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Eastern Michigan University
Header emu-logo.png
Motto Education First
Established 1849
Type Public
Endowment $35 Million[1]
President Susan Martin (Began July 7, 2008)
Students 22,974
Undergraduates 18,245
Postgraduates 4,729
Location Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA
Former names Normal College; Michigan State Normal School; Michigan State Normal College; Eastern Michigan College
Colors Green & White         
Nickname Eagles
Mascot Swoop

Eastern Michigan University is a comprehensive, co-educational public university located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The university is governed by an eight-member Board of Regents, who are appointed by the Governor of Michigan for eight-year terms. The school belongs to the Mid-American Conference and was re-accredited by the North Central Association in 2001. Currently, EMU comprises five colleges: Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, Health & Human Services, Technology and a Graduate School. Since 1991 its mascot has been the Eagle.



University Park on campus, in the background is the Rec/IM center. On the far right (not in view) is the Student Center.

The university was founded in 1849 as Michigan State Normal School, the first in Michigan and the first normal school created outside the original 13 colonies. Michigan created a state educational system modeled on that of Germany. The normal schools were to train teachers for common schools, which were being established rapidly in new towns in the state. In 1899, it became the Michigan State Normal College when it created the first four-year curriculum for a normal college in the nation. With the additions of departments, it became Eastern Michigan College in 1956, and finally Eastern Michigan University in 1959. Education, Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School were the first three colleges in the newly created university. Several major expansions followed shortly afterward, including the addition of the College of Business in 1964, the College of Health and Human Services in 1975 and the College of Technology in 1980. More recently, extended programs were added such as Continuing Education, the Centers for Corporate Training, the World College and numerous community-focused institutes.

Physically, the campus has grown with the construction of the Terrestrial and Aquatic Research Facility (1998), the Convocation Center (1998), the Bruce T. Halle Library (1998), the John W. Porter College of Education Building (1999), the Everett L. Marshall College of Health and Human Services Building (2000), the Village residence hall (2001) and University House (2003). A new Student Center opened in 2006.

Total student population averages about 23,000, of whom roughly 5,000 are graduate students. Most programs are undergraduate or master's level, although the university has doctoral programs in Educational Leadership, Technology, and Psychology. Susan W. Martin, Ph.D., took office as EMU's twenty-second president on July 7, 2008. Her predecessor, John Fallon III, Ph.D., was fired on July 15, 2007, following a unanimous vote by the Board of Regents in the wake of widespread criticism of his handling of issues around the murder of student Laura Dickinson.


EMU presidents

Adonijah Strong Welch, 1851-1865
David Porter Mayhew, 1865-1870
Charles FitzRoy Bellows, 1870-1871
Joseph Estabrook, 1871-1880
Malcolm MacVicar, 1880-1881
Daniel Putnam, 1880–1883, 1885-1886 (non-continuous)
Edwin Willits, 1883-1885
John Mayhelm Barry Sill, 1886-1893
Richard Gause Boone, 1893-1899
Elmer A. Lyman, 1900–1902
Lewis Henry Jones, 1903–1911
Charles McKenny, 1912–1933
John M. Munson, 1933–1948
Eugene B. Elliott, 1948–1965
Harold E. Sponberg, 1965–1974
James H. Brickley, 1974–1978
John W. Porter, 1979–1989
William E. Shelton, 1989–2000
Samuel A. Kirkpatrick, 2001–2004
Craig D. Willis, 2004–2005
John A. Fallon III, 2005–2007
Susan Martin, 2008–present


Since the 1991 season, Eastern Michigan University athletic teams have gone by the nickname "Eagles." EMU originally went by the nicknames "Normalites" and "Men from Ypsi" and various other titles down through the years before "Hurons" was adopted in 1929. The "Hurons" first came into being as the result of a contest sponsored by the Men's Union in 1929. On Oct. 31 of that year, a three-person committee, composed of Dr. Clyde Ford, Dr. Elmer Lyman and Professor Bert Peet, selected the name "Hurons" from the many entries in the contest. The name was submitted by two students, Gretchen Borst and George Hanner. The runner-up name in that contest was Pioneers.

