MICHIGAMUA was founded in the fall of the year 1901 by a few members of the junior class of that year. One of the charter members, "Pontiac" Fred G. Dewey, wrote:
"On a night toward the close of the first semester a dozen or more juniors sat down for dinner in an already ancient hostelry, the Arlington Hotel. Then and there the aims were unanimously ratified and the choice of the formal details entrusted to committees.
"With the opening of the second semester the Tribe of Michigamua took its place among the campus organizations complete with Sachem, Wiskinke, and a Keeper of the Wampum. Names were bestowed on the braves to distinguish them from the palefaces. One of the redskins recalled a tune learned in the foothills of the Ozarks and to this were fitted the original verses of the Michigamua song. Critics have questioned the authenticity of the Indian music.
"A new Sachem supplanted the first at the beginning of the senior year and gave way to a third who sat at the head of the council table during the second semester. Meantime the idea took form that Michigamua must not perish from earth at Commencement but that the boon must be passed on in trust to others. Ten young bucks were chosen from the Class of 1903. Whitmore Lake was selected as the meeting place for the historic powwow. And there on a cloudless day in June the old braves enjoined on the young warriors observance of the tribal customs, intoned the chant for the last time, doffed the headdresses and passed on the great peace pipe."
The practice of initiating a certain number of the junior class to perpetuate the organization has been continued to the present day. The charter members of Michigamua were: Arthur Merritt Barrett, Philip Everette Bursley, Robert H. Moon, Frank William Copley, Richard D. T. Hollister, Merritt Charles McNeil, James Strasburg, William F. Temple, Claude Thorne Tuck, Henry W. Willis, John W. Woodhams, Fred G. Dewey, Chasen W. Brooks, Henry J. Brown, Arthur G. Browne, Harry S. Durant, Walter T. Fishleigh, Earl Heenan, Roscoe B. Huston, Dan A. Killian, Benjamin C. Loder, Ralph Van Deman Magoffin, Charles S. Matthews, George W. Maxey, Thomas G. Mayhugh, Lauren E. Mills, Hugh H. Parrish, George Fontaine Schmid, Daniel D. Schurtz, Herbert C. Smith, Neil W. Snow, Louis Nap. Udell, Stuart W. Utley, and Milo A. White.
With the passing of time and the ever-changing collegiate customs and ethics, in certain artificial ways the "Tribe," as it is called on the Michigan campus, has also changed — although it has fundamentally remained the same. For instance, election to membership now has more concrete rules of order than in the beginning. At first the "Tribe" was made up of a carefree group of friends who used to meet at the library every night to study and later ran a relay, among themselves on the campus, ending up with a party of cider and doughnuts at a local emporium or someone's room. Most of them were independents, and whether or not they were athletes or scholars made little difference — they were good fellows.
But the situation changed. The University enrollment began to break into the higher thousands and membership Page 1920into Michigamua came to be based on accomplishments on the campus. No longer did every student know every other student. In a sense, mass production of the automobile had pushed the horse and buggy out of the picture. Consequently, today, to become a "Brave" of the Tribe a "Paleface" must achieve prominence among his fellows in some particular extracurricular activity. If he is connected with athletics he must become captain or senior manager. If he works on any one of the publications he must win the business managership or editorship. Presidency or recording secretaryship of the Michigan Union, prominent office in the Interfraternity Council, editorship of the engineering Technic, scholastic honorary societies, etc., all of these activities at least put one's name before the student body and, consequently, the active "Braves" of Michigamua.
Now, although it is practically impossible to be elected to "Tribe" without some office or campus position, there is no hard and fast rule in this respect, and there are cases of "just plain good fellows" being selected to membership. Furthermore, attaining any one of the aforementioned positions does not assure the student that he will be selected. Essentially, and above all else, a young man chosen must be at heart a true Michigan man in the eyes of the initiating "Braves."
