University of Michigan-Flint

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A Gift for History Program that Makes History

  • March 30th, 2009 By: UM-Flint News

The Skinny

A founding faculty member of the University of Michigan-Flint has left the largest single gift from an individual donor to the University. The gift from the estate of Dorothea E. Wyatt, Ph.D., will take the history program to the next level of excellence.

WyattA founding faculty member of the University of Michigan-Flint has left the largest single gift from an individual donor to the University. The gift from the estate of Dorothea E. Wyatt, Ph.D., will take the history program to the next level of excellence. Details of the extraordinary gift will be discussed at a news conference scheduled for March 13, 9:30 a.m. in the atrium of Frances Willson Thompson Library.

In 1956, Dr. Wyatt became one of the original “founding” faculty members of Flint College, University of Michigan. Five years later, she was promoted to full professor. She was named the first chairperson of the Department of History, and in 1974, she was named the first recipient of The University of Michigan-Flint Outstanding Professorship Award. Dorothea Wyatt enhanced her reputation as a teacher through her research. Her publications include Julia Tutwiler and Social Progress in Alabama, and she also served as a Contributing Editor to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

In addition to her activity within the University, she brought her expertise and energy to the Flint community in a number of capacities: as a member in the American Association of University Women, Zonta Club, and Delta Kappa Gamma.

On June 30, 1975, after a most productive career as teacher, advisor, and scholar, she retired from The University of Michigan-Flint with the status of Professor Emerita. The University of Michigan-Flint Dorothea E. Wyatt Award was established in 1988 and was named in honor of Dr. Wyatt. Candidates for this award are members of the campus community who are leaders in promoting equity and opportunities for women and who are involved in the creation or implementation of programs to better the status of women.

Dr. Wyatt passed away July 31, 2007 at the age of 98.

Her love of the university and its students was shown by the bequest that she designated for enhancing the program of the Department of History. At the time the university was notified of the gift, the market value was estimated at approximately $6 million.

“We are planning on using the interest from the funds to establish the first endowed professorship at the University of Michigan-Flint,” said Dean D. J. Trela, College of Arts and Sciences. “We expect this will be named the Dorothea Wyatt Professorship in American History “(the precise field will be narrowed down as discussions proceed.)

Other uses for the funds according to Dean Trela include:


1. Provide student scholarships at the undergraduate and graduate levels for students who major in history or whose programs concentrate significantly on history.

2. Provide support for faculty research.

3. Use the gift to build stronger connections between the history program, Flint and
surrounding communities.

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