The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.
Page  753


At a meeting of the Board of Regents in March, 1890, Dr. Albert B. Prescott, Dean of the School of Pharmacy, presented a plan for a summer school of chemistry of six weeks' duration, July 7 to August 16. He suggested that the fee be $25 and that the director of the chemical laboratory be placed in general charge. The instructor, to be appointed by the Board, was to receive compensation proportionate to the funds realized from fees, but neither more than 80 per cent of the amount collected nor more than $300. The University was asked to advertise by card in a few periodicals of the public schools and to print an announcement in the form of a leaflet. William F. Edwards was appointed Instructor for the course, with the understanding that the work of the students was to be restricted to one room of the chemical laboratory.

This was not, in fact, the first evidence of local interest in summer study. Summer work in surgery was given in 1857 and 1858. The University participated indirectly in a venture known as the Northwestern Summer Institute at Petoskey in 1882. The Institute was organized at least partly on the initiative of University of Michigan faculty members who spent their vacations there, and on its first teaching staff, in addition to professors from Hillsdale and the State Normal School, were Professors Gayley, Payne, Steere, and Stowell, Mr. Hennequin, and Mrs. Stowell. The University even loaned its microscopes. According to the Argonaut, the Institute was patterned after the older summer schools of the East, such as those held at Martha's Vineyard, where Professors Winchell, Harrington, and Adams had taught.

In December, 1893, through a committee composed of Elmer A. Lyman, John O. Reed, William F. Edwards, Ernst H. Mensel, and Moritz Levi, and endorsed by Burke A. Hinsdale, the faculty of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts asked for the establishment of summer courses six weeks in length for teachers and students who could not attend during the regular year. The Regents decided, in accordance with the plan proposed, to provide for advertising and for faculty compensation out of the summer student fees and to require each instructor to bear the cost of janitor service for the rooms he used. They promptly advanced $300 for the advertising, and in time a bulletin entitled Summer Courses of Instruction was printed.

Although the organization proceeded rather slowly and the program for 1894 was therefore not well publicized, eighty-eight students attended that session. The administrative committee for the summer was composed of Burke A. Hinsdale, Albert B. Prescott, George Hempl, John O. Reed, and Elmer A. Lyman. Courses were offered in English literature by Isaac N. Demmon, in the English language by George Hempl, in composition by Fred N. Scott, and in the science and art of teaching by Burke A. Hinsdale. It was announced that Francis W. Kelsey, Henry A. Sanders, and Clarence L. Meader would teach Latin; Fred M. Taylor, political economy; and Frank N. Cole, Alexander Ziwet, and Elmer A. Lyman, mathematics. George W. Patterson and John O. Reed constituted the physics faculty. Frederick C. Newcombe taught botany; Moritz Levi, French; George O. Higley and William F. Edwards, chemistry; Herbert F. de Cou, Page  754Greek; Ernst H. Mensel, German; Sidney D. Townley, astronomy; and Webster Cook, history. Miss Alice L. Hunt taught drawing, and Herbert S. Jennings offered work in morphology. General public lectures by President Angell and Professors Carhart, Thomas, Demmon, Trueblood, Kelsey, and Hinsdale were announced.

In December, 1894, provision was made for a second session. The tuition fees were fixed at $15 for one course, $25 for two courses, and $30 for three, and again $300 was set aside for advertising. The range of subjects in the Literary Department was extended in the summer of 1895, and summer work was first offered in the Department of Law. There were twenty-three teachers in all, and the number of students attending the session was 191.

