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History graduates join a network of more than 11,000 alumni around the world who have earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral history degrees from the University of Michigan.

We encourage all our graduates to remain connected to the department and each other. We invite our graduates and friends to help support the department's excellence in teaching and research for current and future generations of students.

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Reason, Understanding, Persuasion: Why I Give to U-M History

Joshua Bilmes (photo by Ellen Datlow)

by Joshua Bilmes (BA 1985)

It’s thirty years ago but it seems like yesterday.

My professor David Hollinger was demanding that I put in real effort to get a high grade in my upper-level history seminar, and I’d been trying to take that to heart. I was putting in serious hours at the library, looking over the New York Times dating back to the early years of the 20th century, maybe even earlier. And I made a connection. I started to realize that I was reading the same article over and over again. As much as the world had changed, the Times wasn’t covering an election in El Salvador in the 1980s all that much differently from elections that had taken place there decades before, or from elections in many other countries, for that matter ... (read more)