Don Coleman, 1928-2017

1 02 2017
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Don Coleman, MSC football player, poses on the field, circa 1950s

Former Michigan State Lineman Don Coleman has died at the age of 88.

A three-year letter-winner (1949-1951), Coleman was MSU’s first unanimous choice for All-American, in 1951.  In that year, Don Coleman helped propel the Spartan football team to their first ever national championship.  He was also the first Spartan athlete to have his jersey retired (#78), and Clarence “Biggie” Munn called him “the finest lineman ever to play for Michigan State”.  Soon after being drafted by the Chicago Cardinals in the 1952 NFL Draft, Coleman ended his football career to serve in the Korean War, adopting an orphanage overseas and acquiring clothing for the orphanage through work with the city of Flint, Michigan.

Coleman left the Army in 1954 to work in education in Flint, ultimately joining MSU’s faculty in 1968.  There, he served as an assistant professor in intercollegiate athletics, and even worked as an assistant coach under “Biggie” Munn that same season.  He was named Assistant Director of Student Affairs the following year, and was named Director of the Minority Comprehensive Support Program of the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1974.  In 1978, Coleman was named an Assistant Dean of the MSU Graduate School, and soon after served as the first Executive Director of the Black Child and Family Institute in Lansing, among many other prestigious roles in the Lansing area.

Don Coleman was also the first player named to Notre Dame’s All-Opponent Team three years in a row.  A complete film of the historic November 20, 1951 game against Notre Dame, in which the 5th ranked Spartans shut out the 11th ranked Fighting Irish by a score of 35-0, is available at the MSU Archives & Historical Collections (UA 17.75, reel 653).

Written by Matthew Wilcox, Audiovisual Archivist





Audiovisual Collections: Blanche Martin and the 1957 Spartan Football Team

16 01 2017
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Blanche Martin

January 16, 2017 marks the 80th birthday of Blanche Martin – an academic all-American MSU football running back (1956-1959).  The 1957 Spartan Football team were national champions, one of six seasons in the team’s history in which they held that distinction, and thanks in no small part to Martin.  During that season, he scored 7 touchdowns and ran for over 600 yards.  But Martin is known for so much more than being a great Spartan running back.

Dr. Blanche Martin (DDS,  University of Detroit Dental School, 1967) was elected to the Michigan State University Board of Trustees in 1969, the first African American to hold the position.  He chaired the Board from 1974 to 1976, and served on the board until 1984.  Dr. Martin also made great strides in improving conditions for minorities at Michigan State, increasing minority hiring and enrollment.  Dr. Martin was also a co-founder of the College of Urban Development at Michigan State University.

A video of the October 26, 1957 game film against Illinois is available for viewing online at the MSU Archives & Historical Collections’ site for digital collections, On the Banks of the Red Cedar: http://onthebanks.msu.edu/Object/1-4-55F/msu-football-vs-illinois-1957/.  Other film reels from the 1957 season are available at the Archives, including most of the other games from that season, a highlights reel, and an “old timers” game reel!

If you would like to help preserve Spartan history and get this footage preserved and digitized for online access, please consider donating to the MSU Film and Video Preservation Fund (https://www.givingto.msu.edu/gift/?sid=1484). More information about the Film Fund can be found here: http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2014/msu-archives-preserves-spartan-history/.

Written by Matthew Wilcox, Audiovisual Archivist

Editor’s note: Dr. Blanche Martin was interviewed for MSU’s Sesquicentennial Oral History Project in 2000.  The recording and transcripts are available on our On the Banks of the Red Cedar website: http://onthebanks.msu.edu/sohp/Object/2-D-E3/blanche-martin/.

