Meadow Brook Seminars
Introductory comments for December 13 (1958) Seminar
Meadow Brook Hall
I. The Wilson Gift to Michigan State University
In January of 1957 Mr. and Mrs. Alfred G. Wilson announced that they were giving their beautiful 1400 acre estate (Meadowbrook) in Oakland County, Michigan plus $2 million to Michigan State University for the purpose of establishing a branch university. In addition to the 1400 acres, the estate consists of Meadowbrook Hall, one of the world's fine residences; the modern, small home of the Wilsons (Sunset Terrace); plus several other residences and farm buildings. The $2 million was for the purpose of constructing the first academic building for the new university.
Prior to this gift, Dr. Sarah Van hoosen Jones had given the University 350 acres of land in Oakland county, located 5 miles northeast of Meadowbrook. Following the Wilson gift, the university has acquired an additional 200 acres immediately adjacent to the Wilson property.
In total, then, Michigan State University now owns almost 2000 acres of land in Oakland County, plus several buildings, and now has under construction the first academic building for this new university. A half-million dollar Student Center is being planned and will likely be completed by September of 1959.
II. The Educational Potential of the New University.
The Meadowbrook Estate is located in the eastern part of Oakland County, near the Macomb County line. In relation to existing population centers, it is 3 miles east of Pontiac (population 80,000), 3 miles west of Rochester (population 5,000), and 25 miles north of Detroit.
The enclosed mimeographed maps give some indication of the potential of this area. The combined population of Oakland and Macomb Counties is currently in excess of 1 million, and it is predicted rather conservatively that by 1980 this combined figure will be approximately 2 million.
On the second map a circle is described with the Meadowbrook Estate at the center and with a radius of 15 miles. Demographers estimate that currently almost 50,000 young men and women between the ages of 18 and 24 live within this circle, and that this figure will exceed 100,000 by 1970.
The staggering potential of this are is underscored by the fact that there is not now a single post-high-school educational institution, public or private, in either county-- except for a new community college in south Macomb County.
Adding to this potential in another dimension is the highly advantageous location of the top research headquarters of the automotive industry. Twelve miles away is the new General Motors Technical Center; less that three miles away is the site for Chrysler's proposed center for research; and Ford's new proving grounds and testing center is about 12 miles distant.
III. The Michigan State University - Oakland Foundation
In accepting the Wilson gift, President John A. Hannah of Michigan State University announced the appointment of a committee of approximately 40 community leaders from the two counties to assist in developing the new university along the most productive lines.
This committee has subsequently been incorporated into the Michigan State University - Oakland Foundation and will serve in a permanent advisory and supporting role to the official governing Board of Michigan State University and Michigan State University - Oakland.
Many important recommendations have been made by the Foundation and they have all been accepted by the officials of Michigan State University. These will be reflected in Section IV which follows.
The Foundation is operating with an Executive Board (the seven officers) and four major committees. These committees are:
IV. Basic Assumptions
In thinking through the problems under current discussion, you may assume that:
The central questions toward which we would like to have you direct your comments is:
With your experience and knowledge in the field of educational matters, and given a clean slate upon which to write, how would you go about developing a program which will insure that the students at this new institution are, in fact, liberally educated regardless of the field of specialization?
In order to promote free discussion, this meeting will not be recorded verbatim but will be summarized.
MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY - OAKLAND FOUNDATION
Judge Clark J. Adams, Waterford, Oakland County Circuit Judge
Don E. Ahrens, Retired General Manager of Cadillac Division and Vice President of General Motors Corporation, Vice President of Oakland Foundation and chairman of Finance Committee.
Christian Beukema, Birmingham, President of the Michigan Limestone Division of U.S. Steel Corporation.
*Jude Howard Carroll, Mt. Clemens, Macomb county Circuit Judge
Mrs. L. L. Colbert, Bloomfield Hills, wife of the President of the Chrysler Corporation
Paul K. Cousino, Superintendent of Warren Consolidated Schools, Vice President of Oakland Foundation and Chairman of Community Relations Committee.
Major General Robert E. L. Eaton, commander, Tenth Air Force, Selfridge Field.
Coy G. Eklund, Agency Manager, Equitable Life Assurance Company, Detroit.
William J. Emerson, Pontiac, Oakland County Superintendent of Schools.
E. F. Fisher, Brighton, President of Garwood Industries, Incorporated.
Harold A. Fitzgerald, Publisher of the Pontiac Press, President of Oakland Foundation.
Alfred C. Girard, Pontiac, President of the community National Bank, Treasurer of Oakland Foundation.
*Miss Marion Goodale, Bloomfield Hills, Headmistress of Kingswood School, Cranbrook.
*John Gordon, Bloomfield Hills, President of General Motors Corporation.
*Mrs. William T. Gossett, Bloomfield Hills, wife of the Vice President of Ford Motor Company, Vice President of Oakland Foundation and Chairman of Continuing Education Committee
Fred Haggard, Waterford, President of the Oakland County C.I.O Council.
Delos Hamlin, Farmington, Chairman of the Oakland County Board of Supervisors.
*George J. Huebner, Jr., Bloomfield Hills, Chrysler Corporation.
*Ernest A. Jones, Bloomfield Hills, President of MacManus, John & Adams, Inc.
Miss Sarah Van Hoosen Jones, Rochester, former member of the State Board of Agriculture.
Bernard A. Kalahar, Centerline, Chairman of the Macomb County Board of Supervisors.
Adolph F. Klein, Royal Oak, President of the Wayne - Oakland Bank.
S.E. Knudsen, Bloomfield Hills, General Manager of the Pontiac Motor Division, General Motors Corporation.
Mrs. Roger M. Kyes, Bloomfield Hills, wife of the General Motors Vice President and former Deputy Secretary of Defense.
Harold E. LeFevre, Mt. Clemens, Macomb County Superintendent of Schools.
Howard L. McGregor, Jr., Rochester, President of the National Twist Drill and Tool Company.
Paul W. McKee, Editor of the Mt. Clemens Monitor-Leader.
Lynn S. Miller, Publisher of the Royal Oak Tribune.
Mrs. Ralph Norvell, Pontiac civil leader.
Raymond T. Perring, Bloomfield Hills, President of the Detroit Bank.
Harry M. Pryale, Bloomfield Hills, President of the Baldwin Rubber Company.
Thomas R. Reid, Dearborn, Director of Community Relations, Ford Motor Company.
Louis H. Schimmel, Pontiac, President of the Pontiac Board of Education.
Ernest W. Seaholm, Birmingham, retired Chief Engineer of Cadillac Division, General Motors Corporation.
*Dana P. Whitmer, Superintendent of Pontiac Schools, Secretary of the Oakland Foundation.
Walter K. Willman, Pontiac City Manager.
Mrs. Alfred G. Wilson.
*Theodore O. Yntema, Bloomfield Hills, Vice President of Fort Motor Company.
*James C. Zeder, Bloomfield Hills, Vice President of the Chrysler Corporation, Vice President of Oakland Foundation and Chairman of Program Development Committee
*Members of Program Development Committee
Oakland University, Kresge Library
2200 N Squirrel Rd., Rochester, MI 48309
(248) 370 - 4426