Mary Sue Coleman has led the University of Michigan since being appointed its 13th president in August 2002.
As president, she has unveiled several major initiatives that will have an impact on future generations of students, the intellectual life of the campus, and society at large. These initiatives include the interdisciplinary richness of the U-M, student residential life, ethics in our society, and issues related to health care.
Under her leadership, the University launched "The Michigan Difference," a campaign to raise $2.5 billion for the future of the institution. In November 2008, the University celebrated the historic achievement of raising $3.11 billion, the most ever by a public university. The campaign continues through to its Dec. 31, 2008, deadline, with an emphasis on scholarships and fellowships for students, endowed chairs for faculty, and other unmet needs.
Dr. Coleman also has announced a groundbreaking partnership between the University and Google, which will enable the public to search the text of the University's 7 million volume library and will open the way to universal access and the preservation of recorded human knowledge.
President Coleman is regarded as a national spokesperson on the educational value of diverse perspectives in the classroom. Her extensive leadership positions in higher education include having served on the Association of American Universities Executive Committee, the Internet2 Board of Directors, the National Collegiate Athletic Association Board of Directors, and the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.
Elected to the Institute of Medicine in 1997, President Coleman also is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She co-chaired a major policy study of the Institute of Medicine, examining the consequences of uninsurance, and has become a nationally recognized expert on the issue.
She earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Grinnell College and her doctorate in biochemistry from the University of North Carolina. She holds honorary doctorates from Grinnell College, Luther College, the University of Kentucky, Albion College, Dartmouth College, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Northeastern University, the University of Toledo, and the University of Notre Dame. She is the recipient of a distinguished alumnus award from the University of North Carolina. She has been honored as Humanitarian of the Year by the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion.
President Coleman and her husband, Dr. Kenneth Coleman, a political scientist specializing in Latin America, live in the historic President's House on the University campus. Their son, Jonathan, is a portfolio manager in Denver, Colo.