About the Club
Our Club is open to all members of the University of Michigan Alumni Association and includes both alumni and friends of the University. During the school year, we meet once a month, generally on the second Tuesday of the month, for lunch and friendship. At our meetings we have a speaker from the University family. Four officers, and an Executive Committee and a twenty four member Board of Governors lead the University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit. We have committees that plan each of our events. There are many opportunities for members to become actively involved in club activities. We have over 2000 active members from the area. Some of our members have moved away but still maintain their membership in the Club. We have members throughout the United States and in several foreign countries. All of our events and meetings are open to members and guests.
The Football Bust is by far our largest event as attendance is usually over 1200 people. In 2012, we held our 92rd Annual Football Bust. This event is held just after the completion of the football team’s regular season.
We also have a Kick-Off Party in connection with the upcoming football season in late August or early September of each year, a Hockey Night at the Joe in February and our Annual Meeting and Golf Outing in June. The Golf Outing is a very special event since it is held at the Radrick Farms Golf Course. Radrick Farms is one of two University of Michigan gold courses. This course is located on land that was donated by former Regent, Past President and longtime member of the University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit, Frederick C. Matthaei, (1914).
We also have out-of town football trips, which were started at the request of former University of Michigan Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Fritz Crisler in the 1940’s. We have been traveling as a Club to support our team ever since. These trips have always been a fundraiser with all profits going to support our Club’s scholarship fund.
Other events over the years have included theater nights, concerts featuring the University of Michigan Band and Glee Club, boat excursions, skating parties, picnics and other family outings.
We have had many other events, which are too numerous to mention. We are always looking for new ideas to meet the first two objectives, for which we were founded.
The leadership of our Club over the years has included outstanding individuals and our early leaders certainly fit this description. The Association’s first president in 1895 was Don M. Dickinson, (1865), a Detroit lawyer who served as Postmaster General under President Cleveland. The second was Levi L. Barbour, (1863), a Regent and early benefactor of the University. Following Barbour was William E. Quinby, (1858), who also had served under the Cleveland administration a Minister to the Netherlands. These men and a group of dedicated successors served the Association until 1911 when it was reorganized as the University of Michigan Club of Detroit. This name was carried for 58 years and in 1969, we became the University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit. This was done to reflect the significant population shift from the city proper to its expanding suburbs and to encourage members who no longer lived in the city to continue their Club memberships. The name change probably helped since the Club membership has held quite steady since 1969 and has actually grown each year.
Since the reorganization in 1911, the leadership of the Club has included alums of diverse occupations and varying financial standing, but always alums with one thing in common – their love for the University and a desire to remain close to it. Past presidents include William A. Comstock,(1899), former Governor of the State of Michigan, as well as former Regents Harry C. Bulkley, (1899), Ralph Stone,(1892); Frederick C. Matthaei, (1914); and Frederick C. Matthaei , Jr. (1947). Prominent members of the sports community to lead the Club include former NFL stars John Greene, (1944) and Roger Zatkoff, (1953); as well as former Athletic Director Tom Goss (1968). The Club has also had NFL stars Terry Barr, Ron Kramer and Jamie Morris as members. Past governors of the Club include former U.S. Senator Homer Ferguson and former Detroit Mayor Edwards J. Jefferies, Jr., along with members of the judiciary and a number of other prominent citizens.
Members of the University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit come from all walks of life and the one common value in each person is their love for the University. To some outsiders, the University of Michigan Club Greater Detroit may appear to be a sports minded group of men and women who live and die with the fortunes of Michigan’s athletic teams and care about little else. No real Michigan person feels this way and no group anywhere takes greater pride in Michigan’s long record of academic excellence than University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit.
Many of our members, as individuals, have made substantial gifts to the University over the years in addition to all the financial contributions that the Club has made. We fund scholarships each year for both the general student body as well as for student-athletes. Several of these scholarships are endowed.
In addition to the scholarships that we sponsor, we have been asked by the University at times to help a student that needed financial assistance to continue their education. The University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit has always tried to meet each and every request from the University. All profits from our events each year plus a special scholarship solicitation are allocated to the Club Scholarship fund. Reports are made on the progress of the scholarship recipients, which are a source of pride to all Club members.