President Angell was authorized by the Regents the following year to choose the faculty in the order of seniority for the next summer, and this group of instructors was permitted to elect a chairman, a secretary, and three others to constitute an executive committee. To the chairman and secretary were given the responsibility of advertising and of conducting the correspondence, as well as the right to withdraw courses elected by fewer than three students. This first executive committee consisted of Elmer A. Lyman, chairman, Ernst H. Mensel, secretary, and Joseph H. Drake, George O. Higley, and Earle W. Dow. The faculty members numbered forty-two, and there were 231 students enrolled, of whom twenty-six were in the Department of Law. Several public lectures were given, including one by President Angell on the war between China and Japan; also, Professor Albert Stanley gave recitals on the new Columbian organ. In the same year, 1896, the second program of summer work in the Department of Law was undertaken. It was administered by a special committee with Bradley M. Thompson as chairman and Elias F. Johnson as secretary. Seventeen law courses were offered, in addition to special training in elocution and oratory by Thomas C. Trueblood. A course of free lectures by the law faculty on such topics as the Magna Carta, the judicial system of the Jews, and the trial of Jesus, and a lecture by Judge Johnson on the right of a teacher to inflict corporal punishment were given.

At the close of the 1896 session the faculty was satisfied that the experimental stage had been passed. President Angell pointed out that the success of the Summer School warranted its permanent establishment, especially because of the service it rendered public education. It improved the teachers' preparation and naturally raised the quality of the instruction they gave; also, through their interest, it bound the schools more closely to the University. But a better form of organization, especially as to the method of appointing and paying the members of the summer faculty, was needed.

No important changes were made, however, until after the summer of 1898. Angell recorded that throughout these first five years the Summer Schools were "conducted by permission of the Board under a voluntary organization of such members of the literary and law faculties as chose to teach" (P.R., 1898-99, p. 7). There were also one or two instructors from the engineering faculty, whose few courses were listed in the bulletin with those of the Literary Department, although as far as the work of the regular academic year was concerned the Department of Engineering had been made a separate unit in 1895.

Before the summer of 1899 the single Summer School of the literary and engineering faculties was put under the direct control of the Regents, who assumed Page  755the financial risk, agreeing in advance on definite salaries for summer appointees at fixed rates per course for the various ranks, and appointed John O. Reed chairman of the executive committee of the Summer School of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Professor Reed had been a member of the committee of 1898 and also had helped to plan the first organized session in 1894. Continuing in charge of the summer work until he was appointed to the deanship of the Literary Department in 1907, he served first as chairman of the executive committee until February, 1905, and then as Dean of the Summer Session through the next three summers. During these nine years the enrollment rose from 263 to 1,070, a strong organization was built up, and the work for advanced students was developed.

The experiment of 1899 was a success. President Angell then ventured to suggest that the fees be reduced — though not, he warned, at the expense of faculty compensation. His view was that many of those most interested in summer instruction were teachers with small incomes, who found the fees prohibitive, and that the resulting increase in attendance would probably more than offset the loss to the University per student. Furthermore, graduates do better work; an increase in their number would probably improve the prestige of the Summer School.

In January, 1900, the Summer School committee laid before the Regents a set of plans designed to put the summer work "on a scale commensurate with the rank and dignity of the University," and the Board approved all provisions of the report, including even a guarantee of $2,500, or so much of it as might be needed, to defray any expenses not covered by tuition. According to this outline the University formed a summer committee on graduate work to maintain a constant relationship with the Graduate School Administrative Council. Plans were made to introduce courses "suitable for graduate students" and to fix the amount of credit allowed for summer work toward graduate degrees. At the same time provision was made for the appointment of outstanding men from other institutions, a new salary schedule was devised, and the name "Summer Session" was first used.

The new plan was tried in 1900, and evidently Angell's prediction of a larger and more mature company of students proved correct. Also gratifying was the fact that several full professors remained to teach.

The Department of Medicine and Surgery began its regular summer work in 1902, and in the following summer the Department of Engineering for the first time gave its courses separately, offering work in civil, mechanical, chemical, and electrical engineering. Though the Biological Station was not authorized until 1909, the possibility of establishing such a camp was first discussed by the Regents in April, 1900, and was again drawn to the Board's attention by Professor Reed in October, 1903, in the regular report of the Summer Session.