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MSU Board of Trustees, 1969. (standing L to R) Don Stevens, Frank Hartman, Warren Huff, Frank Thompson (sitting L to R) Stephen Nisbet, Blanche Martin, C. Allen Harlan, Frank Merriman





Audiovisual Collections: 1960s College of Veterinary Medicine films

2 11 2016

Rainstorms can provide needed nourishment to dried-out grass and plants.  They can also promote an increase in the population of mosquitoes.  Water can be welcomed or cursed, depending on the situation.  During the end of August 2016, rain water and condensation leaking through indoor pipes caused concern for the safety of some archival materials.  Among some documents that were addressed for potential water damage were a set of nine 16mm film reels from the College of Veterinary Medicine.

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Upon initial inspection at least a couple of reels showed slight signs of warping, which may or may not have been caused by the recent rainfall.  One of the films was sticking to itself along the first few frames, so great care had to be taken to unspool the film and ensure that the emulsion was not being removed.  While some of the boxes housing the films experienced noticeable water damage, the movies were still in good condition overall.  Inspecting the films also generated interest in some of the titles (“Campus Scenes, Summer 1969”, “MSU Farms, 1966”, “Outside Lepto Barn, 1966”, etc.).

If you would like to help preserve Spartan history by getting this footage digitized for online access, please consider donating to the MSU Film and Video Preservation Fund (https://www.givingto.msu.edu/gift/?sid=1484). More information about the Film Fund can be found here: http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2014/msu-archives-preserves-spartan-history/.

Written by Matthew Wilcox, Audiovisual Archivist





Audiovisual Collections: Spring 1957 Commencement Film

19 08 2016

 

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Michigan State University President John A. Hannah (left) with U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon (right) at MSU’s 1957 commencement (resource identifier A001832)

 On June 9, 1957, Vice President of the United States Richard M. Nixon gave the commencement address at Macklin Stadium (now Spartan Stadium) to Michigan State’s graduating class.  In a photograph from the Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, Nixon can be seen standing next to MSU President John A. Hannah after the ceremony.

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1957 Commencement film reel

Additionally, a 16mm reel of motion picture film of this event is also in the University Archives’ collections. The film, approximately 800’ in length (roughly twenty-two minutes long), contains moving image and optical sound elements from the Spring 1957 commencement.  A :30 silent clip of the commencement can be viewed on YouTube.

If you would like to help preserve Spartan history and get this footage preserved and digitized for online access, please consider donating to the MSU Film and Video Preservation Fund (https://www.givingto.msu.edu/gift/?sid=1484). More information about the Film Fund can be found here: http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2014/msu-archives-preserves-spartan-history/.

Written by Matthew Wilcox, Audiovisual Archivist

Note: Commencement programs are available on the On the Banks of the Red Cedar website (http://onthebanks.msu.edu/Object/1-4-10E8/commencement-programhome-page/), including the 1957 commencement program.

Additional information about Vice President Nixon’s visit can be found in the Commencement Records (UA 13.1).





Newly Digitized Film Footage of 1930 Spartan Football Team

5 10 2015

1-4-1548-48-MSCFootballGoesToWashingtonYour support makes a difference!

The University Archives recently acquired several hundred films from WKAR, including a 1930 nitrate film of an MSC football team trip to Washington, D.C. to play Georgetown.1-4-1246-54-19301101sm_Page_01Thanks to support from a donor, we were able to digitize the fragile nitrate film in high definition. The film shows the team touring the nation’s capital, visiting Annapolis and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and meeting President Herbert Hoover.

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President Hoover meets the Spartan Marching Band

Sadly, there is no actual gridiron footage because the game was played at night. But there are great scenes of football coach Jim Crowley, Spartan Marching Band director Leonard Falcone, and the MSU team enjoying this marvelous trip – which must have been a highlight of their college careers.1-4-1246-54-19301101sm_Page_04

The digitized film can be seen on our MSU history site, On the Banks of the Red Cedar (http://onthebanks.msu.edu/Object/1-4-1548/msc-football-team-goes-to-washington-dc-1930).

If you would like to help save Spartan history, please consider donating to our MSU Film and Video Digitization Fund (https://givingto.msu.edu/gift/?sid=1484).  More information about the Film Fund can be found here: https://msuarchives.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/msu-film-and-video-preservation-fund/.