Stories of the Staff celebrates staff contributions to U-M History

The Stories of the Staff project celebrates the contributions of University of Michigan staff members, current and past, to the history of the university.

An initiative of Voices of the Staff in collaboration with University Human Resources, Stories of the Staff honors the upcoming milestone, in 2017, of the university’s first 200 years by providing a venue for storytelling about staff members who have helped make Michigan the great American public university that it is today.

The Stories of the Staff website includes stories and images depicting staff members from the 1800s to the present—ranging from custodians to costume designers, midwives, executives and change leaders throughout the university.

Visitors to the site will be able to submit their own stories, photographs and video about staff members whose work at U-M helped make a difference in fulfilling the university’s teaching, research, patient care and service missions. The site will continue to be updated with many of these audience-supplied stories as the university approaches its 2017 Bicentennial.

Among the Health System stories featured on the website:

• “Doc” Nagele, a janitor from 1849-1900 whose particular specialty was commandeering cadavers for medical students’ research

A story about the courageous men and women of the 298th Army Hospital Unit who spent 36 months caring for over 43,000 wounded soldiers during World War II

Evelyn Foster, University Hospitals Entrance Services manager, who has worked at U-M for 40 years while navigating the challenges of a single mother raising three boys

A profile of Chris Savoie, who has been fitting kids into wheelchairs since 1999

Anna Schnitzer, Taubman Health Sciences Library disability issues and outreach librarian, who steadfastly lobbies for the rights of people with disabilities

Linda Fleming, a custodian at the Taubman Health Sciences Library whose resilience in the face of tragedy is a powerful testimonial to her quiet triumph over loss

• Joanne Motino Bailey, who took the road not taken to make the Michigan Difference as director of U-M’s Nurse Midwifery Service

An inspirational profile of Doug Armstrong, whose extraordinary dedication has made it possible for sick children to enjoy the pleasures of summer camp

Suggestions received from Voices’ members, U-M historians, archivists at the Bentley Historical Library, and others, were instrumental in identifying the stories featured on the website.

Stories were selected for development based on longevity of service, multigenerational service, service to the university and/or external community, military service, contribution to the arts, innovation, leadership, generosity/compassion, reflections provided by a family member and other significant accomplishments, contributions or service.

The Stories of the Staff website is now online at Please consider sharing a story about a staff member you know whose contributions have helped to make a difference at Michigan.