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Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Athletic Association



  • Existence: 1904

Historical Note

Athletic activities in the early years after the establishment of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, Massachusetts in 1861 were student run and supported; in order to participate, individual students paid their own expenses. Competition was largely intramural, with keen competition between classes. Intercollegiate events were also held, involving sports such as football, baseball, track and field, and tennis. Each team was responsible for raising funds to support its activities and for regulating and managing competitions, which after some years resulted in confusion sufficient to necessitate the establishment of an umbrella organization to provide oversight of athletic activities.

In 1904 the MIT Athletic Association (MITAA) was founded to manage and promote athletic activity at MIT, under the supervision of the Alumni Advisory Council on Athletics. A student organization, MITAA was responsible for distributing Institute funds to various sports teams, for providing general management and promotion of athletic activities at MIT, and for participating in planning and policy decisions. Membership included captains and managers of individual Institute teams and undergraduate members of the Alumni Advisory Council. When the campus moved from the Back Bay in Boston, to the much larger site in Cambridge in June 1916, new facilities and space were available for athletic activities.

MITAA oversaw the activities of several athletic teams, including baseball, basketball, crew, fencing, golf, hockey, lacrosse, swimming, and tennis during the first half of the twentieth century. The Association also sponsored various events, including Tech Field Day. Field Day, an annual MIT tradition of intramural competition between the freshman and sophomore classes, included favorite contests such as tug-of-war and the glove fight, a free-for-all in which participants attempted to capture the gloves and clothing of opponents.

After World War II, increased enrollment in undergraduate programs and in the Graduate School led to an awareness of the limitation of an advisory body to serve the sports, recreation, and athletic needs of MIT’s larger student population. Governance of athletic activities was reorganized, and more responsibilities were assumed by the Institute. In 1947, Ivan J. Grieger became the first athletic director and director of physical education at MIT.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Activities Report Committee records

Identifier: AC-0101
Scope and Contents

The collection consists of the reports of the committee and appendices with copies of many of the organizations' constitutions, bylaws, organizational charts, and other records.

Dates: 1921

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Athletic Association records

Identifier: AC-0070
Abstract The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Athletic Association was a student organization established in 1904, under the supervision of the Alumni Advisory Council on Athletics, to manage and promote athletic activity at MIT. The organization oversaw the activities of athletic teams, distributed Institute funds to the teams, and participated in planning and policy decisions. The collection documents the business of conducting athletics at MIT in the first half of the twentieth century, after...
Dates: 1906 to circa 1971