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Updated 11:00 AM November 24, 2003



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Media Union named for the Duderstadts

The Board of Regents has renamed the Media Union in honor of James Duderstadt, the 11th president of U-M, and his wife Anne.

The Media Union will be renamed for James and Anne Duderstadt, pictured here in the North Campus building. (Photo by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services)

In approving the new name, the James and Anne Duderstadt Center, the regents called the building "a particular manifestation of Dr. Duderstadt's vision for the University. Dedicated to creative collaboration among faculty, students and staff across a broad range of disciplines and beyond the constraints of space and time, it is a building shaped by his efforts as dean, provost and president."

The regents also recognized the dedicated service of Anne Duderstadt, noting that she "worked tirelessly to promote an awareness of the University's history and to preserve its historic and artistic treasures."

"Together they have given us a model of loyalty and dedication to this institution and to the values it represents," the citation states.

"Jim Duderstadt's deep interest in fostering creativity, engaging with new forms of technology and developing new ways of learning, was the driving force behind the construction of the building that now bears his name," President Mary Sue Coleman said. "He championed the concept of a facility that would provide the environment not only for experimentation with information technology, but also for collaboration among students and faculty."

Duderstadt's association with U-M spans 35 years. In addition to guiding the University as president from 1988-96, he earlier served as dean of the College of Engineering, as provost and vice president for academic affairs, and on the faculty of the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Science. Upon returning to U-M in his current faculty role as University Professor of Science and Engineering, he was named president emeritus.

"Anne and I feel very honored by this action, and we want to thank the regents and President Coleman for this recognition," Duderstadt said. "It is particularly meaningful to us that this particular facility will bear our names, since its unique combination of libraries, design studios, performance spaces, galleries and technology symbolizes the leadership of the University of Michigan in exploring the future of learning environments for our students and faculty. We look forward to continuing to serve the University on the faculty and as members of the University community in the years ahead."

The building will be rededicated formally in the spring. The facility houses a 600,000-volume library, an exhibition gallery and more than 500 workstations, as well as an advanced visualization laboratory, a virtual reality laboratory, design space for special projects, video and audio performance studios, and a teleconference suite. Comprising 225,000 square feet, it is one of the largest multimedia centers in the nation. It is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Duderstadt's interest in information technology and societal transformation are evident in his activities since returning to the engineering faculty. He chaired the group that produced a study for the National Academy of Sciences in 2002, titled "Preparing for the Revolution: Information Technology and the Future of the Research University." In 2000, he published "A University for the 21st Century," which won an outstanding scholarship award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. His most recent book is "The Future of the Public University in America." He also is the author of "Intercollegiate Athletics and the American University," winner of the 2002 U-M Press Book Award.

Duderstadt heads the Millennium Project in the Media Union, a research center concerned with the impact of various societal, economic and technological changes on the research, teaching and service activities of universities.

Duderstadt received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his doctorate from the California Institute of Technology. As president, he led two initiatives for diversity and equality in higher education, the Michigan Mandate and the Agenda for Women. Under his leadership, the University increased its endowment five-fold and completed the first $1 billion fund-raising campaign in public higher education. He led U-M to become the nation's leading research university, as measured by sponsored research volume, and he oversaw a $2 billion program to rebuild, renovate and update the campuses of the University.

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