EMU began investigating the appropriateness of its Huron Indian logo after the Michigan Department of Civil Rights issued a report in October 1988 suggesting that all schools using such logos drop them. The report indicated that the use of Native American names, logos and mascots for athletic teams promoted racial stereotypes. At that time, four colleges, 62 high schools and 33 junior high/middle schools in Michigan used Native American logos or names, including Mid-American Conference rival Central Michigan University. CMU did not, however, change their nickname from the Chippewas. The EMU Board of Regents voted to replace the Huron name with Eagles, taken from three recommendations from a committee charged with supplying a new nickname. The other two final names submitted were Green Hornets and Express. The Eagles name was officially adopted on May 22, 1991, when the EMU Board of Regents voted to replace the existing Huron nickname and logo with the new one. During the 1991 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, announcer Brent Musburger talked about the controversy and referred to the team on-air as the "No-Names."

The controversy over the nickname continues to this day, as many former students and faculty were angered that a unique name like Hurons was replaced by a common name like Eagles, especially for reasons of political correctness. Some alumni have even refused to donate money to the school until the name Hurons is restored. An official chapter of the EMU Alumni Association, the Huron Restoration Chapter, seeks to bring back the name and claims to have the support of Chief Leaford Bearskin of the Wyandot Tribe of Oklahoma and former Grand Chief Max Gros-Louis of the Huron-Wendat Nation of Quebec.[2]


The University currently has approximately 17,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students.[3] Eastern Michigan University offers degrees and programs at the bachelor's, master's, specialist's and doctoral levels. Undergraduate students can select from more than 200 majors and minors, and graduate students have the choice of more than 170 programs.

EMU Livonia

EMU has eight academic divisions:[4]

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Education
  • College of Health and Human Services
  • College of Technology
  • Honors College

EMU University sites:[5]

  • EMU–Brighton
  • EMU–Detroit
  • EMU–Flint
  • EMU–Jackson
  • EMU–Livonia
  • EMU–Monroe
  • EMU–Northern Michigan
  • Kresge Environmental Center

College of Arts and Sciences

Today there is more than 125 programs of study in the College of Arts and Science.[6] The College of Arts and Sciences oversees facilities such as Ford Gallery, Sherzer Observatory, Kresge Environmental Education Center, the Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology Research Facility, and Pease Auditorium. The Ford Gallery is where both students and practicing artists display works for the EMU community. The Sherzer Observatory which opened in 1978 is operated by Physics & Astronomy staff and student volunteers from the EMU Astronomy Club. The Kresege Environmental Education Center is a 240 acres facility near Lapeer, Michigan where research is conducted. The Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology Research Facility was Constructed in 1998 and is operated by the Department of Biology. Lastly, Pease Auditorium opened in 1914 and has been "a cultural jewel in the heart of Ypsilanti".[7]


EMU is home to one of the nation's most successful forensics (competitive speech) teams. The EMU Forensics team, currently ranked 9th in the nation, has the distinction of being the only program in the country to place in the top 10 at every NFA national championship since they began in 1971.[8] The EMU forensics team has won 10 team national championships and 66 individual national championships. With 36 out of a possible 37 state championships, the team is the foremost forensics competitive team in the state of Michigan. This reputation has been enhanced by the fact that EMU competitors have won over 200 individual state championships.

Historic preservation

EMU's historic preservation program, in the Department of Geography and Geology, is the nation's largest historical preservation graduate program, and the only one in Michigan.[9] Founded in 1979 with support from a grant from the Preservation Education Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the program has won widespread recognition, including a Certificate of Commendation in 1989 from the American Association of State & Local History, co-hosting the Third Global Congress in Heritage Interpretation in 1991, hosting the 1997 meeting of the Pioneer America Society,[10][11] and the 2009 Michigan Historic Preservation Network Government/Institutional Award.[12] With the abolition of Michigan's Department of History, Arts, and Libraries, the EMU historic preservation program will take over preparation of text for the Michigan Historical Marker Program.[13][14]

College of Business

Started in 1911 the Board authorized a Business Education Degree at the then-named Michigan State Normal School.[15] In 1929 EMU offered a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration for the first time. The College of Business or COB moved to its current location in 1991.[16] Today the COB serves approximately 3400 graduate and undergraduate students.[17] The COB offers 20 majors and minors and five graduate degrees, and ten graduate certificate programs.[18] Compared to the rest of campus the COB is located just off campus closer to downtown Ypsilanti. Students are able to take a shuttle from the main campus to the COB one way in under 5 minuets.