Other than students elected members of the faculty have from time to time been chosen as "honorary sachems" in recognition of long years of outstanding service to the University. Among such men have been R. M. Wenley, J. Bursley, F. H. Yost, H. M. Bates, M. L. Niehuss, and H. D. Crisler.
The actual initiation is called "Rope Day." Late in the spring the nucleus of the new Tribe are informed, individually, of their election by a personal midnight call of a band of "howling fiends" who throw the "young bucks" out of bed, pound them heartily on the back, and place in their hands a "birchbark," that is, the invitation. The next afternoon the "young bucks" gather to await the coming of the Tribe. In due time the "fighting braves" appear, daub the "young bucks" with red paint, throw them on the ground, tie them to a long rope by one hand, and force them to "duck-walk" across the campus to the Union, ascend seven flights of stairs into the Union Tower to the "Wigwam of Michigamua," slapping them upon their bare backs all the while. In the "Wigwam," a beautiful birchbark room, they formally become "Braves" of Michigamua and are given Indian names by which they are always known in connection with the Tribe. The "Wigwam" is decorated with paintings, hides, and items symbolizing Indian life.
Michigamua, as an organization, has representatives in every powerful group on the campus, and during the school year at its weekly meetings discusses conditions concerning the University. If the matter lies within its power Michigamua takes action to better the University in some small or large way — for example, in the establishment of the Michigan Union. Many other beneficial movements have had their motivation from the Tribe. But the name of Michigamua does not appear publicly. The "Braves" have always had the policy of working in the background through some other organization.
Thus, although Michigamua has changed, the same undying spirit of Michigan exists today as it did in the original "Tribe," and the members today might well be the same spirited group that pledged to one another: "The object of this tribe shall be to foster a spirit of Page 1921loyalty for our Alma Mater and promote good class fellowship…"
On a spring evening of each year, the members of Druids, garbed in their traditional gowns and hoods, with torches in hand, march from the Forest room in the Union to the Druid rock where some twenty neophytes await the ordeal of initiation. Finishing this informal part of the proceedings, the members, singing the "Men of Druids" song, lead the "Awenyds" back to the Forest room, where formal ceremonies are held. With these at an end, a new class is welcomed into the society to carry on the purpose and traditions of Druids.
The organization was established in 1909-10 by twenty men as the Senior Honorary Society of the Literary College, with eligibility to membership based upon meritorious services to the University and selection by the members. Professor Arthur L. Cross and the late Dean John R. Effinger were chosen as the first two honorary members from the faculty, remaining active until their deaths. Druids counts among its alumni the late Supreme Court Justice Frank Murphy and Dean Earl Moore, of the School of Music.
The purpose of Druids is to coalesce the aims and efforts of its members so as to serve the University better by lending the united support of the society to each member in his fields of activity.
Sphinx, junior men's honorary society, was founded by members of the junior Literary Class of 1906. The purpose of the founders was to establish a junior society which would be devoted to furthering class spirit and good fellowship and which would lead in the activities of the junior Literary Class.
Since its founding many well-known athletes and men who have been active in the student publications, the Union, and so on, have passed through its ranks. Among its members have been Dean Walter Rea, Bennie Oosterbaan, Tom Harmon, and Ron Kramer. About the middle of the 1920's Sphinx disappeared from the campus for a short time, but returned again in 1926.
The Sphinx signifies an Egyptian group headed by the pharaoh, and the members meet in the temple of the pharaoh. Each member has an Egyptian name.
Originally, the organization was composed of members of the junior class of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, but as the University expanded all colleges of the University, except the College of Engineering, came to be represented in its ranks. The court of the Sphinx serves to maintain a source of leadership service to the University.
In 1956 Sphinx had twenty-eight members. A room for Sphinx is provided in the Michigan Union Tower. This is its first permanent home. The society in 1956 began a campaign to raise money to decorate the room so that it might be available for Sphinx alumni returning to the University.
The colorful initiation ceremony of Sphinx takes place in the spring in front of the Library, when the neophytes, covered with brick dust, bow before the temple of the pharaoh and wade around in the Cooley Fountain pool — "looking for the River Nile."
