MSU in the Year 2055

12 06 2015

What will life be like in 100 years? It’s a question that preoccupies the minds of humans from time to time – particularly during anniversary celebrations. This was the case when Michigan State University was celebrating its centennial in 1955. Professor William Henry Roe, Sr. wrote a piece for the Centennial edition of the Wolverine yearbook imagining what life would be like for MSU students in 2055.

Roe was an associate professor of administration and education at MSU from 1952 to 1965. He taught school administration to graduate students. Roe’s literary pursuits centered on this topic as well; authoring books such as State School Administration and Financing Michigan’s Schools. No evidence could be found that he was a creative writer or typically engaged in fanciful imaginings of the future. This appears to be his only foray into future fiction.

So what did Roe see in our future?

By 2055, all young people who are capable of learning will be required to attend college. A person’s learning potential will be determined with tests, including an EEG. Despite college being mandatory, MSU will cap the number of students on campus at 30,000. Other adults will be educated by MSU faculty at satellite branches state-wide, which is reminiscent of the extension service. This will allow the University to better meet the needs of local communities.

Transportation will be revolutionized. Rather than driving cars, we will use motor-scooter helicopters. And yes, we will still have to pay for parking.

Roe believed swans will replace ducks on the Red Cedar by 2055. No word on the future of our beloved squirrels

Roe believed swans will replace ducks on the Red Cedar by 2055. No word on the future of our beloved squirrels.

Some things will remain the same in 2055. Beaumont Tower will continue to stand as a memorial to the college’s agricultural roots. And the Sacred Space will remain sacred.

The year 2015 gets a mention as well. This is the year that a universal language is adopted internationally, and “a new world understanding of groups, races, and nations had developed.” It could be argued that Roe was not too far off on these points. Thanks to advances in technology, we do have the capability of learning about and, perhaps, understanding other cultures and nations more easily than we did in 1955. Further, English is often regarded as the universal language of science, technology, business, and diplomacy.

We’ll just have to wait another 40 years to find out if Roe was correct about biotic pills, a nuclear reactor in the Stadium, and the end of the MSU-UM rivalry.

For those interested in learning more about Roe’s vision of 2055, his essay can be viewed in its entirety here: “2055 A.D.: Michigan State Observes its Bi-Centennial” [opens as a pdf].

 

Written by Megan Badgley Malone, collections & outreach archivist.

 





Katharine Vedder: A MAC Student’s Brush with Fame

27 05 2015
Katharine Vedder

Katharine Vedder

While a student at Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University), Katharine Vedder was involved in the MAC Dramatic Club and MAC Opera. She was even named “Favorite Actress” in the Public Opinion Section of the 1913 MAC yearbook. Her talent and experience helped her land a part in a movie for the [Lansing] State Journal in 1914. The movie was to promote local donations for the “Christmas Ship”, a nationwide effort to send a ship full of presents to children in war torn Europe. A scout for Oscar Hammerstein I, a vaudeville producer in New York City, saw the movie and liked Vedder’s smile and dancing ability. On the recommendation of his scout, Hammerstein offered her a contract, including a nice salary, for a dancing act. Vedder considered the offer but her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Herman K. Vedder, advised her not to take it. The opinion of Mr. Vedder, a professor of Civil Engineering at MAC, must have held a lot of weight. She took her parents’ advice and stayed in East Lansing to earn a degree in home economics in 1916. Vedder’s brush with fame was documented in an undated newspaper article found in the MSU Archives.

State Journal newspaper article

A couple years after graduation, Vedder moved to New York City and worked as an editor for Criterion garment advertising magazine. Vedder married William Carl “Chappie” Chapman, an advertising department employee at Packard Motor Company in New York, whom she met as a student at MAC. Searches in the MAC Record publication gave clues to Vedder’s life after college, but there is no way to know if she regretted giving up her chance at fame.

Vedder played Celia in the MAC Dramatic Club's 1913 performance of

Vedder played Celia in the MAC Dramatic Club’s 1913 performance of “As You Like It”

In the MAC Dramatic Club's 1914 performance of

In the MAC Dramatic Club’s 1914 performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Vedder played Hermia

*Note: In some sources her first name is spelled “Katharine” and in others it is “Katherine.”

Written by Sarah Roberts, acquisitions archivist.





