University of Michigan Credit Union Brief History

Every credit union depends for its success upon the concepts of self-help and of help to one’s neighbors. The University of Michigan Employee’s Credit Union in addition depends upon our recognition that all of us who work for the University are, indeed, neighbors and that we share common interests and concerns. I regard this Credit Union as important not only to each of its individual members but also to our total University family and community.
- Robben W. Fleming, President, University of Michigan, 1968-1979

The University of Michigan Credit Union provides substantial financial services and, as sponsor of numerous campus and community events, demonstrates both a firm sense of social responsibility and its loyalty to the University community. I view UMCU as a valuable employee benefit.
- Mary Sue Coleman, President, University of Michigan, 2002-present

Why is a credit union different in a community such as ours, where a variety of financial depository options are available? U of M Credit Union is a non-profit financial cooperative. We are bottom-line conscious but not profit oriented. It is our function to serve the needs of the membership, as a depository for savings or a source to meet a lending need. We do not have the self-serve pressure of a stockholder seeking dividend improvement in their stock holdings. Our directors are members of the credit union, serve without pay, and are elected by other members.

Organization and Growth of U of M Credit Union

On November 8, 1954, a charter was signed by Stephen A. Barnett, William J. Carey, Michael P. Church, Harold M. Dorr, N. Marbury Efimenco, Pierce H. Farrar, Donald B. Gooch, Robert F. Haugh, Mrs. Julian B. Nott, Charles E. Stallard, Alfred B. Ueker, and Fred G. Walcott, organizing the University of Michigan Employee’s Credit Union. Michael P. Church was the key to this organizational effort. In the early 1950s, Michael served as Executive Secretary of the Michigan Education Association, Region III, and wanted to organize a credit union for teachers in five local counties. Teachers in Monroe and Jackson counties, however, wanted their own credit union, so Mr. Church helped organize a credit union for University of Michigan employees. The credit union began operations in a small office in the University’s Administration Building. Over the years UMCU has been located above a barber shop, in the University Personnel Department, in a two-teller office adjacent to a campus restaurant, in its own building on the north side of town, and in rented quarters in a strip mall. In 1982, University of Michigan alumni were added to the field of membership and “Employee’s” was dropped from our name. Today the University of Michigan Credit Union serves its members at six Ann Arbor offices, a branch on the UM Dearborn campus, at shared branches throughout the country, Family Service Center offices in Michigan, via the Internet, and through access to a worldwide ATM network.

Growth and Change

Our history is a story of growth and change. We have grown from 12 members in 1954 to 55,029 members (as of 9/30/13) and from $9.00 to $516 million in assets (as of 9/30/13). Our mission is to provide quality financial services that meet the present and future financial needs of our member-owners. We use membership surveys, satisfaction surveys and focus groups to find out what our members want and how well we are serving them. We are a community financial institution in a higher education setting and pride ourselves on the fact that members can reach us...we are accessible providers and we listen to them.

Continuous Growth in Products, Services, and Use of Technology

Ann Arbor is a competitive financial environment. It has been important for U of M Credit Union to offer a wide range of products and services, and to use technology to improve and enhance products, services and delivery systems. We have some special services that set us apart from other financial institutions, including service center branches, 24-hour loan application, programs for young members (including the Penny Pioneer account, Financial Fitness program and Independent Edge program), free identity theft assistance, insurance discount programs, dealer discounts, and budget counselors.

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