Mortar Board is a national senior women's honorary society. It was Page 1922founded in 1906, its formation being an outgrowth of the existence, on numerous college campuses, of senior women's honor societies whose purpose was to serve. Through the pioneering efforts of four such local societies — at Swarthmore College, Cornell University, Ohio State University, and the University of Michigan — the national organization called Mortar Board came into being.
The purpose of Mortar Board is to provide for the co-operation between societies, to promote college loyalty, to advance the spirit of service and fellowship among university women, to maintain a high standard of scholarship, to recognize and encourage leadership, and to stimulate and develop a finer type of college woman.
Tapping is carried on similarly in all ninety-six chapters of Mortar Board. The members, dressed in black caps and gowns and carrying lighted candles, tap newly chosen women after closing hours. The members march through the house where the prospective member lives, singing "Thy Ideals" and awakening other girls living in the house. The members continue singing as they place a mortar board on the girl's head and give her an invitation to become a member. The next day, the new member must wear her mortar board wherever she goes. Mortar Board taps in the spring. Between five and twenty-five girls may be tapped each year.
Some time later the girls are initiated, they then sign the chapter membership list and learn of Mortar Board traditions. They receive their black and gold Mortar Board pins inscribed with the Greek letters Pi Sigma Alpha. New members attend regular meetings with the old members until new officers are elected for the following year. New members of Mortar Board are chosen by present members of the society.
As a first step in the selection of members, letters are sent to various campus organizations, house mothers, and faculty members requesting personal recommendations for qualified girls. Members of Mortar Board may also submit recommendations. The qualifications of the girl specify what she has done, how she carried out her responsibilities, and how she worked with subordinates and leaders.
In order to be eligible, girls must be second-semester juniors or first semester seniors during the spring semester when tapping takes place. Girls chosen must be outstanding in service, scholarship, and leadership and must be willing to give time and effort to being active Mortar Board members. A girl must also have a grade point average three-tenths of a point higher than the all-campus women's average, figured through the fall preceding tapping.
Each year, Mortar Board has fundraising activities as well as service projects. Cinema Guild movies are sponsored as a source of income for the society. Mortar Board members serve as ushers for the movies and wait on table at the League as a service project as well as a source of income. The Mortar Board Society aided the Gorham Company in campus research on a new pattern. Mortar Board members were hostesses at the first alumnae tea held in the home of President and Mrs. Hatcher in 1955. The group has aided the local chapter of the League of Women Voters and has raised money to complete the Alice Crocker Lloyd Drama Collection in the League Library.
Mortar Board sponsors a State Day, when girls from other chapters in the area visit to discuss common topics of interest, to share ideas, and to get to know each other. Mortar Board, with the other senior honoraries, sponsors a Career Day Conference for all women on campus. On this day outstanding representatives Page 1923of many fields of interest are on hand to inform and advise students. Mortar Board is currently working on a project of organized tours of the University of Michigan campus and the Ann Arbor area for foreign students.
Each year Mortar Board gives a one hundred dollar scholarship to a deserving girl who is about to enter her senior year. Each year, also, national Mortar Board gives at least one Katherine Wills Coleman fellowship for graduate work. This is named for a former national president. The fellowship carries an award of five hundred dollars. Any active member of a chapter is eligible if she can quality as a candidate for an advanced degree in an accepted university.
From its beginning, Mortar Board spread over the campuses of America, always aiming to serve the ideals of discriminating service, responsible leadership, and the application of scholarly principles to personal and general problems.
Members of the secret society of Owls could rightly lay claim to belonging to the oldest organization of its type on the Michigan campus. Launched in the early spring of 1860, it went out of existence with World War I in 1918 following a history which offers in itself innumerable commentaries on life about a university campus. The affection of its members for Owls has been one of its characteristics — a characteristic which brought it back into activity after several lapses. Repeated promptings have come at various times from alumni, urging still another "revival," so finis cannot be written to the story of Owls until all of its present living alumni have ceased their pleas.
