Processed in 2012 by Jodi Boyle, Kathleen Broedeur, Katie Demetri, Russell S. Wesdorp.
Access to this record group is unrestricted with the exception of a small number of folders in Series 3: Subject Files noted on the finding aid below.
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
The State University of New York at Albany Alumni Association transferred its files to M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives in a series of acquisitions. The Alumni Association still retains recent files for its own use.
Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Albany Alumni Association, 1851-2011. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Alumni Association Records).
The State University of New York at Albany Alumni Association was founded in 1849 under the name of "The Association of Graduates of the New York Normal School." Its original intent was to keep track of the addresses and professions of graduates, and to organize support for the school in its dealings with New York State government. Under Corresponding Secretary William Phelps the Association started an educational placement bureau to help graduates. The Association met biannually and would attempt to meet for "jubilees" and reunions. The Association was dormant during the Civil War and not revived till 1872. The following year in 1873 the Association adopted a new constitution. In 1890, concurrent with the renaming of the school, the Association voted to update the name to "Association of Graduates of the New York State Normal School and the New York State Normal College." The organization financed and provided information for the first two histories of the school published in 1884 and 1895.
In 1883 the Association took up its first fund-raising effort when the group raised $5,000 to pay for an "Alumni Memorial Window" for the school’s new Willett Street building. In 1894 the Association raised funds for a "Soldiers Memorial Tablet" to honor the school's Civil War dead, and, after the 1906 fire that destroyed the Willett Street Building, the Memorial Window and tablet, the organization engaged in a new campaign for a replacement Soldier’s Memorial Tablet. Subsequently the Association raised funds for tablets to honor school World War I and World War II dead. Instead of replacing the Alumni Memorial Window, the Association chose to raise $10,000 to fund a graduate scholarship in education. The fund-raising took over 40 years as the first Albert N. Husted Scholarship was not awarded until 1948. In the meantime, during the 1910s and 1920s many individuals and classes established Alumni Association small loan funds for students.
In addition to the main Alumni Association, graduates established regional branches in such places as New York City, Long Island, Rochester, Eastern and Western New York, Florida, California, and Washington, D.C. These chapters frequently held their own events and sponsored activities for alumni in their respective geographic location.
In 1921 the Association started a Dormitory Committee/Residence Hall Building Fund with the goal of raising funds to purchase land and build dormitories with alumni money—Pierce Hall for women opened in 1935 and Sayles Hall for men opened in 1941. Fund-raising and the purchase of property was carried out through the newly formed Benevolent Association which was incorporated in New York in 1926. In 1967 the State of New York purchased those dormitories and funds from the purchase were put into alumni funded scholarships. The Alumni Association based its operations out of the Benevolent Association office from 1929 until 1962 when it became part of University Administration.
There were other substantial fund-raising endeavors carried out by the Alumni Association. In 1964 alumni organized to build the symbol of the University's Uptown Campus, the musical Carillon. In 1972 the Alumni Association began a drive to build Alumni House, also on the new Uptown Campus. The organization also raised money at various times for scholarship funds. In 1972 the Alumni Association established the Annual Fund as the main fund-raising effort. In 1982 this was transferred to the University at Albany Fund, Inc., created out of a merger between the Benevolent Association, the University Foundation and Annual Fund of the Alumni Association to serve as one unified University fund-raising operation.
The Alumni Association updated its name again in 1964 to the University at Albany Alumni Association and was incorporated, under Education law 501(c)(3), as a non-profit education corporation.
The collection also documents other initiatives for alumni undertaken by the organization. There are publications written for and about alumni, featuring class notes and updates. As in earlier periods, the Alumni Association continued to plan Alumni Day and class reunions. During the 1970s and 1980s the Alumni office offered travel packages ranging from weekend excursions to view foliage in the Adirondacks to multi-week adventures in destinations in Europe and Asia. In recent years as the Alumni community grew so did Association responsibilities. The organization provides alumni with important business and personal connections as well as plans events, such as the Big Purple Growl and Homecoming. The Big Purple Growl is a midyear home basketball game that is accompanied by other events, including a feast, and heavily attended by alumni.
The State University of New York at Albany Alumni Association Records document the day-to-day operations and special event planning of the organization. The Alumni Association is a semi-independent, incorporated entity on campus that coordinates alumni outreach and supports the University community through fund-raising and advocacy.
The collection includes meeting minutes and agendas, financial records, correspondence, photographs, publications, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia. While the bulk of materials dates from the 1960s through the 1980s, there also are notable 19th and early 20th Century records, including materials from reunions, correspondence, records of the building of the first residence halls, publications, and administrative files.
Please note that two series contain records of semi-independent organizations directly related to alumni and the Alumni Association; the Benevolent Association (Series 6) and the Theatre Alumni Association (Series 7). See each series description for additional information and history of these groups.
The collection is organized into the following series:
Series 1-7 are arranged chronologically and Series 8 is arranged alphabetically.