The support of President Angell and of the Regents enabled Reed to bring under the direction and control of one Summer Session the University's summer courses in all departments. In February, 1904, the Regents provided for the amalgamation of the summer offerings under one chairman and three secretaries — John R. Effinger, who represented the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts and the Department of Engineering; G. Carl Huber, the Department of Medicine and Surgery; and Edwin C. Goddard, the Department of Law. Before the summer of 1907 James P. Bird was added to this executive Page  756committee as secretary for the Department of Engineering; otherwise, the administrative organization and personnel remained the same until the end of Reed's service to the Summer Session. Throughout this period all of the summer work was carried on in a session of six weeks except that in the Department of Law, which continued to hold eight-week sessions.

A rule was adopted by the Regents at the time of the amalgamation, permitting leaves of absence on the basis of accumulated salaries; by this regulation, an instructor who had taught during four summer sessions without compensation could obtain a leave of absence for a full academic year. The summer reception was first held in 1904, under the management of the wives of faculty members. The first summer courses in pharmacy were given in 1905, and the first in the Homeopathic Medical College in 1907.

John R. Effinger, who had become a member of the summer faculty in 1897 and a member of the committee in 1900, served as secretary of the executive committee of the Summer Session from 1902 until the end of Reed's administration, and in October, 1907, was made Dean of the Summer Session. Edward H. Kraus then succeeded him as secretary of the executive committee and as the special representative of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

The attendance grew from 1,077 to 1,324 during the five summers of Dean Effinger's administration, 1908-12, and within the same period longer sessions were introduced, summer library courses were begun (1909), experimental summer field work in botany and zoology was undertaken, and the engineering field work was strengthened.

Though field work in surveying offered by Howard B. Merrick and his assistants had been listed in the Announcement of the Summer Session for three years, the first Summer Session announcement of a surveying camp was made in 1908, when the work was carried on at Burdickville, Leelanau County. At Douglas Lake the Bogardus Engineering Camp was firmly established in 1909 and the Biological Station was set up in a preliminary way. The next year the Biological Station offered regular work.

Dean Effinger had urged in February, 1908, that the summer session be extended to eight weeks, and in the Literary Department and the Department of Engineering the longer term went into effect the following summer. The Department of Law changed from one session of eight weeks to two sessions of five weeks each, beginning in the summer of 1910. This was done to provide for all courses of the first two years, one-half of each in alternate summers.

Edward H. Kraus became Acting Dean of the Summer Session in 1911, permanent administrator in 1913, and Dean in 1916. Kraus's active leadership covered the twenty-one years 1913-33 inclusive. Thoms E. Rankin became the first secretary of the Summer Session in 1916 and was succeeded by Carlton F. Wells in 1929. Louis M. Eich, the present secretary, began his work in 1933.

Among the important advancements in the Summer Session program during Dean Kraus's long administration were the establishment of summer courses in architecture in 1913, the first summer work of the School of Business Administration in the summer of 1917, and a southern Kentucky field station in geology and geography in 1920. The camp was directed first by C. O. Sauer and later (1924-35) by George M. Ehlers.

In 1916, the University Engineering Camp came to be called Camp Davis, in honor of Joseph B. Davis, formerly Page  757Professor of Geodesy and Surveying and Associate Dean of the Department of Engineering. In 1923 the administration of Camp Davis was put under the direction of the Office of the Summer Session, and the camp budget, previously a part of the budget of the College of Engineering, was included in that of the Summer Session. The Bogardus area, in which this camp had been conducted, grew from 1,600 acres to approximately 4,000 acres. The camp was moved to Wyoming in 1929.

Summer plays were developed in 1930 by the Department of Speech and proved to be the introduction of the later summer dramatic programs of the play production classes. The social and physical education programs of the University were also greatly improved by the construction of the Michigan League and the Intramural Sports Building in 1929. An annual gathering of notable research physicists known as the physics symposium and later as the symposium on theoretical physics was begun in 1923.

