ACE announced today that University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman will be presented with the ACE Lifetime Achievement Award at the Council’s 96th Annual Meeting next month in San Diego.
Coleman, who will step down from her post in July, will receive the honor during the Annual Meeting’s March 9 opening plenary session. She has led the University of Michigan since August 2002 and is a recognized national higher education leader.
“It is a privilege to give President Coleman the ACE Lifetime Achievement Award,” said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. “Few individuals have matched the indelible mark she has made on the face of American higher education, from fostering initiatives that greatly improved the academic lives of her students to speaking out about the educational importance of diversity and helping launch efforts to increase our nation’s ability to better compete on the global economic stage.”
During the same plenary session where she will receive the award, Coleman also will deliver the annual Robert H. Atwell Lecture, which focuses on a timely higher education topic. Since 1997, the Annual Meeting has opened with the Atwell Lecture, named by the ACE Board of Directors for the former ACE president who served from 1984-1996.
As the 13th president of the University of Michigan, Coleman has unveiled several major initiatives that will have an impact on future generations of students, the intellectual life of the campus and society at large. These initiatives include the interdisciplinary richness of the U-M, student residential life, the economic vitality of the state and nation, global engagement, and the value of innovation and creativity.
Under Coleman’s leadership, the university has launched and expanded academic partnerships with universities in China, Ghana, South Africa and Brazil. She also announced a groundbreaking partnership between the university and Google that will enable the public to search the text of the university’s 7-million-volume library and will open the way to universal access and the preservation of recorded human knowledge.
President Obama selected Coleman as one of six university presidents to help launch the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a national effort bringing together industry, universities and the federal government.
As a biochemist, Coleman built a distinguished career through her research on the immune system and malignancies. At Michigan, she holds appointments of professor of biological chemistry in the Medical School and professor of chemistry in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.
For 19 years, Coleman was a member of the biochemistry faculty at the University of Kentucky. Her work in the sciences led to administrative appointments at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of New Mexico, where she served as provost and vice president for academic affairs. From 1995-2002, she was president of the University of Iowa.
Coleman earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Grinnell College (IA) and her doctorate in biochemistry from the University of North Carolina.