MSU Archives’ Grand Re-opening on April 28th

27 04 2015

The Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections invites the public to our Grand Re-opening Celebration on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.  The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with light refreshments in the lobby of Conrad Hall.  At 7:00 p.m. we will have opening remarks in the Conrad Auditorium.  Following that, Charles Keith will give a brief presentation on MSU’s Vietnam Project, a program which ran from 1955 to 1962.  The Archives will be open for behind-the-scenes tours before and after the talk.  This is a unique opportunity to see gems of the Archives’ collections, to tour areas of the Archives not typically accessible to visitors, and to meet and talk with the University’s archivists.

Parking is free is Lot #32 on Fee Road, and reservations are not required.

We look forward to seeing you at our Grand Re-opening Celebration!

Grand Reopening





Residence Hall Namesakes: East Neighborhood

26 03 2015

East Neighborhood

Students moving into Hubbard Hall, 1966

Students moving into Hubbard Hall, 1966

 

Forest H. Akers Hall

Forest H. Akers, 1945

Forest H. Akers, 1945

Forest H. Akers has his name in a few places at Michigan State, including the residence hall and golf course. Once a student at Michigan State, Akers played on the baseball team from 1905 to 1908 before he was expelled from school. His academics and behavior were not up to the Michigan State standard, but years later he was quoted saying “they were never, in all their history, more right” to expel students like him. Leaving Michigan State was not the end for Akers, he worked his way up at Chrysler and served on the State Board of Agriculture for almost two decades. Akers was a huge benefactor for Michigan State, establishing scholarships and donating resources for the golf course. Akers Hall, completed in 1964, is the architectural twin of Fee Hall.  Both were constructed to serve as student residences.

More information about Forest Akers can be found on the On the Banks of the Red Cedar website.

 

John C. Holmes Hall

John C. Holmes

John C. Holmes, Faculty Photograph

John C. Holmes had a significant role in the establishment of Michigan Agricultural College (now MSU). He was secretary of the Michigan Agricultural Society and helped to push legislature to support MAC. Holmes was the first horticulture professor at MAC and served as an early member of the faculty from 1857 to 1862. During his time, he did a lot to ensure that the campus had beauty.  The dormitory that bears his name was built in 1965.

 

Bela Hubbard Hall

Bela Hubbard, Faculty Photograph

Bela Hubbard, Faculty Photograph

Bela Hubbard is considered one of the founders of Michigan Agricultural College (now MSU). Hubbard was an educational pioneer, advocating for a broadening of courses to allow for a more “enlightened liberal education”. Outside of Michigan State, Hubbard was a Detroit geologist. He owned his own farm and would have been considered a naturalist. Hubbard enriched the Detroit community as well, and was one of forty original donors that established the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA).  Hubbard Hall (1966) is the tallest residence hall at MSU, with twelve stories and a penthouse level.





Residence Hall Namesakes: River Trail Neighborhood

11 03 2015

River Trail Neighborhood

Students walking near the Red Cedar River, undated

Students walking near the Red Cedar River, undated

 

Irma and Karl McDonel Hall

Karl McDonel

Karl McDonel

Irma and Karl McDonel were Michigan State people. McDonel graduated in 1916, immediately starting position as assistant to the Extension Director.  He later earned a masters in economics. President Frank Kedzie said “Mr. McDonel is in every way an unusual man, a thorough student, has an abundance of tact. He has a very pleasant manner and has unquestionable organizing ability” (First Hundred Years, Kuhn). McDonel served as Secretary of the State Board of Agriculture (now called Board of Trustees) from 1941 to 1960.  McDonel Hall (1963), designed in the International Style, is identical to Wonders Hall in the South Neighborhood.

 

Floyd Owen Hall

Owen, Brandes, & Huddleson receive the Distinguished Service Alumni Award, 1948

Owen, Brandes, & Huddleson receive the Distinguished Service Alumni Award, 1948

Floyd Owen was an early graduate of Michigan Agricultural College (now MSU). Owen was a member of the Class of 1902 when buildings and housing on campus were sparse. He received the Distinguished Service Alumni Award in 1948. Owen was a benefactor to Michigan State University, and was a source of funds for the construction of Owen Hall. Built to accommodate graduate students, Owen Hall  was completed in 1960.

