The history of the University of Michigan (UM) began with its establishment on August 26, 1817 as the Catholepistemiad or University of Michigania. The school moved from Detroit to Ann Arbor in 1837, on land offered to the university by the city. The first classes were held in 1841, and eleven men graduated in the first commencement ceremony in 1845. Although the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan was formed as a new legal entity in 1837, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in 1856 that it was legally continuous with the Board of Trustees of the University of Michigan that was formed in 1821, and with the Catholepistemiad, or University, of Michigania that was formed in 1817.

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