OU Libraries
OU Libraries

Search by title, author...

Historic Oakland University Documents (1956-1963)

This collection brings together documents of multiple origins relating to the early history of the university, from its planning and founding to its development in the years following its opening. These documents deal with the planning of the future university in the 1956-1959 period (box 1). This includes the Meadow Brook Seminars, a series of meetings held at Meadow Brook Hall in 1959 to discuss the curriculum of the future university (box 2). Additional materials document the establishment of the university in 1959-1960 (box 3). Curriculum development is also addressed (box 4) as well as student life (box 6). The collection includes press releases, brochures and other promotional material produced by the young institution (box 6). Finally some materials deal with the 1963-1973 period (box 7).

Box 1

Matilda Wilson College of Michigan State University.  A rough draft of a proposal, author unknown, sent to  MSU President John Hannah, D.B. Varner, J.H. Denison.  Dec. 28, 1956. [The proposal envisions the establishment on the Meadowbrook Farms of the Matilda Wilson College of MSU. ]

House concurrent resolution  no. 5: A concurrent resolution of appreciation and acceptance of the gift of Mr. and Mrs. A.G. Wilson of Meadow Brook Farms, and a cash endowment to Michigan State University of Agriculture and Applied Science.  January 24, 1957.

Selected Population Characteristics of Oakland and Macomb Counties, Michigan.   January 1957.  15 leaves.

Oakland Macomb County Advisory Committee - correspondence, minutes. March 1957.

Michigan State University Branch Survey: Oakland and Macomb Counties.  May-June 1957  [MSU, in close cooperation with local school systems is conducting a survey of needed community college and university programs in this area]  22 leaves.

Planning for future post-secondary educational needs in Oakland and McComb Counties: tentative draft of study outline. 1957?

Post secondary education in Oakland - Macomb Counties: Summary. 1957?

Adult Education Needs in Oakland-Macomb Counties.  June 1957. 12 leaves

A compilation of data concerning the need for post-secondary education in the Oakland-Macomb County Area.  September 1957. 3 folders.

Information on Michigan State University - Oakland.  1958. 3 leaves.

Minutes and correspondence of the University Community Planning and Development Study Committee.  October 8, 1958 - April 24, 1959

Information and Reconnaissance Survey: Area Development Study--Avon and Pontiac Townships and Michigan State University Oakland. October 1958.   Prepared by the Area Development Study Group, Institute for Community Development & Services, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. 

Development Plan for M.S.U - Oakland.  Harold W. Lautner, Campus Landscape Architect, Michigan State University, Dec. 8, 1958.  [Includes tentative development plan for the campus, Floor plans for Faculty Housing and a lot layout for the Faculty Subdivision]  2 added copies with some missing pages

Administrative Procedures for matters concerning the Planning and Development of the “University Community”, Avon and Pontiac Townships, Oakland County Michigan.  April, 1959.   Prepared by Avon-Pontiac Townships Regional Planning Commission and the Institute for Community Development and Service, Michigan State University. 

Minutes of the Avon Pontiac Townships Regional Planning Commission. 1959-1961.  [Includes occasional mentions of MSU-O and plans for the area near the university]

Community Relations Committee, 1958-1960 [The Committee was organized in July 1958]

MSUO Purposes.

Building Needs.   Memos (3/7/1960, 3/26,1960) from D.B. Varner. 

Maps. [Meadowbrook Farms; Building areas;  Campus development plan]

Map.  Proposed layout plan: Intramural, dormitories & student center. Sept. 6, 1961 [11.5” x 11.5”]

Landscaping - Nursery at MSUO. Memo. Sept. 25, 1959.

University Development Analysis / developed and prepared by Swanson Associates, Inc. Architects and Planners. [18 leaves]`

Box 2

Meadow Brook Seminar materials. Agendas, notes, supplementary materials, reports.**

Box 3

Correspondence from Dec. 4, 1956-Feb. 25, 1959 concerning the establishment of MSU - O.

MSUO Administrative Group. Minutes 1959-1966.  Additional memos.

Memos  to Varner -- MSU Board actions relating to MSUO.  1958-1960.

Memorandum relating to Michigan State University - Oakland. 1958?
  [The situation in higher education; Factual information about the program proposed at MSUO; Financial data]  5 leaves

Mailing address for MSU-O to be Rochester, Michigan. August 7, 1958

Michigan State University - Oakland  Budget request, 1958?.  6 leaves

RE: Application for a bank account for MSU-O. June 26, 1959.

MSUO Personnel:  Lists of faculty and staff and classified employees.   1959-60 and 1960-61

Organization of the University. 1960.

University Committees. 1960

New faculty memo from Robert Hoopes, Dean of the Faculty. April 26, 1960.

MSUO Development Office, 1962 [grant opportunities]

Name to be MUSO unhyphenated, 1958.

Name changed to Oakland University, Feb. 1963. Press release and photocopies of newspaper clippings.

Long-term grown plans, 1962-1963.

“Being the right size”, 1961.

Meeting of the student body, 1961.

