Mary Sue Coleman

Former President

University of Michigan


On August 1st Mary Sue Coleman became U of M's first female president. Coleman had served as president of the University of Iowa since 1995 where she was also professor of biochemistry in Iowa's College of Medicine and professor of biological sciences in the College of Liberal Arts. Coleman earned her bachelor's degree in chemistry from Grinnell College and her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of North Carolina. She conducted postdoctoral work at North Carolina and at the University of Texas at Austin. As the 4th-longest serving president, Coleman oversaw an extensive building and renovation program, acquired the North Campus Research Complex, fostered the creation of the Life Sciences Program and the Research Corridor and encouraged entrepreneurship and cooperation with business. She expanded the university's international presence, particularly in China, and helped steer the campus through the nation's most severe economic crisis since the great depression.