This series contains materials pertaining to the Board of Directors and the administration of the Alumni Association, including founding documents, such as the charter and constitution. The earliest Board of Directors meeting minutes are bound volumes. By the end of the 1970s the minutes are loose notes belonging to specific individuals. The minutes may also include such supplemental materials as correspondence, agendas and financial papers. The annual report was available for the Annual Meeting, which was open to all Alumni Association members. Financial records for the Alumni Association are found in this series in ledgers, financial statements and Treasurer’s reports. Loose items from bound volumes have been removed and stored in separate, appropriately labeled folders.
Series 2 contains records related to Alumni Association fund-raising activities. Please note that the bulk of the series is from the years 1963-1983 with the further majority of this within the decade of the 1970s.
The earliest fund-raising records are from the first half of the 20th Century and address student loan funds and the Husted Fellowship. Materials document who is eligible for loans, minutes and activities of the beneficiary aid committee, and contributions to the Husted Fellowship.
Later records from the 1960s document Project Carillon, the fund-raising effort by the Alumni Association to build the Carillon tower which has become a symbol of the University's Uptown Campus. This includes Project Carillon ledgers, lists of pledges, records, events, and general information. The remainder of the series is from the 1970s and 1980s and is composed of correspondence, attendance sheets, donor lists, and balance sheets relating to the Annual Fund in general and the Phonothon specifically.
Lists of dues payers and balance sheets relating to income from association dues are scattered throughout, as are estate bequests and matching grants. Bequests include information of solicitation of retired alumni, a letter from an alumna suggesting such an action, and several examples of wills or notices of probates showing the results. The matching grants include pamphlets from both the Alumni Association and participating companies such as General Electric. There are also lists and records of the alumni who qualified and participated in those programs.
Reports such as “A Study of Attitudes and Funding Potentialities of the State University of New York At Albany" and "Visions of Progress" a report conducted by the Alumni Association in 1976 on its own efforts may also be found in this series.
This series document various events and subsidiary organizations of the Alumni Association. It is the largest series and records from the 1970-1980s comprise the bulk of the material. Two of the major annual events represented in this series are the Alumni Day/Weekend and Homecoming. There are materials documenting Alumni Day/Weekend for the majority of years between 1919 and 1996. The earlier years may only contain a program, while later year may contain correspondence, RSVPs, planning notes and photographs. Other events and symposiums are also included in the series. There are photographs, correspondence, and planning materials of clubs, committees and local branches. Correspondence and day files of Alumni Association staff, awards and scholarships processed by the Alumni Association, student directories and tributes to University Presidents comprise a substantial portion of the series. The Alumni Association offered group travel specials, discounts on insurance and commemorative memorabilia. Please note that some of the photographs are oversized.
Must consult archivist before viewing this material.
Must consult archivist before viewing this material.
Must consult archivist before viewing this material.
Must consult archivist before viewing this material.
This series contains correspondence as well as pamphlets and other materials distributed to alumni, predominantly for reunions and other key events. The earliest materials are from 19th Century jubilees and reunions of all classes on Alumni Day. Later alumni held reunions only for specific classes or campus organizations, such as the Potter Club or Pep Band, and this is reflected in the more targeted correspondence. Please see Series 1 and Series 3 for more materials related to Alumni Day, and Series 1 for communication to members of the Eastern Branch of the Alumni Association. The correspondence was retained with the group's meeting minutes and is therefore located in Administration.
There also are two publications,The Echoand theAlumni Quarterly, with contributions by, relevant to or about alumni. Introduced in 1892 as a monthly publication,The Echowas a newspaper/literary magazine featuring short stories and poems by current students or alumni as well news updates about the college, faculty, current students and alumni. Beginning in 1919, theAlumni Quarterlyappeared four times a year, once each season. Although it still featured written contributions and news about faculty and current students, the emphasis shifted to news about and for alumni. The publication sought to bring together graduates of "old Normal" (State Normal School), the Normal College and the State College for Teachers. The issues included articles about events like Homecoming, contact information for key alumni contacts such as the leadership of the Alumni Association and branch associaitons and news about alumni jobs, births, marriages and deaths. Although alumni always served on the editorial board, by 1933 the publication specifically states that it is published by the Alumni Association.The Echocontinued as a literary magazine and some later issues are included in this series. The Alumni Association replaced theAlumni QuarterlywithThe Carillon, another quarterly alumni publication in Fall 1967 as a tribute to the Carillon tower built with alumni funds on the University's new Uptown Campus.
This series consists of Alumni Association records related to building dormitories for students and the Alumni House Conference Center. Beginning in 1921 the Alumni Association created a Dormitory Committee/Residence Hall Building Fund with the goal of raising funds to purchase land and build dormitories, especially for women. In 1921 the College's only residential building was Syddum Hall, housing 29 female students. The great majority of students commuted from home, lived in boarding houses throughout the City of Albany, fraternity or sorority houses or at the YWCA. In 1935 Pierce Hall opened to house female students and in 1941, Sayles Hall opened for men.
