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Alumni Association of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AC-0041

  • Staff Only
  • Select item to request

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The collection includes early Alumni Association reports and meeting records, information on the Committee on Publication, which led to the establishment of Technology Review, Board of Directors minutes, financial records and budgets, information regarding reunions, Alumni Officers conference files, records of the National Selection Committee, and information regarding the choosing of MIT’s colors. Also included are audio tapes of speakers at alumni events.


  • Creation: 1874 - 1986


Access note

This collection must be reviewed to identify any restricted material before access can be granted. Please submit your requests at least ten business days before your desired visit to allow time for this review. An archivist will respond within five business days to let you know whether your requested material is open. For complete information on this policy, see our Statement on Accessing Institute Records.

Conditions Governing Use

Access to collections in the Department of Distinctive Collections is not authorization to publish. Please see the MIT Libraries Permissions Policy for permission information. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection or MIT.

Historical note

In 1875, seven years after the first class graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1868, an Alumni Association was formally set up to foster contact between the Institute and its graduates. Members of the class of 1873 first discussed a formal organization at their first annual dinner in 1874, leading to the formation via a Constitution in 1875 “to further the well-being of the Institute and its graduates by increasing the interest of members in the school and in each other." A small Executive Committee was established and first met in January 1897 to oversee the general interests of the Alumni Association. A broader Alumni Council was created by a revision of the By-laws of the Association in 1909 which provided a mechanism for closer collaboration with the Association of Class Secretaries which then served as an adjunct group to the Alumni Council. The first meeting of the Alumni Council was held on May 12, 1909, and the 401st and last meeting of the Alumni Council was held on May 28, 1968. On July 1, 1968, it was reconstituted as the Alumni Advisory Council. (1)

The Association of Class Secretaries was formed as a distinct group in 1896 to promote class spirit and to systematize all matters pertaining to class organization and record. This group initiated several activities which continue today. The Association of Class Secretaries formed a three member Committee on Publications, made up of Arthur D. Little, class of 1885, C. Frank Allen, class of 1872, and James P. Munroe, class of 1882. They conceived the plan to publish a quarterly alumni magazine. The first issue of Technology Review was published in January 1899. In 1910, the magazine began to be published monthly during the academic year. Oversight of Technology Review was later turned over to the Alumni Association. Another project of the Class Secretaries was the tradition of the annual sponsorship of Technology Night at the Pops. The Class Secretaries were also important in organizing and focusing alumni support against the Harvard-MIT merger proposed by MIT president Henry Pritchett.

The Executive Committee last met on June 11, 1968, and ceased to exist on June 30, 1968, as specified by the amendments to the Constitution and By-laws. Most of its functions were taken over by the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association which first met in October 1968. The Board of Directors sets policy for the Association, and is overseen by an Executive Vice President. A National Selection Committee nominates alumni and alumnae for appointment to the MIT Corporation, under whose by-laws at least one-third of term members must be alumni or alumnae. In 1990 the name of the Association was changed from the Alumni Association to the Association of Alumni and Alumnae of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

(1) Executive Committee and Alumni Council Minutes, AC 24, MIT Institute Archives & Special Collections


12.6 Cubic Feet (9 record cartons, 9 manuscript boxes, 1 half manuscript box, 1 flat box)

Language of Materials



Materials are stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use.

Related Materials in the Institute Archives and Special Collections

The Association of Alumni and Alumnae of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Records (AC 224).

Alumni Association of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Executive Committee and Alumni Council Minutes (AC 24).

Processing Information note

Some collection descriptions are based on legacy data and may be incomplete or contain inaccuracies. Description may change pending verification. Please contact the MIT Department of Distinctive Collections if you notice any errors or discrepancies.

Preliminary Inventory to the Records of the Alumni Association of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1874-1986
Ready For Review
Deborah Cozort, Nora Murphy, Elizabeth Andrews
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Libraries. Department of Distinctive Collections Repository

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
Building 14N-118
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139-4307 US