College of Education

Eastern Michigan has had a long history on creating educators since its founding in 1849. Eastern Michigan prides itself as the largest producer of educational personnel in the country since 1991.[19] The College of Education is divided by 3 departments Leadership & Counseling, Special Education and Teacher Education and offers over 85 majors and minors and over 30 graduate degrees.[20]

College of Health and Human Services

Eastern Michigan University established the College of Human Services in 1975. Eventually the university changed the name to the College of Health and Human Services on April 21, 1982.[21] Today the home of the College of Health and Human Services is the Marshal building next to the College of Education (Porter Hall). The College of Health and Human Services houses majors ranging from Dietetics, Health Administration and nursing.

College of Technology

The College of Technology was established in 1980 and is housed in Sill & Roosevelt Halls. The College consists of 1525 undergraduate and 452 graduate students. The College of Technology offers over 25 undergraduate and 10 graduate programs.[22]


The EMU Aviation Program offers bachelor's degree programs in Aviation Flight Technology and Aviation Management. EMU Aviation is the largest collegiate flight school in the SE Michigan/NW Ohio Area, and the fastest growing program in the Great Lakes Region [23]

Campus life

EMU is located in Ypsilanti, a city 35 miles (56 km) west of Detroit and eight miles (13 km) east of Ann Arbor. Detroit Metro Airport is a fifteen-minute drive from campus. The school is a culturally diverse learning and teaching community set in a small city environment, amid a major metropolitan area. Students, attracted by the school's atmosphere and location, come not only from the Metro Detroit area but from the entire state of Michigan; EMU is well known both nationally and internationally. The university's site is composed of an academic and athletic campus spread across 800 acres (3.2 km2), with 122 buildings. The EMU campus includes several buildings with sculpture by Corrado Parducci.

EMU Student Center

Student Center

Since its opening in 2006 the EMU Student Center replaced McKenny Union as the center of campus life.[24] In April 2007, the Student Center was voted the “Best Place to Hang Between Classes” by Eastern Echo readers. The Student Center is the home to the EMU Bookstore, a variety of food vendors, a 24/7 computer lab, two art galleries, meeting/conference/banquet rooms, a dining room stage, and an auditorium for movies, live performances and guest lectures. In addition, the Student Center is home to the offices of Campus Life, VISION, Service EMU and Admission.

The Village on-campus residences.


Eastern Michigan University has 14 residence halls and 3 apartment areas. The first year center, which houses first-year students are Walton, Putnam, Phelps, Sellers and Best hall. Downing Hall, the community of Scholars houses first-year and upperclassmen students. Upperclassmen residence hall options include Wise, Buell, Pittman, Hill, and Hoyt. In addition, one of EMU's most recent residence halls is The Village complex which consists of six buildings, each housing 46 students and a commons building. Eastern also offers apartment options which consist of Brown, Cornell Courts, and Westview apartments.


Halle Library from McKenny side of campus.

The Bruce T. Halle Library is a state-of-the-art four-story facility. It is the sole library on campus and is within a ten-minute walk of all of the school's residence halls. It includes computer labs, study spaces, the Holman Learning Center (which provides free tutoring), a distance-learning classroom, the Faculty Development Center, the ICT Help Desk, a multi-media area, a theater, an auditorium, the University archives, the carillon tower and the Paradox Cafe. It houses one of the largest collections of children's literature in the United States. The building has full wireless connectivity, as well as an automated retrieval system (the ARC) capable of housing 1 million items. While the most-used books are still on shelves, the majority of the school's books are stored within this system, which runs several stories underneath the library itself. Bruce Halle was the head of the Discount Tire Company, and has been a major benefactor.

Student safety on campus

Eastern Michigan's administration claims their college has one of the lowest overall crime rates in the nation[25] although the students frequently receive notifications from the police department warning them of local crimes that have been committed, mostly pertaining to armed robbery. Victims are generally not students but occasionally this is the case. Like all colleges and universities in the United States, under the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act (1990), EMU reports its on-campus crime statistics to the Michigan State Police and publishes the numbers on the Campus Safety website. Ypsilanti crime rates can be compared to other cities using Detroit Michigan Crime Statistics and Data Resources website.

