Asa Gray's Birthday: November 18

Asa Gray

Donors of significant sums to The Friends of the University of Michigan Library become members of the Asa Gray Society. University Commons, a residential community near Huron High School, is on Asa Gray Drive.

Why do they have Asa Gray in their name?

Because as
The University of Michigan by Wilfred Shaw recounts
“In July of [1838], Dr. Asa Gray was made a Professor of Botany and Zoology, the first professor to be appointed. He was contemplating a trip to Europe and was entrusted by the Regents with $5000 for the purchase of a library. This charge he performed to the great satisfaction of the Regents, sending back a collection of 3700 volumes in all the branches ordinarily taught at that time, including many books unobtainable in America. This task ended Professor Gray’s connection with Michigan. Practically all his long and distinguished career was spent as a professor in Harvard University.”

Asa Gray, 1810-1888 by A. Hunter Dupree covers the brief University of Michigan portion of Asa Gray's life and the rest of his life story.