Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The University of Michigan

As the season begins to wind down, many of our staff members have begun leaving the Baldpate Inn to return to school. I, fortunately, get to stay a few weeks longer, but the recent goodbyes have got me thinking about the upcoming semester. We have an area here in the key room containing keys to many distinguished colleges and universities including Columbia University in new York and the University of Chicago. Simply because I love my home in Michigan, I've chosen today to talk about the key we have here from the University of Michigan.

The University of Michigania was established in Detroit, Michigan on August 26, 1817 and moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 under the new name, University of Michigan. Classes began in 1841 with the first graduating class of eleven men receiving their diplomas in 1845. Since then, the University of Michigan has grown into a large and respected American University. They are known for their history of student activism and for being the first American University to use the seminar method of study. It is also where President John F. Kennedy proposed the concept that became the Peace Corps and where President Lyndon B. Johnson outlined his Great Society program in a speech.

The key we have here in the Key Room opened the original Law Building of the University of Michigan which opened in 1863 and is still standing today. The building underwent renovations in 1893 and 1898. The old Law Building housed the Law School and tits library until 1933. The governing body of the University also met in this building until 1933. At that time, the building was renamed Haven Hall after Erastus O. Haven, a former president of the University, and began housing the History, Sociology and Journalism Departments. Today, Haven Hall houses the University's African American Music Collection, American Culture Program, Center for Afroamerican and African Studies, Political Science Department, Lemuel Johnson Library, Medieval and Early Modern Studies, and their Services for Students with Disabilities.

This key unlocked a door that countless professors and students passed through. This key represents knowledge, potential, and hard work of those individuals and the illustrious history of the University of Michigan. It was donated to the Baldpate Inn in December of 1934 by John C. Christensen, the former Assistant Secretary and Comptroller of U of M.

As the weather gets cooler and back to school sales start up, don't forget to visit the Baldpate Inn just once more for some incredible pie and a tour around the Key Room.

Until next time!