It is as true as it was in Angell's day that teachers and school officials look to the Summer Session for special training and inspiration. Besides professional courses in education and advanced academic work for teachers — the solid curriculum which has grown slowly, but very steadily, for a period of nearly half a century — a special summer program has in late years been sponsored by the School of Education. Begun in 1929 and dealing with such topics as guidance, remedial reading, and curriculum problems, this program consists of "clinics," special conferences, and short, intensive noncredit courses or institutes.

Other steps in the expansion of the summer program were the inclusion of the School of Music in 1930 and the adoption of the Michigan Daily as an official publication of the administration in 1932. It was in this year, too, that a group of teachers of international law held their first conference in Ann Arbor under the auspices of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Throughout this period the Biological Station was developed under the active interest of Dean Kraus, who in 1933 joined with Director La Rue and G. Carl Huber, then Dean of the Graduate School, in the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Station's activities.

At the beginning of the period in 1913 there were about 175 members of the summer faculty; in 1933 there were 435. The largest number while E. H. Kraus was Dean of the Summer Session was 518 in 1931. Within this same period the student body grew from 1,402 in 1913 to 4,328 in 1931; the total registration in 1933 was 2,962. The largest attendance of undergraduates in the years 1913-33 was that of the summer of 1927, when 1,190 were enrolled.

At first the graduate students formed only a small percentage, but by 1918 the proportion had grown to 11 per cent. At the same time the number of students with college degrees, including not only graduate students but also students enrolled in the professional schools and others not seeking advanced degrees and therefore enrolled in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, constituted 21 per cent of the total summer registration. Of the total enrollment in 1926, 26 per cent were graduate students; in 1928, 33 per cent; in 1930, 42 per cent; and in 1933, 44 per cent. In 1930, 60 per cent of all the students had college degrees, and in 1933, 64 per cent. The importance of summer graduate studies was consistently emphasized during Dean Kraus's administration: he served as the first secretary for the executive committee of the Graduate School in the summer of 1928.

Dean Kraus worked unremittingly to Page  758make the Summer Session an integral part of the University — a principle applied more extensively at Michigan than at most other institutions. He also insisted that teachers of advanced rank be retained on the Summer Session faculty in order to provide courses of the same standard as those given during the regular year. The practice of securing an early adoption of the Summer Session budget permitted the working out of the programs carefully and unhurriedly, with an early announcement of the program for each year. Kraus also advocated a salary scale proportionate to the winter pay schedule. Finally, in December, 1927, this scale, the highest in the history of the Summer Session, was adopted by the Regents.

In 1917 the deans and directors of the summer schools of the principal universities of the country came to Michigan and formed an association. This organization has assisted materially in the development of an appreciation for summer study, in large increases in enrollment, and in the placing of summer session programs upon a footing equivalent to that of the regular sessions. In all this work Dean Kraus took an active part, and college and university executives have expressed appreciation of his constructive, persistent, and patient labors.

The first summer session administered by Louis A. Hopkins, the present Director, was that of 1934. During the seven-year period extending through the summer of 1940 the enrollment of undergraduates in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts increased from 577 to 717, while the College of Engineering had a much larger relative growth, from 250 to 400. In the Medical School, the Law School, the College of Pharmacy, the College of Architecture and Design, and the School of Business Administration the summer attendance has remained constant for many years. The enrollment in the School of Forestry and Conservation, on the other hand, grew from thirty-two in 1934 to sixty-two in 1940. But the two units of the University that have had the greatest rise in summer enrollment are the School of Music, in which attendance increased from 101 to 321, and the Graduate School, in which the attendance was more than doubled in this seven-year period. There were 1,645 graduate students enrolled in 1934 and 3,438 in 1940. The total attendance of these seven years was as follows:

1934 3,272
1935 4,066
1936 4,528
1937 5,110
1938 5,771
1939 5,594
1940 5,680
Until 1939 there was a continually mounting enrollment in successive summer sessions which more than kept pace with the rate of growth of the enrollment during the regular academic year. Even in the summer of 1939, when there was a decrease that preceded by fifteen months a similar downward turn in the attendance at regular academic sessions, the summer enrollment was more than one-half that of the previous second semester and nearly one-half that of the following first semester.

