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Forest H. Akers papers

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-1.1.1

Scope and Contents

The Forest Akers papers include correspondence, speeches, news clippings and other materials related to Michigan State University; a variety of educational materials, legal documents, and articles; a history of Williamston, Michigan; and personal papers including Akers' class reunion information (1950) and a certificate of appointment to the State Board of Agriculture. Scrapbooks contain family photographs and photographs and other information relating to Chrysler Corporation.


  • Creation: 1898 - 1965


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.

Biographical Note

A member of the Board of Trustees from 1939 to 1957, Forest H. Akers was also among the University's most generous benefactors. Akers was born on December 21, 1886, on a farm near Williamston, approximately 20 miles from East Lansing. He attended the University, then know as the Michigan Agricultural College, from 1905 to 1908. It is said he was asked to leave the college after the 1907 year due to disciplinary issues and poor grades. Akers was accused of lighting a powder keg during Teddy Roosevelt's speech at the school's semi-centennial celebration. Akers denied the allegation.

Upon leaving MAC, Akers worked for $60 a month as a plow and farm machinery salesman until joining the Reo Motor Car Co. in 1914. He advanced to sales manager in 1917. In 1920 he joined the Dodge Division of the Chrysler Corp. and was promoted to manager of the Detroit region in 1930 and to Vice President in 1938. He retired from Chrysler in 1947.

Akers was first elected to the State Board of Agriculture (the former name of the Board of Trustees) in 1939. He was re-elected to six year terms in 1945 and 1951. The University named a residence hall in his honor when Akers retired from the MSU governing board in 1957. He was named trustee emeritus of MSU in 1958, and was awarded an honorary doctor of laws that same year.

As a benefactor, Akers donated the University's two golf courses and a $45,000 scholarship and loan fund, valued at $200,000 in 1966. Akers remained active in MSU affairs throughout his later years when he was president of the Dependable Insurance Corp. of Jacksonville, Florida.

Akers died December 8, 1966 at the age of 79 in Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, after a long illness.


10 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Forest H. Akers Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
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