The name of Earle Hotchin might not be familiar to many people today, but his scrapbook, like various other similar items collected in the bowels of the Archives, can show us
what student life used to be like at the Michigan Agricultural College. Hotchin’s album contains receipts, dance cards, society event brochures, and photographs for the time from 1908 to 1912 when he attended the college. The interesting aspect of Hotchin in particular is that his scrapbook clearly reflects what information we know about the student himself. When he attended the college, Earle Hotchin was the athletic editor for the student newspaper, The Holcad, in the year 1911. His scrapbook manages to capture an essence of the lifestyle an editor for a student-run paper had to maintain and how he managed to keep up-to-date with current student events. Staying active in student life would have been especially important for a young man in Hotchin’s position because the Holcad kept record of what different societies were doing every week, how the many teams at M.A.C. were proceeding, and what was happening with M.A.C’s social scene.
His album catalogs many events over the span of years that he attended MSU, a number of which were directly connected to the societies he participated in around campus. His scrapbook retains cards referring to multiple society meetings throughout not just campus but
across the state, including oration contests, YMCA gatherings, Inter-Society Union meetings, barbeques, and carnival advertisements. The most recurring item, however, are his dance cards, which he collected and kept from dances put on by countless groups – the Eunomian Society, Military Hops, the Ero Alphian Society, private banquets, football banquets, and on. As historian Keith Widder explains these souvenirs in his history of M.A.C., “Cards listing each dance not only laid out the program, but also enabled young women to preserve their precious memories of the occasion.” It would seem that, however, dance cards were important mementos to both sexes, and they also continue to be valuable resources for researchers today. Hotchin’s cards and brochures from these events show us where he was involved, what organizations were prominent, and who was involved in these groups.