Box 4

MSUO Curriculum Committee Report, December 1957.
 [1. Introduction: the Committee and its objectives. 2. Minimum degree requirements. 3.  Subcollegiate instruction. 4. General education curriculum. 5. Business administration curriculum. 6. Teacher education curriculum. 7. Engineering curriculum. 8. Science and arts curriculum.] 16 leaves.

Curriculum Development, 1957-1961. Memos and proposals

Suggested Curriculum for MSUO. (Draft of Curriculum - MSU-O, May 22, 1959?)

Curriculum - Michigan State University - Oakland. May 22, 1959. 5 copies
 [Introductory comments; Purposes; The curriculum development process; Some general guidelines in the curriculum development;  From guidelines to specifics; The liberal studies program; Teacher education; Business administration; Engineering science;  The continuing education program. Also includes the synthesis and summary documents from the Meadow Brook Seminars on Higher Education and a list of member of the MSUO Foundation]

Degree requirements.  (Proposed) April 26, 1960.

Trimester information. [Proposed trimester plan for Oakland University, (no date); Newspaper clippings concerning the trimester proposal; Correspondence ]

Honors Program (proposed)  [No date]

Miscellaneous papers, 1957-1959, 1963.

Michigan State University - Oakland : it's programs. 1963?

Educational Policy Committee Minutes and Memos. (Curriculum)

Box 5

(see also Press releases and Newspaper clippings collections in the University Archives)

MSU Press Release: 12:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 3, 1957.  Wilson Gift of estate to MSU for branch college.  Dept. of Information Services, Michigan State University.  5 leaves

MSU Press Release: June 25, 1958. Establishment of the Michigan State University Oakland Foundation.

MSU Press Release: July 7, 1958. Establishment of the Michigan State University Oakland Continuing Education Center.

MSU Press Release: March 25, 1959.   Public relations program for MSU-O -- information plan.  6 leaves.

MSUO Press Release:  Sept. 20, 1961.  Meadow Brook Hall to host ball to raise scholarship funds.  2 leaves

Construction begins on Oakland Branch" ,The Quarterly Record of Michigan State University. Spring Quarter 1958. p. 1-2.

MSU Reporter.  Issues containing information about MSU-O:

Introducing Michigan State University - Oakland.  [Promotional brochure, ca 1958] [1 page, folded in thirds]

Introducing MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY -- OAKLAND:  Engineering, Teacher education, Business administration, Liberal arts. 1958.   [To begin with a tradition, by John A. Hannah, Curriculum and facilities, An appraisal by the press, Location, A summary of facts about MSU--O]  6 leaves.

The story of a new kind of university as Time has told it: Michigan State University Oakland.  Reprint of Time article that appeared in the Sept. 28, 1959 issue.

This is Michigan State University Oakland: MSU’s new sister school.  A reprint from the Michigan State University Magazine.   November 1959.  [16 p. ] il.   6 copies

A gift . . . and a challenge to you and your community.  [Promotional brochure] 1959. 8 p. 

Facts about MSUO’s buildings and campus.  1960?  [2 leaves]

MSUO. [Promotional brochure. folded sheet. 1960?

Michigan State University Oakland Rochester  [Promotional brochure]  ca. 1960-1 [20 p.]  il. 3 copies

Michigan State University Oakland. [Promotional brochure] 1961  folded sheet.

Michigan State University Oakland Fact Sheets.  January 30, 1961 and September 15, 1961.

Trimester--a richer future sooner at MSUO  [Promotional brochure] 1961.  folded sheet.

Emblems & Motto   (Various design prototypes) Folder contains information on the proposed motto and official seal. [no date]

On-to-College nights - Michigan State University Oakland.  Sponsored by the Community Relations Committee of the MSUO Foundation. [no date]

Facts about the Campus and Buildings. 1962. [16 p.] (prototype for a brochure?)

Guide to the Curriculum. [Promotional brochure] 1961? 8 p.

A gift -- and a challenge to you and your community. Michigan State University - Oakland Scholarship brochure prototype. Text for an 8 page, 2 color brochure. Summer, 1959. 11 leaves.

Memos concerning student publications & university communication needs.

Memos concerning publicity.

Speeches? Three envelopes containing note cards for speeches, possibly Chancellor Varner's notes.

MSUO founding, misc. newspaper clippings, 1957-1958.

George Matthew's (History) Brief history of Oakland University, 11/17/1977. Prepared for the University Planning Committee. 14 leaves.

George Matthew's (History) unfinished History of Oakland University, chapters 1-3. Handwritten and typed but still in draft format.

Oakland University pre-history, draft (no date).

Box 6

Application for Admission.  1959-60.*

Testing:  Entrance and Placement.  1959?

Fall Quarter Report on Student Affairs, 1959.  [Contents: Dean of Students, Counseling and testing, Physical education, recreation and intramural athletic, Report on land usage, Activities, Health Services, Student Center, Student publications, University Bookstore. ] 46 leaves. 2c.

Student enrollment, May 22, 1961 and June 12, 1961.

Book list, spring term 1960.

