Both Gratz and Grutter were class action lawsuits. That is, CIR represented the class of all applicants who had been refused admissions on the basis of Michigan’s use of illegal racial preferences. In addition, CIR represented three individuals who were designated “class representatives:”
Jennifer Gratz applied to the University of Michigan undergraduate college of Literature, Arts, and Sciences in the fall of 1994, when she was a high school senior in the Detroit suburb of Southgate. Despite her combined score of 25 on the ACT (83rd percentile), a 3.765 GPA and experience as a math tutor, athlete, cheerleader and Class Congress representative, she was wait-listed and eventually rejected from UM Ann Arbor, the flagship school of the University of Michigan system.
After enrolling in UM Dearborn to study math, Gratz sued the University of Michigan on the grounds that its affirmative action system had discriminated against her. Gratz graduated in May 1999 and now works as a training specialist for a software company.
Patrick Hamacher, a Lansing, Michigan native, applied to the University of Michigan undergraduate college in 1996. He scored 28 on the ACT (89th percentile) and maintained a 3.373 GPA while training as a varsity athlete and working several part-time jobs. After he was waitlisted by UM Ann Arbor, he applied to and was accepted at Michigan State University, where he earned a B.A. in public administration in 2001.
Barbara Grutter earned a B.S. with high honors from Michigan State University, where she maintained a 3.81 GPA. She graduated in 1978 and scored 161 on her LSAT, but she postponed law school for a career as a health care consultant and manager. In 1986, she founded a successful health care information firm, and in 1996, at age 43, she applied to the UM Law School. Grutter was wait-listed and eventually rejected. She has since gone back to her business and raising her two children.