership of our Club over the years has included outstanding individuals and our early leaders certainly fit this description.
The Association's first president in 1895 was Don M. Dickinson, (1865), a Detroit lawyer who served as Postmaster General under President Cleveland. The second was Levi L. Barbour, (1863), a Regent
and early benefactor of the University. Following Barbour was William E. Quinby, (1858), who also had served under the Cleveland administration a Minister to the Netherlands.
These men and a group of dedicated successors served the Association until 1911 when it was reorganized as the University of Michigan Club of Detroit. This name was carried for 58 years and in 1969,
we became the University of Michigan Club of Detroit. This was done to reflect the significant population shift from the city proper to its expanding suburbs and to encourage members who no longer lived
in the city to continue their Club memberships. The name change probably helped since the Club membership has held quite steady since 1969 and has actually grown each year.
Since the reorganization in 1911, the leadership of the Club has included men of diverse
occupations and varying financial standing, but always men with one thing in common - their love
for the University and a desire to remain close to it. Past presidents include William
A. Comstock,(1899), former Governor of the State of Michigan, as well as former Regents Harry C.
Bulkley, (1899), Ralph Stone,(1892); Frederick C. Matthaei, (1914); and Frederick C. Matthaei, Jr.
(1947). Prominent members of the sports community to lead the Club include former NFL stars John Greene,
(1944) and Roger Zatkoff,(1953); former Athletic Director Tom Goss, (1968), as well as current Detroit Tigers
Executive Vice President James F.Stapleton, (1982). The Club has also had NFL stars Terry Barr, Ron Kramer and Jamie
Morris as members. Past governors of the Club include former U.S. Senator Homer Ferguson and former Detroit Mayor Edwards J. Jefferies, Jr.,
along with members of the judiciary and a number of other prominent citizens. Members of the University of Michigan Club Greater
Detroit come from all walks of life and the one common value in each person is their love for the University. To some outsiders, the University of Michigan
Club Greater Detroit may appear to be a sports minded group of men and women who live and die with the fortunes of Michigan's athletic teams
and care about little else. No real Michigan person feels this way and no group anywhere takes greater pride in Michigan's long record of academic excellence
than University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit. Many of our members, as individuals, have made substantial gifts to the University
over the years in addition to all the financial contributions that the Club has made. We fund scholarships each year for both the general student body as well as
for student-athletes. Several of these scholarships are endowed. In addition to the scholarships that we sponsor, we have been asked by the University at times
to help a student that needed financial assistance to continue their education. The University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit has always tried
to meet each and every request from the University. All profits from our events each year plus a special scholarship solicitation are allocated to the
Club Scholarship fund. Reports are made on the progress of the scholarship recipients, which are a source of pride to all Club members.
Our Club is open to all members of the University of Michigan Alumni Association and includes both alumni and friends of the University. During the school year,
we meet once a month, generally on the second Tuesday of the month, for lunch and friendship. At our meetings we have a speaker from the University family.
Four officers, and an Executive Committee and a thirty-two member Board of Governors lead the University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit. We have committees
that plan each of our events. There are many opportunities for members to become actively involved in club activities. We have over 1400 active members from the area.
Some of our members have moved away but still maintain their membership in the Club. We have members throughout the United States and in several foreign countries.
All of our events and meetings are open to members and guests. We are always looking for new members. You can reach us at the University of Michigan Club of Greater
Detroit, P.O. Box 3505, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-3505 or obtain a membership application now!
Summary History of the University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit
Club Founded - October 31, 1895 - The club was founded in Detroit on October 31, 1895 as the "University of Michigan Association of Detroit" with 170 members.
The stated objectives of the club were as follows:
The promotion of the best interests of the University of Michigan
The cultivation of friendly relations among members of the association
An annual banquet
The annual banquet was held in honor of University President James Burrill Angell and allowed the Association membership a chance to hear his annual report. These
banquets continued until President Angell retired in 1909.
In 1911, the club was re-organized under the name "University of Michigan Club of Detroit".
The Club Through the Years
Inaugural Football Bust - 1921 - The football bust was started as a club event in 1921 to honor Fielding Yost's Michigan team that finished 5-1-1. The Bust seemed
to serve as an inspiration to the Michigan team as the next two squads won back-to-back Big Ten titles with a combined 14-0-1 record. Transportation Committee Formed - Late 1940's - During
Fritz Crisler's tenure as coach of Michigan, he worked with the Detroit Club to form the Transportation Committee within the Club. The goal of the Transportation Committee was to gather people
together to watch Michigan play on the road and raise scholarship funds in the process. The Transportation Committee continues today and is one of the primary contributors to the Detroit Club
Name Change - 1969 - As the population of Detroit expanded into the surrounding suburbs, the club changed to "University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit" to reflect the expanded appeal of the club.
The Club currently has over 1,300 members from the Greater Detroit area.
The University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit Today
Scholarship Efforts - The Detroit Club has invested substantial time and money over the years to finance scholarships for many deserving University students. The club currently grants over 12 scholarships
per year to Michigan trainers, Michigan band members and the general student population.
Football Bust - The annual Football Bust continues today as the Club's premier event. University of Michigan football players in their senior year are given the coveted "M" ring by the Club at the bust
and all team awards are distributed as well.
Other Club Events - The club also holds various other events annually including the kickoff dinner prior to the opening game of the football season, family events, the freshman breakfast for all incoming
freshman students in the Detroit area, winter sports days at a Michigan hockey game and our annual golf outing in June.
- John T. Campbell; '48, '59 MBA
Revised 2003: - John R. Ghindia; '86 BS
P.O. Box 970684 | Ypsilanti, MI 48197 | (734) 528-9661