Student life

While Eastern Michigan University is mainly a commuter campus, the school provides countless co-curricular opportunities. Students work with volunteer organizations such as Habitat for Humanity both during the school year and on breaks. The Greek system provides several fraternities and sororities that students can join, many of which have houses within walking distance of campus. Other clubs include the Muslim Student Organization, Phi Theta Kappa, and the LGBTA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual Association). EMU's co-curricular staff also works to provide fun trips for the students; in the past, they have included a weekend train trip to Chicago and a bus trip to Detroit's Second City Comedy Club.

Pray Harrold academic building at Eastern Michigan University

Student life blends easily with off-campus activities as well. EMU's campus is within walking distance of Depot Town, Ypsilanti's historical shop area where students go for ice cream, games of pool, and live music. Washtenaw Avenue, the main street that runs along the south end of the campus, holds several coffee shops and restaurants where students study, eat, and listen to (or take part in) live performances. The Tower Inn, for instance, is less than a five-minute walk from Pray-Harrold, and is owned by a married couple who are both Eastern Michigan alums.

Campus Media

The Eastern Echo, EMU's independent student newspaper, is published three times a week during the fall and winter semesters and once a week during the spring semester, as well as publishing content online. The paper won eight awards in the 2005 Division 1 Michigan Collegiate Press Association contest, including second place in the general excellence category. The newspaper, which is funded through advertising revenue, is not under the editorial control of the university. Also part of the EMU Student Media Office is Cellar Roots, the school's student-run literary and fine arts magazine. Cellar Roots celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2006 with a week of events that highlighted the history of the publication. Cellar Roots is a five time winner of the National Pacemaker award for design, an award often equated with the Pulitzer Prize for the college level, as well numerous other awards. In December 2007, a group of former students also started a monthly magazine called emYOU! The Magazine, which caters to Eastern students as well as the Ypsilanti community.

Men's fraternities

Women's fraternities

Greek Life

Beyond student organizations EMU offers a variety of Greek organizations on campus.[26] Just like most universities EMU has a National Pan-Hellenic Council, National Panhellenic Conference and Interfraternity Council [27]

Marching and basketball bands

The Eastern Michigan University Marching Band, nicknamed "The Pride of the Peninsula," was first formed in 1924. Notable past leaders of the EMU band program include Mitch Osadchuk (1956–1964), Thomas Tyra (1964–1977), Max Plank (1979–2002) and Scott Boerma (2002–2007). The University Bands are presently directed by Dr. Mary K. Schneider (the Wind Symphony) and Professor John Zastoupil (the Symphonic Band and Marching Band). The band plays both Go Green and the Eagles Fight Song for pregame at football games, and after every game and rehearsal the marching band sings Our Pledge. Other major parts of the pregame performance include the tunnel entrance and "Floating E".

The EMU Marching Band also provides a wide variety of half time entertainment throughout the season. In recent years, The EMUMB has traveled with the football team to The University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Ford Field in Detroit. The EMU Marching Band has also performed at venues such as The Pontiac Silverdome and Rich Stadium in Buffalo, NY. In 2008, The EMUMB performed in America's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit, MI.

The Eastern Michigan University Basketball Band is directed by the two graduate assistants of the band. Unlike the marching band which is made up of all brass and woodwinds, the Basketball Band's instrumentation is strictly "Brass and Sax." The Basketball Band travels with the basketball teams during the MAC tournament or the NCAA tournament.


The school song "Our Pledge" was written by Edward Bowles and was arranged for the marching band by Thomas Tyra. The melody of "Eagles Fight Song" was written by Larry Livingston and arranged for marching band by Thomas Tyra. The percussion parts were written by Whitney Prince. "Go Green" was written by Thomas Tyra.


Eastern Michigan athletic teams have been successful on a national level, winning three NCAA Division II national championships and 13 NAIA Division I national championships in five different sports (baseball, men's cross country, men's swimming and diving, men's indoor track and field, and men's outdoor track and field).

Rynearson Stadium track, EMU Convocation & Athletic Center in the background.

EMU Athletic facilities include Rynearson Stadium, EMU Convo Center, and Bowen Field House

EMU has also been NCAA Division I national runner-up twice: in 1940, the men's cross country team finished second to Indiana University at the national meet hosted by Michigan State University; then, on June 19, 1976, after finishing in sixth place the year before, the baseball team was defeated by the University of Arizona in the final game of the College World Series at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska. Eastern Michigan remains the last northern school to make to the NCAA Division I baseball championship game.