Many files in this series document this decades-long endeavor to build more college dormitories and include committee minutes, reports, correspondence, lists of pledges by classes, newsclippings and outreach materials designed to secure financial commitment from alumni, students and the community in the funding drive. Professor John Sayles, future College president, and Dr. Erastus Corning, a member of the college board of trustees, served successive terms as chairs of the Dormitory Committee in the 1920s. The City of Albany and its citizens also pledged its support and dollars.
Of interest to researchers will be the pamphlets and other outreach materials created to encourage fund-raising among the various constituencies. An editorial in theAlumni Quarterlywritten by a member of the Class of 1920 compares the "meager equipment" and "impossible housing conditions" of State to Vassar College. Pamphlets for district chairmen of the fund-raising campaign liken it to a machine that must be embolden and put into motion. A newsclipping from 1922 notes how members of the Eta Phi sorority will walk home from college that year and instead pledge the money earmarked for their train fares home to the dormitory fund.
Please see Series 6, Benevolent Association, for additional files related to the acquisition of land for residence halls and operation of the dormitories. The Benevolent Association, incorporated in 1926, managed the campus residence halls until 1967.
The series also contains records which document the construction of Alumni House, begun in 1974, and its subsequent use as a conference center on campus and gathering point for alumni. Like the dormitory effort, the Alumni Association formed an Alumni House Building Committee in 1972 and the series contains files on the Committee, correspondence, construction plans, photographs, and event materials.
Please see the related Alumni Memorabilia Collection for Anna Pierce's materials from the Class of 1884 and Marialla Conklin Whitbeck's files from the Class of 1899, both of which contain additional information about campus buildings and dormitories.
The Benevolent Association of the New York State College for Teachers was incorporated in 1926 and its Board of Directors first met in Albany in August 1927. While the organization's constitution stresses that its main purpose is to "heighten and enrich the physical, mental, social and moral life of the students," the Benevolent Association was closely connected to the Alumni Association and an outgrowth of the original Dormitory/Residence Hall Building Committee. The Benevolent Association acquired property for dormitories and operated the College (and later University) resident halls until 1967 when they were sold to the State of New York. The Alumni Association also helped nominate the Benevolent Association Board which carried out the policies and recommendations of the Alumni Association. Both groups held their annual meetings at approximately same time.
In addition to management of the residence halls, the Benevolent Association administered and bequeathed scholarship funds and supported key University projects. In 1982 the Benevolent Association merged with the University Foundation and Annual Fund of the Alumni Association to become the University at Albany Fund, Inc., the central fund-raising arm of the University.
The Theatre Alumni Association of the New York State College for Teachers formed in 1932 to bring alumni together through dramatics and debating. Initially, members were required to have been part of the advanced dramatics class in college, must have taken part in sufficient plays to satisfy the membership committee or have participated in at least two intercollegiate debates. However there are no subsequent records of this group and in June 1954 alumni of State College proposed an organization of former dramatics student to allow alumni greater opportunity for continued participation in the College's theatre activities. The Theatre Alumni Association officially requested affiliation with the Alumni Association of the State University of New York at Albany in 1963. The Theatre Alumni Association dissolved in 1974 with the goal of forming a new organization that brought together faculty, alumni and students in the Theatre Department.
The records in this series contain the 1932 organization's constitution, the 1954 organization's list of objectives, a revised 1963 constitution and by-laws, executive committee minutes and reports, a scrapbook with clippings about College theatre performances, correspondence, newsletters and membership lists. The group held an annual meeting and party and there are many files detailing events held and awards created to honor Agnes Futterer, member of the Class of 1916 and professor of speech and drama at the College from 1917-1959. In 1957 the first Agnes E. Futterer Award was given on Alumni Day to a graduating student making valuable contributions in dramatics.
This collection includes thousands of files previously maintained by the Alumni Association about individual graduates from the 20th Century. The contents of the files vary and range from simply housing an obituary to holding newsclippings, correspondence and other materials detailing a graduate's professional life. This often includes a ca. 1969 all alumni survey, class notes submissions and questionnaires targeted to specific graduating classes or campus organizations. At present time there is no master list of files, but they may be accessed by archives staff. Please contact the department with any questions.
For information about 19th Century graudates of the New York State Normal School and the New York State Normal College, please refer to the 1894Historical Sketch of the State Normal College at Albany, NYheld by University Archives, which contains handwritten annotations and updates through 1918.
Web crawling is managed through the Internet Archive's Archive-It service. This page includes links to both the university's collection and the Internet Archive's public collection.
Surface-level crawling of www.albany.edu is performed daily which should includes most top-level webpages. Separate targeted crawls of every albany.edu subdomain are performed monthly to attempt to gather all content. This includes: www.albany.edu, www.rna.albany.edu, www.ctg.albany.edu, www.ualbanysports.com, www.albany.edu/rockefeller, www.albany.edu/cela, www.albany.edu/asrc, m.albany.edu, library.albany.edu, events.albany.edu, cstar.cestm.albany.edu, csda.albany.edu, and alumni.albany.edu
WARC files are very large and difficult to work with. Your request may take time to process, and we may be unable to deliver your request remotely. Please consult an archivist if you are interested in researching with web archives.