Detroit city skyline in the evening.


Detroit is the birthplace of the University of Michigan where it was founded 1817 as the Catholepistemiad or University of Michigania. At that time, Detroit was the capital of the Michigan Territory. In 1837, the Michigan Territory became the State of Michigan, and the University of Michigan moved to Ann Arbor in the original 40-acre parcel that is our current Diag. U-M has maintained connections to the City of Detroit and its residents ever since.

U-M Detroit Timeline


University Founding

The university is founded in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, by Augustus Woodward, Rev. John Monteith, and Rev. Gabriel Richard.

Sources of information used to compile this timeline include The University of Michigan, An Encyclopedic Survey; The Making of the University of Michigan, 1817-1992, by Howard H. Peckham; Board of Regents proceedings; contemporary newspaper accounts; and the Lemuel Shattuck papers in the Burton Historical Collection at the Detroit Public Library.