Recreational Sports and University Unions

The Initiative

Over 100 years ago, the University of Michigan was the founder of the recreational sports and student union movements in the U.S. and built the first facilities dedicated to this purpose. At the time, students were the driving force with fundraising and planning. Once again, student leadership and their voice is the driving force behind this renovations initiative. Hail to the Future.

Students planning with architects

History of University Unions

In 1914 students from U-M joined with students at 6 other schools to create the Association of College Unions International which still exists today as the professional association for student union leaders around the world.

Michigan Union

History of Recreational Sports

Recreational sports as a formal collegiate program originated in the United States at two Big Ten universities. In 1913 the Ohio State University and the University of Michigan created new departments dedicated solely to intramural sports. At Michigan this evolved from humble beginnings in the 1860s when students set up exercise equipment on the campus grounds and began organizing club sports.

IMSB-1928. Courtesy of Bentley Historical Library