 

Robert S. Shaw Hall

John Hannah speaking with Robert Shaw

John Hannah speaking with Robert Shaw

Robert S. Shaw has a long standing history with Michigan State. For more than forty years, Shaw was a professor of agriculture, and spent years as dean of the college. Shaw also served as acting president of the Michigan State College (now MSU) three times and was the official president from 1928 to 1941. During his presidency, Shaw saw enrollment triple, the establishment of a graduate school, and many new departments created. Shaw was a true agriculture man at heart, and he himself attended an agriculture school in his native Canada.  Shaw Hall (1950) was the first of the residence halls designed in the International Style.

Shaw Hall at night, undated

Shaw Hall at night, undated

 

Sarah Van Hoosen Jones Hall

Marie Dye and Sarah Van Hoosen Jones

Marie Dye and Sarah Van Hoosen Jones

Sarah Van Hoosen Jones was a remarkable person. Jones earned a Ph.D. in science, and raised purebred Holsteins, making a name for herself as a “Master Farmer”. Jones was elected to the State Board of Agriculture in 1943. Jones, when told a building was to be named after her, insisted that it be named with her middle name “Van Hoosen”, because that was her mother’s maiden name and it was the family that raised her.  Van Hoosen Hall (1957) was originally a women’s cooperative residence with thirty-six apartments.

Written by Laura Williams





Residence Hall Namesakes: South Neighborhood

11 02 2015

South Neighborhood

 

Albert and Sarah Case Hall

A special dinner in Case Hall

A special dinner in Case Hall

Albert and Sarah Case were both part of Michigan Agricultural College (now MSU) in their own way. Albert was a captain of the football team in 1901 and after his graduation in 1902, he became an engineer. Sarah was a beloved teacher when she instructed physical training at MAC. Together they established a scholarship in memory of their son. Years later, Case Hall residents sent Sarah Case flowers and cards by the hundreds for her 100th birthday. Built in 1961, Case Hall was the first hall to be designed for both men and women (in separate wings), but because of the co-ed function the students had a stricter dress code.

 

James and Lynelle Holden Hall

Construction of Holden Hall, 1966

Construction of Holden Hall, 1966

James and Lynelle Holden had Michigan ties in a few ways. James Holden was a Michigan State student (class of 1889) who went on to do great things. He became a philanthropist and worked specifically with the City of Detroit. One contribution they made was developing the Detroit Zoo, which people still enjoy today. Holden was also a real estate developer.  First opened in 1967, Holden Hall was the last of the South Complex dorms constructed.

 

Alfred G. and Mathilda R. Wilson Hall

John Hannah and Mrs. Wilson participate in the groundbreaking of Oakland University, 1958

John Hannah and Mrs. Wilson participate in the groundbreaking of Oakland University, 1958

Alfred G. and Mathilda R. Wilson both had interesting life paths. Alfred worked in lumber when he met Mathilda in Detroit, Michigan. They adopted two children together. Mathilda was born in Canada but spent much of her life in Detroit. For a short time, she was appointed Michigan’s first Lieutenant Governor, and later became a member of the State Board of Agriculture (later Trustees). She had a great deal of land in Rochester, Michigan which the couple donated to Michigan State for the creation of another branch of the university, Michigan State – Oakland, which later became Oakland University.  Wilson Hall, constructed in 1963, was designed by Ralph Calder.

 

Wallace and Grace Wonders Hall

Two students study in a Wonders Hall dorm room, undated

Two students study in a Wonders Hall dorm room, undated

Wallace and Grace Wonders were benefactors of Michigan State. Wallace Wonders was a Michigan State student from 1898 to 1902, when he graduated with a Bachelor of Science. Wonders was from Detroit, Michigan and came to East Lansing to study. Wonders and fellow South Neighborhood namesake Albert Case were classmates here at Michigan State.  Wonders Hall  The caption of the photo below details Wonder’s own experience with housing at Michigan State.

 

A small off-campus building, circa 1901. The back reads, "This cabin was rented by Marcus B. Stevens '02 and Wallace K. Wonders '02 to be used as a home while they worked a the college during the 1901 summer vacation. It was within easy walking distance of the campus. The drainage was good but the facilities were extremely minimum. The views were 100% rural. The social advantages were 0. If the truth is adhered to not too closely the clear air of the morning and the peace and quiet of the evening were disturbed only by the activities of the mosquetoes. As I remember it we had even in those days had a problem to face because our college was obliged to close all its eating clubs because of lack of funds. The college did not feel it could keep an eating club open for the working students so we had to shift (?) for ourselves. We are happy that we survived. Wallace K. Wonders."

