For the First Time, the University of Michigan Is Naming an Academic Building for a Woman

For the first time in its history, the University of Michigan has named an academic building to honor a woman. The building that houses the Life Sciences Institute, a hub for bioscience research, will be known as Mary Sue Coleman Hall.

“I am deeply honored and touched by this action,” Dr. Coleman said in a statement. “For me, helping to build the Life Sciences Institute into the research powerhouse it is today was the opportunity of a lifetime.”

“To me, this richly deserved naming of Mary Sue Coleman Hall is a reflection of all she has done to enhance the University of Michigan and heighten the impact of higher education on our society,” said Mark Schlissel, current president of the University of Michigan. “Thanks to President Emerita Coleman, U-M has a faculty rich in intellectual diversity, a physical campus that is the envy of our peers, and numerous academic programs that are amongst the best in the world.”

Dr. Coleman was named president of the University of Michigan in 2002 and served in that role until 2014. Previously, she was president of the University of Iowa for seven years. Earlier in her career, Dr. Coleman was provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of New Mexico and vice chancellor for research and graduate education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She taught biochemistry at the University of Kentucky for 19 years.

Dr. Coleman came out of retirement in 2015 to serve as president of the Association of American Universities.

A graduate of Grinnell College in Iowa, Dr. Coleman earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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