President Emerita Mary Sue Coleman

U-M President Emerita Mary Sue Coleman, Ph.D.

Mary Sue Coleman, Ph.D., served as the President of the University of Michigan from 2002 to 2014. She was the first woman in U-M history to hold this leadership position. During her tenure, she was named one of Time magazine’s “10 best college presidents.”

Coleman, a biochemist, launched numerous important initiatives that have helped to shape the University of Michigan, particularly the scientific research enterprise. 

In 2021, the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan unanimously approved the renaming of the building that houses the Life Sciences Institute as Mary Sue Coleman Hall. This naming recognizes Coleman’s enduring commitment to the sciences and her role in spearheading the Life Sciences Institute, as well as her highly successful tenure as president of U-M.

As president emerita, Coleman has maintained an office in the building that now carries her name. The directorship of the institute, currently held by Roger D. Cone, Ph.D., is an endowed position named in honor of Coleman in recognition of the key role she played in LSI’s development. 

  • Brought the Life Sciences Institute to fruition, including the hiring of its first director and 25 faculty, and launched a successful campaign to hire 100 junior faculty who specifically engage in scholarship that crosses academic boundaries  
  • Was a founding president of the University Research Corridor, an economic development collaboration with Michigan State and Wayne State universities
  • Led the acquisition of the 173-acre parcel of 30 buildings that formerly housed the R&D operations of Pfizer Inc., establishing the North Campus Research Complex
  • Helped establish Ann Arbor SPARK, the regional economic development agency
  • Took her commitment to deepening the diversity of the student body to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003, when jurists upheld the use of affirmative action in U-M admissions
  • Oversaw the groundbreaking partnership with Google to digitize the university’s 7 million volume library, making vast amounts of information accessible worldwide
  • Revitalized student living and learning experiences through a residential life initiative that focused on upgrading and renewing existing residence halls and dining facilities
  • Led “The Michigan Difference,” a campaign that raised campaign finale stood at $3.2 billion for the future of the institution

U-M During Dr. Coleman's Tenure

increase in research spending
new buildings and major additions
new degree programs created
degrees conferred
budget growth
growth in endowment