A small off-campus building, circa 1901. The back reads, “This cabin was rented by Marcus B. Stevens ’02 and Wallace K. Wonders ’02 to be used as a home while they worked a the college during the 1901 summer vacation. It was within easy walking distance of the campus. The drainage was good but the facilities were extremely minimum. The views were 100% rural. The social advantages were 0. If the truth is adhered to not too closely the clear air of the morning and the peace and quiet of the evening were disturbed only by the activities of the mosquetoes. As I remember it we had even in those days had a problem to face because our college was obliged to close all its eating clubs because of lack of funds. The college did not feel it could keep an eating club open for the working students so we had to shift (?) for ourselves. We are happy that we survived. Wallace K. Wonders.”

Written by Laura Williams





Residence Hall Namesakes: Brody Neighborhood

11 02 2015

Brody Neighborhood

Brody Hall Cafeteria, 1954

Brody Hall Cafeteria, 1954

W. G. Armstrong Hall

Construction on Brody Complex, 1955

Construction on Brody Complex, 1955

W. G. Armstrong was an alumnus of Michigan State.  As many Spartans (once “Aggies” for Agriculture College), Armstrong was a farmer in his lifetime. After graduation, Armstrong continued his involvement with the college and became a member of the MSU Board of Trustees. Bryan Hall opened in 1956, along with two other Brody residence halls, Bailey and Emmons.

 

Liberty Hyde Bailey Hall

College Speculum Staff, Bailey seated second from left

College Speculum Staff, Bailey seated second from left

Liberty Hyde Bailey had his start as a Michigan State student in the Class of 1882. During that time, he founded and edited the Speculum, a student paper. Bailey studied with Dr. William Beal before becoming a professor himself. It is said that Bailey’s courses were so good that students were bringing their own seats to ensure they could attend his lectures. Bailey wrote more than 60 books and numerous articles, which became the backbone of horticulture literature. He was also known as the world’s “plant hunter.” Bailey was a man of science yet did not believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution, but rather took to the Bible’s origin of man. His name was a family name passed down by his abolitionist grandparents who used Liberty as a way to signify all deserved to be free.  Designed by Ralph Calder, Bailey Hall opened in 1955.

 

Claude S. Bryan Hall

Building Supervisor at Bryan Hall buffing the floor, 1957

Building Supervisor at Bryan Hall buffing the floor, 1957

Claude S. Bryan was Dean of Veterinary Medicine beginning in the late 1940’s. After he took the position, Bryan requested a change in facilities, class size, and pre-course work for veterinary students. Bryan’s efforts helped to create the Veterinary Medical Center on campus. Bryan Hall opened originally as an all male residence hall in 1954.

 

Kenyon L. Butterfield Hall

Butterfield Hall (Brody Complex), circa 1955

Butterfield Hall (Brody Complex), circa 1955

Kenyon L. Butterfield was a native Michigander from Lapeer. Butterfield graduated from Michigan State in 1891. After graduation, Butterfield held many positions in the area before returning to school to receive his Masters from the University of Michigan. Butterfield held presidency positions at two other colleges before resigning to return as president of Michigan State (1924-1928). Though a conflict over appointing two friends to executive positions at the college caused him to step down from presidency at Michigan State, Butterfield’s career included much more than his education positions and he held many international positions throughout his lifetime. Butterfield Hall first opened in 1954.

 

Lloyd C. Emmons Hall

An aerial view of Brody Complex, 1958

An aerial view of Brody Complex, 1958

Lloyd C. Emmons made many strides as a faculty at Michigan State. As Dean of the School of Science and Arts, also referred to as Liberal Arts, Emmons made many changes to programs and expectations within the school. While Dean, the a program for nursing was established in his school in 1950. Dean Emmons continued to teach for some time even while holding his position as a dean. Emmons was a professor of calculus. Dean Emmons also pushed for teacher preparation during his time at the college.  Emmons Hall first opened in 1955.

 

Howard C. Rather Hall

A view of Rather Hall, 1959

A view of Rather Hall, 1959

Howard C. Rather was a graduate of Michigan State. Part of the Class of 1917, Rather received a Bachelor of Science. Following his graduation, Rather joined the United States Army, and received an honorable discharge. After the war, Rather returned to Michigan State as a member of the faculty and eventually became a professor of Farm Crops. Rather also became the Dean of the Basic College during his career at Michigan Agricultural College (now MSU).  Rather Hall first opened in 1954, and its irregular plan is the reverse of Bailey Hall’s.

Written by Laura Williams








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