Answers to the 2012 American Archives Month Trivia Contest

1 11 2012

Our 2012 Trivia Contest featured questions about student organizations at Michigan State University.  Over 40 people entered and four people answered all eight questions correctly.  We will be contacting the winners soon.

The staff at the University Archives & Historical Collections would like to thank everyone for playing and we hope that you will participate in our contest again next year!

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1.  What was the first fraternity on campus with a national affiliation (1872)?

B.  Delta Tau Delta

Phi Delta Theta, which became nationally affiliated in 1873, is the second oldest.  Extra fun fact: national fraternities were prohibited at M.A.C. from 1898 to 1921.

2. The Cosmopolitan Club, whose motto was “Above all Nations is Humanity,” was the precursor to this club.

D.  International Club

The Cosmopolitan Club was formed to help integrate foreign students into life at M.A.C.  Membership was open to both American and international students.  The club declined in popularity in the late 1920s through 1930s.  In 1944 it was reorganized  and renamed.


3. Formed in 1892, this was the first honorary society at M.A.C.

A.  Tau Beta Pi          

Founded in 1892, the Alpha Chapter of the Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society was the second chapter in the nation and the first honorary fraternity on the campus.

4.  In order to teach students how to properly behave at Michigan State, the Spartan Women’s League…

Dance etiquette from “We Like It Done This Way at Michigan State College” (1930s).

D.  Created etiquette books

In addition to creating etiquette books, the Spartan Women’s League held good grooming workshops and dances.

5.  During World War II, the Town Girls engaged in which of the following activities?

A.  Held social hours for service men

B.  Held defense stamp drives

C.  Made cartoon scrapbooks for service men

D.  All of the above

The Town Girls organization was created for female students who lived off campus in East Lansing or Lansing.  They held an annual tea for freshmen Town Girls, the Spinster’s Spin dance, and a co-ed carnival. 

6.  What organization assisted rescue efforts following a deadly tornado in 1965?

C.  Amateur Radio Club

The Amateur Radio Club has been an active force in local and national communications during disasters and emergencies with membership in the Lansing Disaster Control plan and the Community Radio Watch Programs.

Amateur Radio communication plan from the Lansing Disaster Control Plan (1964).

7.  Which group was the first women’s organization on campus?

A.  Feronian Society

The Feronian Society was founded in 1891.  Question 7 proved to be the most difficult for our contestants.  Many thought the answer was Omicron Nu, but that organization was founded on April 23, 1912.

8.  Modeled after an organization created by his father at the University of Nebraska, Seminarius Botanicus was founded in 1913 by this professor.

C.  Ernst A. Bessey

Charles Edwin Bessey (M.A.C. class of 1869) was a professor of botany at the University of Nebraska from 1884 to 1915 and founded Seminarius Botanicus in 1886.  His son, Ernst A. Bessey was a professor of botany and mycology at M.A.C. from 1910 to 1946.

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