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School of Packaging records

Identifier: UA-16.90

Scope and Contents

The School of Packaging collection contains many items including histories of the program, the book "Beyond the Box: The History of the School of Packaging, Michigan State University 1952-2017" by Diana Twede, newsletters, news releases, newspaper clippings and publications related to the school, pamphlets, and brochures.

Also included is information related to the construction of the School of Packaging building addition in 1986 and 1987 and the 25th and 50th anniversaries of the School of Packaging. There are also School of Packaging alumni lists, reports, strategic plans, annual reports, and information related to a USDA Project.

Photographic materials include photographs, slides, negatives, and scrapbooks of students, professors, lab demonstrations, and presentations. Audiovisual materials include a DVD, two VHS tapes, and Super 8 films related to Packaging class lab demonstrations.


  • Creation: 1952 - 2017


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research except for restricted materials.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Historical Note

Founded in 1952, the School of Packaging was the first school of packaging in the world. Dr. Alexis J. Panshin, chair of the Michigan State College Forest Products program and John Ladd of the General Box Company discussed the idea for a packaging major in 1950. They thought packaging courses would help attract students to the Forest Products Department. The Packaging Program began on September 1, 1952, under the leadership of Dr. Panshin. By fall 1953, there were seventeen students and the first course was taught. The masters degree program was added in 1956.

The Packaging major officially became the School of Packaging in 1957 with Dr. Panshin as director. In 1964, the original Packaging Building was completed. In 1966, Dr. James Goff, who taught packaging courses from the beginning of the program, was appointed to be the new director.

The first Packaging overseas study program was offered in the United Kingdom in 1981, and the first program in Sweden was offered in 1986. In 1985, MSU hosted the 4th International IAPRI Conference. A new addition to the Packaging Building was completed in 1987 as a result of a University-wide capital campaign. Also in 1987, MSU listed the School of Packaging among its “all-time 10 greatest accomplishments” in response to a request from the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges to indicate the valuable contributions member institutions have made to bettering the lives of people throughout the world.

The overseas study program in Japan was first offered in 1994 and a program in Spain was offered in 1999. The PhD program in Packaging was added in 1996. In 2002, the School of Packaging celebrated its 50th anniversary which included hosting the WorldPak MSU/IAPRI conference.

Today, the School of Packaging is known worldwide as the leading resource for developing package professionals.


12 Cubic Feet (11 boxes, 2 flat boxes, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials


Preservica Internal URL

Preservica Public URL|27deb3dc-c252-4ac3-82f3-1f14219baee1/

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.

School of Packaging Records
4 Published And Cataloged
S. Roberts
June 2010
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