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Alumni Association records

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-10.2

Scope and Contents

Records of the Society of Alumni of Michigan Agricultural College, 1868-1913

This series includes a Minute Book (1869-1916) which contains: Constitution of 1869, signatures of members in 1885, and minutes of annual and triennial business meetings. The minutes generally do not record alumni discussion of college programs, but do include resolutions supporting the labor system, women’s education, and athletics at MAC. Most entries concern the election of officers, reunion arrangements, and tributes and memorials to alumni and faculty. Also present in the volume are records of the MAC Association for the years 1913 through 1916. These consist of the 1916 constitution and bylaws, minutes of annual meetings and executive committee meetings, annual reports of the secretary, and annual financial reports. Other materials in this series are Alumni Records (Biographies of alumni who graduated from 1861-1878) and Reunion Programs (Schedules of events for reunions sponsored by the Society, including names of speakers). The Alumni Records are arranged by graduating class.

Records of the MAC (MSC) Association, 1916-1936

This series includes an undated copy of the Constitution and Bylaws, a Minute Books, Subject Files, Biographical Files and a scrapbook.

The Subject Files include correspondence, reports, financial statements, and committee records relating to alumni activities, particularly the construction of the Union Memorial Building. Annual meeting records included detailed annual reports of the alumni secretary, which discuss alumni contact work, local alumni clubs, the College Congress, the Record, the Union Memorial Building, alumni sponsored scholarships, and the decision by the College administration to assume financial responsibility for alumni activities. Executive Committee records are less revealing, but include agenda and financial reports. The correspondence of Luther H. Baker relates primarily to his work as treasurer of the Association from 1924 to 1927. The audit reports examine the accounts of the MAC (MSC) Association, the MAC Union, the Union Memorial Building Fund, and the Public Speaking Fund. Many are missing. See also Minute Book (1869-1916) described above. Arranged alphabetically and there under chronologically.

The Minute Book of the Central Michigan MAC Association (1916-1920) includes summaries of annual meetings and executive board meetings of the Lansing area club. Most entries are brief and record the election of officers and arrangements for social activities.

The Biographical Files (1862-1961) contain biographical sketches and replies to questionnaires collected by William J. Beal in preparation for writing his book, History of Michigan Agricultural College, published in 1916. Beal apparently donated these to the Alumni Office, which later added to them relevant correspondence and newspaper clippings. See also the Department of Alumni Relations Biographical Files series described below. The Scrapbook contains clippings related to Michigan State College, circa 1933.

Records of the Department of Alumni Relations, 1936-1967

This series subject files, alumni lists, class information and reunion files, biographical files and alumni military service files.

The Subject Files (1935-1962) include correspondence, reports, committee records, and pamphlets primarily concerning specific alumni office activities, but generally not documenting policy making or alumni opinions. The Alumni Memorial Chapel files concern the dedication ceremonies in 1952, the donation of building stones by European churches, the installation of the pipe organ, and the selection of themes for the stained glass windows. The Harry D. Baker files consist of correspondence involving the arrangement of alumni functions for the class of 1895 and a series of reminiscences about his childhood in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin. Arranged alphabetically. The Alumni List and Directories (1936-1967) include lists of names and addresses of alumni, some of which also provide a description of current occupations and accomplishments. The Civil War and World War II casualty lists frequently include circumstances of death. Arranged alphabetically by subject.

The Class Information and Reunion Files (Classes of 1883-1965, 1891-1966) include correspondence relating to reunion plans, lists of class members and their addresses, autobiographical notes and reminiscences written by members, and reunion programs. Many files include only lists of graduates or registrants at reunions. No information is available for the classes of 1884, 1885, 1889, 1891, 1896, 1898, 1899, 1901, 1906, 1953, 1958, 1960-1964. For the class of 1895, see also the Subject Files series above. For the Class of 1900, see the IRMA THOMPSON PAPERS (UA 10 3 35). See also Reunion Programs and Alumni Reunion. Arranged chronologically by year of graduation.

The Biographical Files (1924-1967) contain primarily biographical materials requested by the MSC Association from 1924 to 1930 in order to publish the MSC Alumni Catalog. Later, obituaries of faculty and members of the State Board of Agriculture were added to the files by the Department of Alumni Relations. See also the MAC (MSC) Association Biographical Files series described above. Arranged alphabetically.

The Alumni Military Service Files include newspaper clippings, obituaries, and letters concerning the service records and survivors of alumni who died in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, or while on active military duty during the late 1940’s and the mid-1960’s. See also the Alumni Lists and Directories series above. Arranged by military conflict and thereunder alphabetically by name of alumnus.