The well-established activities previously carried on by the Summer Session have been continued — the conferences on international law, the symposia on theoretical physics, the programs of special interest to educators, the work of the Biological Station and of the other summer camps, and the excursions conducted for a number of years to points of scientific, industrial, or scenic and general interest. Among these are Niagara Falls, the island of Put-In Bay in Lake Erie, Greenfield Village and the Ford automobile plant in Dearborn, and Page  759the Cranbrook School near Bloomfield Hills.

Since 1935 the W. K. Kellogg Foundation has co-operated with the School of Education in giving varied programs of in-service education for teachers. These have included scholarships for study at the University as well as grants for the support of workshops provided in selected communities in the Michigan Community Health Project. This is the name given to the program in seven counties in western Michigan in which the Kellogg Foundation has been supporting numerous undertakings for community betterment. In the summer of 1938 a special curriculum laboratory was established in Ann Arbor in co-operation with Wayne University, Michigan State College, and the four state teachers colleges. In the same year, on the invitation of President Webster H. Pearce, the University established a graduate center at Marquette in the buildings of the Northern State Teachers College.

The Departments of Geology and Geography operated their last joint summer camp in southern Kentucky in 1934. In 1935 the Department of Geography carried on its field work in the Upper Peninsula near Menominee, and since then, with the generous co-operation of the State Department of Conservation, has maintained a field station at Wilderness Park, fifteen miles west of Mackinaw City. The Department of Geology for three summers, 1935-37, used State Bridge, Colorado, as its base. Since the summer of 1937 the field work in geology has been given with that in surveying at Camp Davis near Jackson, Wyoming. Camp Filibert Roth at the site near Munising had outgrown its capacity by the end of 1935. Obtaining generous terms from the Von Platen-Fox Lumber Company, the University adapted for instructional purposes a lumber camp on Golden Lake, Iron County, Michigan, to the west of Iron River, and opened it as Camp Filibert Roth in 1936. Recently the same company deeded a small tract of land on the lake front to the University, thus making possible a permanent establishment in the Ottawa National Forest. Since 1936 the applications for admission to the Biological Station have exceeded the available accommodations.

With the assistance of the Chrysler Corporation the College of Engineering has in recent years usually brought in outstanding men from other universities to conduct extra graduate work and the symposia in theoretical mechanics. In 1937, with the co-operation of five large electrical industries, the College developed a special program in electronics. Special emphasis in 1940 was placed on internal-combustion engines, advanced thermodynamics, and mechanical engineering.

The music clinic for high-school students, a successful annual event organized by the School of Music, was first held in 1936; in the same year the French House was established, and this also was successful and has been continued in later years. Professor Elmer D. Mitchell led a group of students in physical education on a study tour in Europe that summer, visiting eight European countries and concluding the journey at the Olympic games in Berlin. It was in the summer of 1938 that the Detroit program of the University in social administration came under the direction of the Summer Session.

In the period during which the present Director has served, the general program has been changed. Formerly the several departments arranged their programs somewhat independently, but at present emphasis is placed on groups of co-operative studies with each group under the direction of a joint committee selected especially for the purpose. A most Page  760interesting development of recent years, which serves well to illustrate the use made of co-operative committees, is that of the Summer Session institutes and programs of emphasis.