Freshmen Conference,  April 28, 1960

MSUO Student Directory, 1961-1962.  Printed as a service by your Student Government, Bruce Plaxton chairman; Mickey McWilliams and Ron Miller.  [48 pages]

Student Recruitment 1961. (Folder with speeches & other information)

Student Information Bulletin. September 1, 1962.  12 p.

Student life at Oakland University.  1962?  2 leaves.

Constitution of the Student Body of Michigan State University Oakland (proposed) 6 leaves. Constitutional amendments (proposed) 2 leaves.

Charter Class job offers. Photocopies of newspaper articles. 1963. 10 leaves.

Master Number List from the Office of the Registrar. -- All students. From 0001 to 7499, 1959?-1965.

Student Identification cards. Samples.*

ROTC and AFROTC. Correspondence dealing with the requirements of a ROTC program. 1958. 22 leaves.

Student Housing in a Congenial New Form. 1960? MSUO: a new pattern, 48 students in a house.  1961? [Promotional brochure]  (Anibal, Fitgerald, Pryale and Hill)

MSUO Reports. Press clippings from local newspapers profiling a number of OU students. 1960-1964. 21 leaves.

Charter Class graduates. Press clippings from local newspapers. 1963.

Michigan State University Oakland Freshman Bulletin. May, 1962. 52 p.

Proposed housing regulations. Memos 1961.

Student Scholarships - memos and contacts list.

University Christian Fellowship of MSU -O. Organization chart. 1 leaf.

Optimum size of student body for present campus: preliminary report, June 14, 1963. 4 leaves.

Lower Quartile Project, 1962. Report on academic performance of freshmen, by David Lowy. May, 1963. 4 leaves.

Michigan State University Oakland. Ground- Breaking Ceremonies, May 2, 1958. [8 p.]

Convocation of Charter Class.  Program, September 17, 1959.  28 p.  Speeches by Chancellor D.B. Varner, Thomas H. Hamilton, Robert Hoopes. Newspaper clipping. Also preliminary planning document. 10 typewritten leaves.

Invitation to a convocation for the parents of the members of the charter class, Sept. 20, 1959.

Convocations of the Freshman Class of Michigan State University Oakland.  Sept. 15, 1960, Sept. 4, 1963.   Programs. Also newspaper clippings about convocations 1960-1964.

Campus Activities, 1959-1962.  Folder of invitations, programs available to students.

Campus Activities, 1959-1962.  Folder of invitations, programs available to students.

Scholarship Banquet.

Annual Recognition Dinner for the Continuing Education Faculty, MSUO.   “A new concern for an old problem,”  by Durward B. Varner, Chancellor. An address presented May 26, 1961. 12 p.

Promote Michigan Week.  April/May 1961

Detroit Horse Show June 20-25, 1961.  For the benefit of the Scholarship Fund of MSU-O.

Saturday Seminars: Intellectual Adventures for High School Students.  1961-1962.

Culture Internationale.   1962. (Folder contains Planning Committee memos and list of contributors.)

Annual Recognition Dinner:  Academic  Honors and Awards. Program.   March 8, 1962. March 14, 1963.

Christmas tree, Oakland Center, 1960.

Commencement.  April 20, 1963. Charter Class. [Folder contains : 1) Invitation; 2) Order of procession of graduates; 3) Programs -7 copies; 4) Newspaper clipping from the Pontiac Press, Apr. 22, 1963.] 5). Commencement music informational leaflet.

Commencement. April 18, 1964. Program.

Convocation of the Clergy - Friends of MSUO. Wednesday, Oct. 7, 1959. "A continuing education program."

Pontiac Centennial, 1961.

Correspondence concerning Mr. Dang Xich Lan, an international student from Laos. 1960. *

Graduate Placement 1963 and 1964.

The Alumni College [Promotional brochure]

Box 7

Oakland University history, 1963-1964

Oakland University history, 1964-1965

Oakland University history, 1966-1967

Circle K (Kiwanis) Club of Oakland University, 1967

Oakland University history, 1968-1969

Annual reports – physical plant, grounds, convocation and graduation –, 1967-1968

Proposal for change at Oakland University, 1969

Oakland University history, 1969-1970

Report on “Early Goals of Oakland”, 1070 (covers first 10 years of Oakland University)

Oakland University history, 1973-1974

Commendation from Oakland County

Planning Commission, Planning Cycle Procedure Manual, ca 1970

MSUO Business Office Policies and Procedures, 1961-1968


* Access may be restricted.

** See also: Meadowbrook Seminars, 1957-1958.

Access to Materials

We are happy to accommodate appointments with researchers at any time during the week, 8:30am to 4:30pm.  

request access


Archives Contacts

Dominique Daniel
Coordinator of Special Collections and Archives

Shirley Paquette
Archives Assistant

Created by Name / Updated on February 15, 2019 by Name

OU Libraries | 100 Library Drive, Rochester, Michigan 48309-4479 | (248) 370-2471
Accessibility | Sitemap | Hours | Location | Comments | Webmaster

Hours | Location

OU Libraries on Facebook OU Libraries on Twitter OU Libraries on Instagram OU Libraries News