Records of the Michigan State University Alumni Association 1967-2011

This series includes three drafts and the adopted version of the 1967 charter and bylaws, which changed the status of the alumni office from a department of the University to an organization chartered by the Board of Trustees. Adopted version of the 1970 bylaws and constitution under which the Alumni Association incorporated. Also included are promotional materials consisting of a VHS format videotape “The 1987 MSU Football Championship Season,” copyright 1988. This includes video tape footage of highlights of the 1987 Big Ten championship season and the victorious Rose Bowl game. The tape was produced as a promotional fund raiser by the Alumni Association. And, also contained in this series, are Alumni Reunion materials (1985-2011). These materials include historical surveys and memory book for the Patriarch Alumni Reunion which is now called Kedzie Alumni Reunion. The historical surveys are questionnaires sent to alumni about their experiences as a student. Typically the special guests for the reunions are classes celebrating their 50th anniversary. The alumni’s answers to the surveys are then edited and put into a memory book. Recent additions to this series includes alumni events, newsletters, administration, correspondence, and regional clubs.

The Miscellaneous series contains items that are not related to other series or could not be identified to a particular series.

The Audio/Visual Materials series includes photographs and video tapes. Video tapes are "MSU Alumni Video Magazine" giving highlights from the year. The segments cover new buildings (Campus Construction) , Wharton Center performances, sports, famous alumni, and alumni events. Each video magazine is has an introduction by Keith Williams, Executive Director of the Alumni Association. The 1999 video is 13:25 minutes, the 2000 video is 14:25 minutes, the 2001 video is 11:30 minutes, and the 2002 video is 9 minutes long. The videos are in VHS format. Items of note: MSU-Hollywood Segments with: Sam Rami, Bill Mechanic, Jim Cash, James Caan, Bubba Smith; 2000 National Basketball Championship; Spartacus.

The Annual Reports series includes published and unpublished annual reports.

The Electronic Resources series includes "Hidden Gems, 2012," a video recording featuring University Archives & Historical Collections archivist, Portia Vescio talking about the archival collections. There are correspondence in the form of e-mail memos and video clips, photos, and documents about the initial run of the SpartanLine Amtrak train. Photos and an article detail a 2001 demolition in East Lansing that revealed a vintage Vernor's advertisement mural on a building wall. Four video clips from the the 1988 Rose Bowl game and tour are also included. Three years (2004-2006) of Kedzie Reunion materials include presentations, event materials and information for the participants, and documents created by taking snapshots of related webpages. Also included are email newsletters from the Mid-Michigan Spartans Alumni Club from 2012 to 2015.


  • Creation: 1869 - 2019


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

Michigan State Alumni have been officially represented by a series of related organizations. The first was founded in 1868 when S. M. Tracy and A. J. Cook persuaded graduates to form the Society of Alumni of Michigan Agricultural College. This society sponsored annual reunions in 1869 and 1870, and triennial ones thereafter. In 1913, its membership reorganized as the MAC (MSC) Association, and adopted a new constitution which established an executive board, provided for a permanent paid alumni secretary, and opened membership to all former students of the College who had received twenty credits or the equivalent. That same year the faculty transferred control of the MAC Record (the alumni magazine). The association’s secretary became its new editor.

The MSC Association continued to coordinate alumni activities and publish the Record until 1936, when paid memberships proved insufficient to meet its obligations and the Attorney General of Michigan ruled that the College could not legally subsidize an independent association. Hoping to generate greater alumni interest and participation, the State Board of Agriculture assumed full responsibility for financing all alumni activities, created the Department of Alumni Relations, and appointed the alumni secretary as its new director. The Department of Journalism and Publications (later the Department of Information Services) took charge of the publication and distribution of the Record. Alumni, however, continued to elect officers and meet annually on campus as an association.

In 1967, a planning committee of alumni concluded that alumni interests could better be served by a single, independent association. At their recommendation, the Board of Trustees abolished the Department of Alumni Relations and chartered the Michigan State University Alumni Association, which was made responsible for coordinating all alumni activities and for the publication of the alumni magazine. Until 1974, it also administered the MSU Development Fund. The new organization operated under the broad jurisdiction of the Board of Trustees and received funding from the University, but was governed by an Executive Board elected by the general membership. The former Director of Alumni Relations became its executive director. In 1979, the Alumni Association incorporated as a non-profit organization under the laws of the State of Michigan. Major projects sponsored by alumni include the formation of the Student Union in 1917, the construction of the Union Memorial Building (1924) and the Alumni Memorial Chapel (1952).

Sources: Madison Kuhn, The First Hundred Years: Michigan State University, 1855-1955, pp. 130, 262, 340, 454. Michigan State Board of Agriculture Reports, 1934, pp. 32-33; 1936, pp. 32-33. Michigan State University Alumni Association Magazine, Special Fall Issue, 1967, pp. 3-5. Annual Meeting Speech of the Alumni Secretary, 1936, Michigan State University Alumni Association Records.


15.5 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into nine series: 1. Society of Alumni of Michigan Agricultural College 2. MAC (MSC) Association 3. Department of Alumni Relations 4. Michigan State University Alumni Association 5. MSU Alumni Office 6. Miscellaneous 7. Audio/Visual materials 8. Annual Reports 9. Serials and 10. Electronic Resources.

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Related Materials

See also Michigan State University, Union Board (UA.5.5.5). Michigan State University, Alumni Advisory Council (UA 10.2.1); and the McKibben Family Papers (00003). All located at MSU Archives.

Legal Status

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

Alumni Association Records
3 Ready For Cataloging
M. Patton
February 1981
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
  • TypeCollection

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

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