Black History

Willis Ward (1933-35)
An eight-time Big Ten champion and three-time NCAA All-American, primarily in the long jump, high jump and hurdles, Willis Ward led U-M to five Big Ten team titles (three indoor, two outdoor) and was the first African-American football player at Michigan in 40 years. Ward is perhaps most remembered for a football game in which he did not play in, when he did not suit up at Georgia Tech's request, in a season he scored 12 of the Wolverines' 21 points. [ Read More ]
Jalen Rose (1992-94)
The way Jalen Rose sees it, you either ignore your roots or you do something to make those roots stronger. He has used his success in life to give back to the community, in the way of college scholarships, fundraising to help the youth, and now a state-of-the-art Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, one of four new public charter high schools in Detroit supported by Michigan Future, Inc. [ Read More ]
Dhani Jones (1996-99)
World traveler, sharp dresser, philanthropist, NFL veteran and former NCAA All-American, Dhani Jones lives life to the fullest. After attending Michigan, where he played linebacker for four seasons, Jones has used his NFL success to launch many successful ventures, including a show on the Travel Channel, a café in Cincinnati and designing bow ties for fundraisers, benefiting charities such as U-M's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. [ Read More ]
Michelle DaCosta (2002-05)
A four-year All-Big Ten selection, Michelle DaCosta is one of only two Wolverines to qualify for both the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships in the same year. Finishing her career with a 74-63 singles mark and a 79-56 doubles record, DaCosta helped the Wolverines to four straight NCAA appearances while making three of her own during her time in Ann Arbor. [ Read More ]
Gene Derricotte (1944, 1947-48)
Gene Derricotte, the first African-American to start in the offensive backfield at Michigan, led the team in rushing during his freshman season before being drafted into the Army. After the end of the war, he returned to Ann Arbor, where he played during the 1947 and 1948 seasons as a halfback, safety and punt returner. He set the program interception record and a punt return yards record that stood until 1990, helping lead U-M to undefeated seasons in '47 and '48. [ Read More ]
Joyce Wilson Eder (1983-86)
After attending Tower High School in Warren, Mich., Joyce Wilson Eder came to Michigan on scholarship, set 16 event records and won two Big Ten titles. She also advanced to nationals in four seasons as a Wolverine and competed at the 1984 U.S. Olympic Trials. A nursing major, she planned to join the Army Nursing Corps before meeting her husband and staying in Ann Arbor, where she lives now. [ Read More ]

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