Skip to main content

Centennial Celebration records

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-13.3.1

Scope and Contents

The records of Michigan State University's centennial include administrative subject files (1949-1956), files pertaining to the eleven academic symposia held throughout 1955 (1954-1956), reference materials pertaining to anniversary celebrations held by other colleges and universities (1936-1955), and resolutions and correspondence from other institutions congratulating MSU in its centennial year. The collection also contains a great deal of correspondence in the first two series documenting the planning and progress of Founder's Day and the eleven symposia.


  • Creation: 1936 - 1956
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1948 - 1956


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Historical Note

Plans for the celebration of MSU’s centennial year began in 1950 when President Hannah established the Centennial Committee for preliminary planning. In 1953, Alvie Smith was appointed as Centennial Director. Smith undertook the planning of the centennial until August of 1955 when he was succeeded by Wesley Rowland. The Centennial office under Smith assumed the general supervision and correlation of centennial events, public relations and the completion of a basic history of the college.

The centennial celebration centered around three principle activities: Founder's Day, a series of Academic Symposia and the Centennial of Farm Mechanization Trade Fair. Founder's Day was held on February 12, 1955, the anniversary of the founding of the college. Over 2,000 dignitaries from the fields of education, business, and government gathered for the convocation. Dr. James B. Conant, former President of Harvard University and U.S. High Commissioner to Germany delivered the keynote address “An Old Tradition in a New World”. Founder's Day also was the occasion for the issuance of a commemorative stamp honoring Michigan State College and Pennsylvania State University as the pioneer land grant colleges. Ten academic symposia sponsored by various MSU departments dealt with vital educational and world issues. The Centennial of Farm Mechanization Trade Fair featured exhibits by over 250 companies showing how technological development aided the progress of agriculture.


10 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



This collection is organized into nine series: 1. Administrative subject files; 2. Centennial Symposia; 3. Reference file; 4. Congratulatory messages; 5. Other Publications; 6. Miscellaneous; 7. Photographs; 8. Audio; and 9. Scrapbooks. Series 1, 3, 5, and 6 are arranged alphabetical by subject. Series 2 is arranged chronologically, and series 4 is arranged alphabetical by university.

Legal Status

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to Michigan State University but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Copyright restrictions may apply. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Centennial Celebration Records
4 Published And Cataloged
W. McDaid
March 1982
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US