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Week of April 1, 2013

Old school: U-M in History

Dear Aunt Ruth

Pictured at her desk, U-M staff member Ruth B. Buchanan wrote to students, faculty, staff and alumni serving in World War II. Buchanan considered the students her family and requested they call her “Aunt Ruth.”  — Courtesy Bentley Historical Library

The response of soldiers and sailors to the thousands of letters, greeting cards, and copies of  The Michigan Daily sent by “Aunt Ruth” was dramatic, and makes for one of the country’s richest collections of wartime correspondence. Archived at the Bentley Historical Library, the Ruth B. Buchanan Papers provide insight into the mindset of U-M students encountering all aspects of war: camaraderie, loss, boredom, culture clash, and a deep longing for home.

Through spring, The Record’s “Old School” feature will highlight the stories and images that are being presented on the new U-M Heritage Project website. That site,, celebrates the university’s history and triumphs, in preparation for the U-M bicentennial in 2017.


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Alicia Davis, senior prosthetist/orthotist, on cycling: “The women I rode with really pushed the idea that as a team you can pretty much achieve anything.”


“August: Osage County,” 7:30 p.m. April 4 and 11; 8 p.m. April 5, 6, 12 and 13; and 2 p.m. April 7 and 14, Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre.

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