Why does my dorm have that name?
At the University of Michigan, most of the residence communities are named after people from the university’s past. These former students, professors, and staff played important roles on campus and increased U-M’s reputation across the world. But many students don’t know much about the individuals whose names grace their residence halls. Learning more about these people can help us honor them. It can also give us perspective on the experiences of students on campus today.
This project explores the names associated with four of U-M’s residence halls: Alice Lloyd, Bursley, Mary Markley, and Baits I and II. Each of these halls is divided into a number of smaller houses, which are also named after figures from the university’s past. In total, we researched twelve people. Their stories–and the story of how the university selected them–appear on the pages of this website.
While most of the university’s buildings were named after men (some praiseworthy and others highly controversial), many of the residence communities were named after women. For this reason, we decided to focus specifically on the women remembered in the houses and halls of these four buildings. This research took us to two era’s in the university’s past, both of which were especially important for women: the late nineteenth century, when women first began attending the university, and the mid-twentieth century, when rising numbers of women students prompted these dorms to be built.