Rigid adherence to historical data prompts the observation that only by inference does there exist a link between the society launched in 1860 and the Owls of the forepart of the twentieth century. Sometime during the years immediately following 1869 that first organization ceased to exist — so the written records indicate. In 1899 there was launched Gamma Delta Nu, familiarly known as Owls. Less than ten years later its members were referring to the Owls of 1860 as their founders, though some among those who wrote the constitution of Gamma Delta Nu deny any knowledge of a relationship.
In the years from 1913 to the closing period of its active life, all "fledglings" were taught that Owls was launched during Civil War days, though the members of that time were in error in their interpretation of the stimulus to organization. The story then passed by word of mouth from old to new members described the foundation as having been prompted by the desire of students on the Michigan campus to be of assistance to the widows and children of fellow students killed in the Civil War. It was this interpretation which prompted the Owls of 1916 to launch a practice which has existed — though handled by other agencies — to the date of this writing, namely the Christmas Goodfellow program on the campus.
The story of Owls is told in the "Owl Book," a cherished and hallowed relic of the society, though but a scribbled and disorganized record of less than twenty years of its existence. This book, after many disappearances and many searches, is now a part of the Michigan Historical Collections.
The Owls society, brought into existence in the early spring of 1860 by members of the class of '61, was modeled on the Yale senior societies. It is said to have been stimulated by Professor Andrew D. White, himself a member of Skull and Bones at Yale. Membership Page 1924was recruited from the rosters of the Greek letter fraternities on the campus, and records state that one of its purposes was the breaking down of the barriers of misunderstanding and enmity existing among these societies. It was secret in act and form, not even having a known name. Its symbol was an owl, which gave it the title by which it was generally known.
Almost immediately after it was formed it was attacked both by the campus at large and then by the very secret societies it was supposed to aid. Shortly, certain of these societies forbade allegiance to it by members, and in its latter years, about 1868, many of its members were nonfraternity men. It disappeared from campus about 1870.
Gamma Delta Nu came into existence with a membership recruited from the senior class of 1899. It was composed of nonfraternity men who were congenial and who sought a vehicle for their enjoyment of one another's company. From 1913 to 1915 the society lapsed into comparative inactivity, but was brought back to full bloom by the one member left on the campus. As this man had joined a social fraternity in the interim, he reverted to the original principle of Owls and recruited the membership from fraternity men. Thus Owls had completed the cycle.
With the coming of World War I the membership, almost to a man, enlisted for service. Many never returned to the campus, receiving their degrees "in absentia," and Owls passed out of existence.
The Senior engineering honorary society Vulcans was organized in 1904, in order, as is stated in the preamble of the constitution, "to promote good fellowship and bring about better acquaintance amongst the congenial members of the senior engineering class of the University of Michigan."
The society was named after the Greek god who first welded together iron and steel. The emblem is an anvil bearing the word "Vulcan" and the class year.
Three kinds of membership were established: active, graduate, and honorary. Scholarship is not the sole requirement for initiation; a candidate must be popular and active in both scholastic and social affairs in the College of Engineering to be considered for membership. Junior students who fulfill these requirements are voted on by the active members and their initiation is conducted late in the spring. For eligible senior students who have been passed by in the spring initiation is held in the fall. No definite annual number of new members has been set, but a limit of about twenty members a year has been established by precedent.
Meetings are held in the Vulcan room in the tower of the Michigan Union every second Sunday evening. Aside from providing its members with this form of fellowship and inspiration, the society's principal active function is to participate in student affairs of the College of Engineering and of the University as a whole, in co-operation with the other honorary societies on the campus.
Triangles, junior engineering honorary society, was founded in the year of 1907 by "Stimmie" Stimson, with the purpose of promoting good fellowship and maintaining college and class spirit. The charter membership consists of twenty-two students chosen from the junior engineering class and honorary members chosen from the faculty. The original charter provided for the election of officers Page 1925each semester, and this as well as the other general policies of Triangles has remained unchanged since the founding of the Society.
