The Faculty History Project documents faculty members who have been associated with the University of Michigan since 1837, and the history of the University's schools and colleges. This project is part of a larger effort to prepare resources for the University's bicentennial in 2017. Find out more.

The Bentley Historical Library serves as the official archives for the University.

Memoir

Georgette M. Zirbes
Regents' Proceedings 14

Georgette M. Zirbes, M.A., Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and professor of art in the School of Art and Design, retired from active faculty status on May 31, 2008.

Professor Zirbes received her B. A. degree from DePauw University in 1962, and her M.A. degree from The Ohio State University in 1964. From 1968-72, she was a lecturer at Washtenaw Community College, the University of Michigan's Residential College, and Eastern Michigan University. She joined the faculty of the School of Art and Design as an assistant professor in 1972, and was promoted to associate professor in 1977 and professor in 1983.

Professor Zirbes has maintained a distinguished career as a ceramics artist with a lengthy record of national and international exhibitions. Her works can be found in the permanent public collections of museums and institutions in the United States, Germany, China, the Czech Republic, Russia, Latvia, and Hungary. She is the recipient of two Fulbright Fellowships and an Individual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her contributions to the field have been recognized by her election to the International Academy of Ceramics in Geneva. In 2005, she was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award for Creative and Performing Arts from DePauw University.

Professor Zirbes is indisputably one of the best professional ceramics educators in the country, and her career evidences a passionate commitment to undergraduate education. She has spearheaded initiatives to build a more inclusive and innovative curriculum in the School of Art and Design, has organized professional and educational conferences around the globe, and has actively promoted international exchange in higher education. In 2006, she was named an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in recognition of her dedication to teaching.

The Regents now salute this distinguished artist and educator for her dedicated service by naming Georgette M. Zirbes Arthur F. Thurnau Professor Emerita and professor emerita of art.