The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
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The Michigan Alumnus Quarterly Review

The Michigan Alumnus Quarterly Review is published by the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan as a special issue of the Michigan Alumnus. Its establishment, in March, 1934, was the result of a long series of efforts, beginning in 1910, when the Editor of the Alumnus, at that time a monthly, recommended editorially that the magazine become a weekly with a supplementary quarterly issue.

This project was subsequently advocated by the General Secretary, Wilfred B. Shaw, in several annual reports to the Alumni Association, but the conservatism of the alumni for many years had led to a general disapproval of the plan.

Eventually, in 1921, the weekly was established, but no action was taken at that time upon the projected quarterly. Meanwhile, the matter had been favorably considered by President Burton in his first annual report. A committee was appointed at a conference of the deans, which submitted a report that was adopted by the Regents on May 26, 1923, and by the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association on March 29, Page  14281924. The result was the appointment of a provisional editorial committee to study the problem, with the understanding that publication was to begin in the fall of 1925. The members of this committee were Professors Fred N. Scott, Oscar J. Campbell, Louis A. Strauss, Dr. Frank E. Robbins, and Wilfred B. Shaw.

With this favorable action it seemed that the way was open for the project, but the committee was not in entire agreement on the form the publication should take, some of the members being of the opinion that the proposed review should be purely literary, paying for such articles as were published at regular rates. This was the tenor of the report presented by the committee, which was approved at the triennial meeting of the alumni held at Detroit in June, 1925. The directors of the Alumni Association, however, felt that the magazine should concern itself more directly with the life and thought of the University, and hesitated in view of the expense involved. The result was that no action was taken, and publication was again indefinitely postponed.

Not until the spring of 1934 was the question again raised, this time by President Alexander G. Ruthven, who recommended a further study of the question to determine whether or not the publication of a quarterly could be made a part of the program of the Alumni Association. He advocated an editorial policy which should concern itself closely with the University, relying on faculty and alumni authors rather than on paid contributors as suggested in the earlier plan.

The result was a progressive change in the general publication schedule of the Michigan Alumnus, which permitted the inclusion of a quarterly issue in the program. The number of issues was reduced from thirty-six to twenty-six, permitting weekly issues during the fall, fortnightly issues during the rest of the college year, and monthly issues in the summer. This left sufficient funds for the publication of the Quarterly Review as a regular part of the general Alumnus program.

The first issue appeared in March, 1934, with Wilfred B. Shaw, Director of Alumni Relations, as Editor of the four annual numbers, and with T. Hawley Tapping editing the other issues of the Michigan Alumnus.

Mr. Shaw continued as Editor, and also as illustrator, until his retirement in January, 1951. He was succeeded as Editor by Dr. Frank E. Robbins, the Director of the University Press, who has continued to edit the Quarterly since his retirement from the Press in 1954.