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The University of Michigan Ann Arbor became a favored choice for bright Jewish students from New York in the 1920s and 1930s when the Ivy League schools had quotas restricting the number of Jews to be admitted. As a result, U-M gained the nickname "Harvard of the West," which became commonly parodied in reverse after John F. Kennedy referred to himself as "a graduate of the Michigan of the East, Harvard University" in his speech proposing the formation of the Peace Corps while on the front steps of the Michigan Union.
Since Michigan is known as the "Harvard of the West", you can buy a t-shirt in the Michigan bookstore that has "Harvard" in big letters, the Harvard school seal, and then underneath the words "The Michigan of the East".
by talkkie July 14, 2011
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