The annual Linguistic Institute, sponsored by the University, the Linguistic Society of America, and the American Council of Learned Societies, was organized in 1936 and has served as an occasion for bringing to the campus outstanding authorities in linguistics from other universities. The Institute of Far Eastern Studies, organized in 1938 and conducted again in 1939, has capitalized a long-standing tradition of the University's interest in the Orient. In the summer of 1935 Professor Robert B. Hall and a group of advanced students of geography went to Japan and carried on intensive studies of the densely populated area of the Yamato basin. With the assistance of the Institute of Pacific Relations and of the American Council of Learned Societies, schools of emphasis were carried on during the summers of 1937 and 1938 in the Chinese, Japanese, and Russian languages. The graduate conference on Renaissance studies was organized in 1938, and a second such conference was held in 1939. The Institute of Latin-American Studies, sponsored jointly by the University and the committee on Latin-American studies of the American Council of Learned Societies, with the co-operation of that council and of the Rockefeller Foundation, was begun in 1939. In the summer of 1938 the auditorium of the new Rackham Building became available for special lectures, which have been arranged in several series corresponding to the various institute programs. In 1940 a graduate study program in American culture and institutions was organized under the auspices of the Summer Session. It included courses selected from the programs of the Departments of Economics, English, Geography, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology. In addition, a number of public lectures were given throughout the period by qualified members of the University staff and by special lecturers brought from other institutions. Round-table discussions of the general topics, each of which formed the subject of a week's work, were part of the general program.

Through this development of summer institutes the enthusiasm and devotion of the younger members of the faculty have been encouraged, and by means of the constructive attitudes of the departmental organizations there has been developed to a higher degree a stimulating and interesting atmosphere which has enabled the University to use more effectively the riches of its intellectual life.


Announcement of the Summer Session, Univ. Mich., 1900-1940.
Bouchard, Harry. "Engineers Trek to Ideal Spot for Summer Work."Mich. Alum., 36 (1930): 735-37.
Craig, Robert, Jr."Camp Filibert Roth — in the Upper Peninsula Woods."Mich. Alum., 36 (1930): 749, 751.
"Every Department Open This Summer."Mich. Alum., 37 (1931): 485-86.
"The Growth of the Summer Session."Mich. Alum., 23 (1917): 188-90.
"Institutes Feature 46th Summer Session."Mich. Alum., 45 (1939): 443-46.
La Rue, George R."Biological Station …"Mich. Alum., 36 (1930): 737, 747-48.
The Michigan Daily (Summer Session), 1932-40.
Miscellaneous bulletins of institutes and conferences; special announcements of summer camps and of summer courses in College of Literature,Page  761 Science, and the Arts, College of Engineering, and School of Education.
[News notes.]Argonaut, 1 (1882): 5-6; Mich. Alum., 1 (1895): 60; 2 (1896): 93; 4 (1898): 276; 5 (1899): 201-2; 10 (1904): 258-60; 13 (1907): 365-66; 14 (1908): 228; 16 (1910): 507; 17 (1911): 493-94; 26 (1920): 232-33; 28 (1922): 552; 33 (1927): 416, 784; 34 (1927): 120; 35 (1929): 746; 36 (1930): 685; 37 (1931): 275, 661, 706; 38 (1931): 30, 134; 38 (1932): 340; 39 (1933): 625, 627-28; 40 (1934): 488; 41 (1935): 295 (map); 42 (1936): 459, 508; 43 (1937): 471, 563, 572; 44 (1938): 465; 45 (1939): 529; 46 (1940): 351, 462, 542; Mich. Alum. Quart. Rev., 42 (1935): 649-50.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1894-1909, 1920-40. (P.R.)
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1881-86, 1890-1940.
Summer Courses of Instruction …, Univ. Mich., 1894-99.
The Summer Michigan Daily, 1922-32.
"Summer School Enrollment Totals 3,159."Mich. Alum., 30 (1924): 1101-3.
"Summer Session Is Big University in Itself."Mich. Alum., 36 (1930): 735-37, 747, 751.
Watkins, Herbert G."Regents Set Summer Session Budget."Mich. Alum., 43 (1936): 127-28.
Watkins, Herbert G.. "Regents Set Summer Session Budget."Mich. Alum., 44 (1937): 141-42.
"What's What in the Summer Session."Mich. Alum., 35 (1929): 759-61.
The Wolverine, 1910-22.