Skip to main content

Edgar L. Harden papers

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-2.1.15

Series Description

(1) BOARD OF TRUSTEES FILES. 1977-1979. 0.7 cu. ft.

Records documenting Harden's relations with the Michigan State University Board of Trustees. The files consist largely of correspondence and memoranda between Harden and various board members concerning all facets of University governance. The folders of general correspondence and correspondence with individual board members are particularly valuable for providing insight into the various issues dealt with in board meetings. Arranged alphabetically by subject.


This diverse series includes all materials directly related to the operation of the University except for records included in the BOARD OF TRUSTEES and UNIVERSITY COMMITTEES series. The files were maintained in a hierarchical arrangement with individual academic departments filed under the college to which they belonged. The records are mainly correspondence and memoranda, but also include reports and working papers. Arranged alphabetically by subject.

(3) UNIVERSITY COMMITTEES. 1977-1979. 0.3 cu. ft.

Records of various committees and governing boards which existed under the Harden administration. Record types include correspondence, reports, and meeting minutes. Arranged alphabetically by committee name.

(4) INTERCOLLEGIATE ORGANIZATIONS. 1977-1980. 1.2 cu. ft.

Correspondence, reports, and meeting minutes of various academic organizations to which Harden and MSU belonged. The records are useful in documenting institutional cooperation between MSU and other universities through the Office of the President. Arranged alphabetically by name of organization.

(5) FOUNDATIONS AND CORPORATIONS. 1977-1979. 0.3 cu. ft.

Correspondence documenting Harden's relationship with various foundations and corporations. Most of the materials deal with the University's attempts to secure funding for various research and building projects. Arranged alphabetically by name of foundation or corporation.

(6) STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. 1976-1979. 0.7 cu. ft.

Files on matters concerning the University and State and Federal government agencies. Comprised of correspondence and reports on a wide variety of topics. Arranged alphabetically by department or agency name.

(7) SPEECHES AND STATEMENTS. 1978-1979. 1 folder

Copies of speeches Harden made at various commencements during the years 1978-1979. Arranged chronologically

(8) MISCELLANEOUS. 1978. 0.3 cu. ft. A scrapbook of newspaper clippings concerning University related events during the Harden presidency. Arranged alphabetically by subject

(9) RESTRICTED FILES. 1977-1979. 0.5 cu. ft.

Records which must be considered confidential under statutes governing right to privacy.


  • Creation: 1976 - 1980


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Series 9 contains restricted files.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical Note

Edgar L. Harden, Michigan State University's fifteenth president, was appointed acting president October 23, 1977 to succeed Clifton Wharton. He was formally named president on March 31, 1978 to serve until the appointment of a permanent president.

Harden's curriculum vita reflects alternating periods in both academia and business. His association with MSU goes back to 1946 when he was named professor of counseling, testing, and guidance. During his time as head of continuing education (1950-1955), construction for the Kellogg Center for Continuing Education began.

Harden left MSU in 1955 to become executive vice president of the Drop Forging Association in Cleveland, leaving a year later to become president of Northern Michigan University.

In 1967, Harden left NMU to become the president of Story Incorporated, a large Oldsmobile dealership. He was on leave from this position during his term as president of MSU. Harden left the university when M. Cecil Mackey was appointed president on August 31, 1979.

Harden's term was generally a placid one on campus as student activism waned. Affirmative action and equal rights for various groups were among the issues of the day, especially the Title IX issue of equality for women athletes. Another major issue was divestiture of university-owned stock in companies doing business in South Africa. Plans for the Wharton Center for Performing Arts were finalized and construction began during Harden's presidency.


6.5 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



Organized into 9 series: 1. Board of Trustees Files. 2. Michigan State University Subject File. 3. University Committees. 4. Intercollegiate Organizations. 5. Foundations and Corporations. 6. State and Federal Goverment. 7. Speeches and Statements. 8. Miscellaneious. 9. Restricted Files.

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.

Office of the President. Edgar L. Harden Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
T. Luitje
May 1985
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