Did You Know? The University of Michigan was founded in 1817 and is one of the earliest American research universities and was one of the founding members of the Association of American Universities. The university is home to many prominent alumni such as 26 Nobel Prize Laureates, 47 U.S. Senators, 41 Governors and even 26 currently living billionaires among many others. The Wolverines athletics has also produced 188 Olympic medals through the history of the Olympic Games.