Rynearson Stadium Press box.

Eastern's men's basketball team has appeared in four NCAA Division I tournaments, and have a 3-4 record, tied for third best among Michigan colleges. In the 1996 Men's Basketball Tournament, Eastern Michigan defeated the Duke Blue Devils in the opening round; it would be the Blue Devils' last first- or second-round defeat until 2007, when they were upended by VCU in the opening round.

the Olds/Robb Rec/IM center.

The Eagles have the most MAC championships in a single sport, 26, in men's swimming and diving (1978, 1980–1996, 1998, 2000–2005, and 2007).

The 2006-2007 season was a successful one for Eastern Michigan, as they won an EMU and Mid-American Conference record eight conference titles: Men's Cross Country, Men's Swimming And Diving, Women's Swimming And Diving, Softball, Men's Indoor Track, Women's Gymnastics, Men's Golf and Men's Outdoor Track. This beat the school's previous record of five titles as well as the previous MAC record of six.

Traditionally, Eastern's football teams have struggled, and the program has had problems attracting fans, partially due to their proximity to the powerful University of Michigan just seven miles (11 km) away. After reaching a low point with a 27-game losing streak that was finally snapped in 1982, EMU started to become competitive. In 1987, EMU won its first Mid-American Conference title then defeated 17 1/2-point favorite San Jose State in the California Bowl. The 1988 and 1989 teams each finished in second place in the conference and ended the most successful stretch of football in school history with its fourth straight winning season.

Oestrike Stadium looking towards Huron River Drive.

Since being renamed as "Eagles" (formerly "Hurons", cynics have suggested the new nickname has put a "hex" on the team) the football teams have returned to mediocrity, with just one winning season (1995). Despite the expansion of Rynearson Stadium to 30,000 seats, drawing fans continues to be a problem: NCAA rules state that in order to stay in Division I-A for football, each team must attract an average of 15,000 fans per game. During a 1-11 season in 2006, Eastern's EMU Foundation purchased 5,000 tickets for local high school students to curb this threat to their status. EMU has also played a few home games at Ford Field in downtown Detroit starting in 2004 (The "Collegiate Clash") where they have hosted Central Michigan University (2004), Western Michigan University (2005), the United States Naval Academy (2006), and Northwestern University on October 19, 2007. These appearances in Detroit have been beneficial to their average attendance, as it usually gets around 25,000 fans. EMU often plays home games at night, so they won't interfere with U of M home games on the same day. Also, in recent years they have scheduled some games on Thursday and Friday nights, which boosts student attendance (EMU is a majority commuter school, and even those who stay in the dorms often go home over weekends). There have been small successes though, such as a 6-4 record against rivals Western Michigan and Central Michigan in the 5 years under coach Jeff Genyk from 2004 to 2008, setting a school record for a 5 year span against Western and Central.[28]

EMU was a member of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1950 to 1961.

Notable Alumni & Faculty

List of Notable Eastern Michigan University Alumni & Faculty

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Huron Restoration Chapter". Retrieved 2009-09-18. 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ 2008 NFA Results:
  9. ^ "New partnership forms to ensure future of Michigan Historical Marker Program". River Country Journal. 2010-02-18. Retrieved 2010-02-19. "EMU’s Historic Preservation Program is the largest graduate program in historic preservation in the nation, and the only such program in Michigan." 
  10. ^ "Program History". Eastern Michigan University. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  11. ^ "EMU Historic Preservation". Eastern Michigan University. 2005-11-16. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  12. ^ Heflin, Cindy (2009-06-24). "Eastern Michigan University wins historic preservation award". Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  13. ^ "About the Michigan Historical Marker Program". State of Michigan. 20-02-11.,1607,7-153-54463_54475_18654-54139--,00.html. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  14. ^ "EMU takes on Michigan Historical Marker Program". WLNS. 2010-02-18. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ University under fire for cover-up -
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^

External links

Image Gallery

EMU Images
Sherzer Observatory  
Window of McKenny Union  
March 9, 1989 fire in Sherzer destroyed the vintage 1903 Mellish telescope  
A restored Sherzer Hall  
The Towers complex which are Hill, Hoyt and Pittman halls.  

Coordinates: 42°15′01″N 83°37′28″W / 42.250154°N 83.624454°W / 42.250154; -83.624454


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