By AARON YNCLAN, Staff Writer
University of Michigan-Dearborn is set to hold a reception today honoring Mary Sue Coleman and her term as the University of Michigan’s thirteenth President.
President Coleman was first appointed to office in August 2002. In that time, she has enacted a number of initiatives aimed at enriching the Maize and Blue experience, from student suburban life to education development and international appeal.
“I would hate to try and put things in rank order of most important, but certainly one very important thing is the fact that the state of Michigan and the national economy have gone through very difficult financial times, really, since her arrival in 2002,” said UM-Dearborn Chancellor Daniel Little.
“Throughout that whole time, University-of-Michigan, in Ann Arbor as well as our own campus, have managed so that the academic quality of the university was never harmed. We have reduced costs; we’ve made good, intelligent financial decisions in such a ways to preserve access for students and academic excellence. Mary Sue Coleman was a national leader in helping steer the university through those difficult times. So that’s one thing I would say was very important of her tenure.
The second is that, during her time, the university undertook an audacious capital campaign. It set, in roughly 2002, a goal of raising 2.5 billion dollars on behalf of the university. And Mary Sue Coleman proved herself to be just a truly gifted person in terms of attracting individuals, corporations, and foundations in support of the university. Primarily the University-of-Michigan in Ann Arbor, but she gave leadership and inspiration for our efforts as well.”
“The Michigan Difference” was a massive undertaking led by President Coleman, and by its conclusion in December 2008 the campaign total stood at $3.2 billion- exceeding its goal and becoming the largest amount raised by a public university.
Additionally, under President Coleman’s watch, numerous academic partnerships were launched and expanded with universities around the world, including China, India, and Brazil. She was also responsible for the incredible partnership between the university and Google that enabled public access to the university’s seven-million-text library.
President Coleman was one of the six university presidents chosen by President Obama to help launch the Advanced Managing Partnership, and was named one of the nation’s “10 best college presidents” by TIME Magazine.
Mary Sue Coleman served as University-of-Michigan’s president for twelve years, and will be succeeded by Mark S. Schlissel. Her retirement reception will be held today, April 15, from 4:00-5:00 p.m. in Kochoff Hall.