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M. Peter McPherson papers

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-2.1.19

Scope and Contents

This collection contains office files from Michigan State University President Peter McPherson, who was president from 1993-2004. The Calendar series contains McPherson office and appointment calendars. The Correspondence files contain chronological files as well as topical files of particular importance. Annual reports, research reports, and special reports produced for and by McPherson are in the Reports series. McPherson's annual State of the University addresses and some commencement speeches are in the Speeches series. The Subject files contain records about university issues and are further divided specific groups: MSU Committee/Council records, General Files which document a diverse group of important issues and events during McPherson's presidency, External Files which are records of organizations outside MSU in which McPherson participated or were otherwise important to the university. Vice Presidents files contain records of importance administered by the Vice Presidents that were brought to the attention of the President.

The records of the Detroit College of Law move to MSU can be found in the Subject files.

Electronic resources include several documents spanning from 1993 to 2002. Included are speeches for several university-related events, letters and memos, a presentation on an agricultural study in Rwanda, documents relating to the Canadian Free Trade Program, study abroad, commencement, university business and policy.


  • Creation: 1993 - 2004


Conditions Governing Access

The majority of this collection is open for research. Some files are restricted.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical Note

M. Peter McPherson was born October 27, 1940 to Donald and Ellura McPherson. He grew up on a farm with seven siblings, all of whom eventually graduated from Michigan State University. McPherson and his wife, Joanne, have four children.

McPherson received his B.A. in Political Science from MSU in 1963. He earned his Master's degree in Business Administration from Western Michigan University and a Law degree from American University in Washington, D.C.

McPherson was a special assistant to President Gerald Ford from 1975-77 and Deputy Director of the White House Personnel Office. Before he was selected as MSU's 19th president, McPherson was a group executive vice president at the Bank of America in San Francisco. McPherson became MSU's President on October 1, 1993.

In 2003, McPherson served in Iraq as the financial coordinator for the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance.

McPherson retired from MSU in 2004.


22 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into five series: Calendars, Correspondence, Reports, Speeches, and Subject Files. The Subject series is further organized into four groups: Committees & Councils, General, External to MSU, and Vice President Files.

Preservica Public URL|5b43bf2c-2a04-44af-9c04-1f6afdadaec8/

Related Archival Materials

President M. Peter McPherson retained and supplemented some files from his predecessor, Acting President Gordon Guyer. The researcher may find files that predate McPherson's presidency.

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.

M. Peter McPherson Papers
3 Ready For Cataloging
W. Miller
January 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
  • TypeCollection

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

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