In maintaining college and class spirit the endeavors of the society have been many. The members have been leaders in various charity and relief drives. They have supported the Goodfellow drives and Red Cross relief projects with earnest work.
The requirements for selection of members are of such a nature as to encourage activity in the many extracurricular activities offered at the University of Michigan. Prominent men from athletics, student publications, and political activities have always been chosen, thereby co-ordinating all class activities into a cosmopolitan group.
Each year members are chosen from the sophomore class in May. These men in turn choose in the following fall additional men. More men may then be elected by the society as a whole if they deem such action fit. Active membership ceases at the end of the junior year, seniors having been made passive. This system has been in effect since the founding of the society and has worked very satisfactorily. Honorary members have been elected from time to time.
Members of the society benefit by a closer association with the faculty members and as a consequence gain a broader education.
The Engineering Council
The Engineering Council of the University of Michigan was the outgrowth of a need which was felt by members of the faculty and of the student body of the College of Engineering. It was formed under a constitution during the year 1927 and has served as a linking factor between faculty and students. It has also co-ordinated the various engineering societies, has served to perpetuate the time-honored traditions of the College, and has promoted the general welfare of students of engineering. The Council was discontinued in 1947 because of a financial misadventure with an ice show. Soon thereafter an Engineering Steering Committee was formed, and in 1954 this became the reactivated Engineering Council.
In former years there were a number of student organizations maintained for the purpose of reading papers and holding discussions along various scientific lines, all acting more or less independently of each other. The Engineering Council represents all departments of the College of Engineering through designated members from the several student branches of professional societies: ASCE, ASME, AIEE-IRE, AIChE, SAE, IAS, SAM, and Quarterdeck. Honor societies, Tau Beta Pi and Vulcans, are represented by one member each. In addition to these, members are elected from the engineering classes, as follows: each of the four class presidents and five members at large elected by the Council, and one member from the senior class to serve for one year, the editor of the Michigan Technic, and three members from the College of Engineering faculty.
All student members of the Engineering Council must have a general average grade of at least 2.0 and must not be on probation. Each such member is to be a full-time undergraduate student registered in the College.
Members are required to attend all meetings, serve on committees to which they are appointed, and, when requested by the council, make written reports of activities under their supervision. The regular meetings of the council are held twice a month on a fixed schedule.
A majority of the members elect constitutes a quorum, and a majority of the members present at any regular or special Page 1926meeting of any group determines the approval for that group.
The officers of the council consist of a president, a vice-president, and a secretary-treasurer. Their duties are such as usually pertain to these offices.
The duties of the Engineering Council are to supervise any meetings, competitions, or functions in which engineering students participate; to represent the student body of the College of Engineering in any discussions with other colleges or schools; to promote frequent social entertainments amongst engineering students; to present petitions or requests of the students in connection with the College of Engineering to the proper faculty or administrative authority; and to advance the interests of the students, the College of Engineering, and the University of Michigan in all ways within its power, particularly, by co-operating with the Student Government Council, the Engineering Honor Council, and the constituent engineering societies. The council plays an important part in the management of the Engineers' Slide Rule Ball and the Engineering Open House, and is always at the beck and call of the dean in any of the activities of the College of Engineering.
The Barrister's Society
In the spring of 1904, several members of the junior class of the Law School conceived the idea of establishing a senior honorary society for the Law School. On May 24, 1904, a meeting was held at Newberry Hall to discuss the formation of such a society. At this meeting a committee of five men, W. E. Wilcox, E. R. Conder, W. R. Lloyd, O. L. Crumpacker, and D. D. Williams, was appointed to draft a constitution and bylaws. A week later the constitution and bylaws were approved, and an election of officers took place. Thus was born the Barrister's Society.
The object of the society, as stated in its constitution, is "the social and professional advancement of its members and of the Law School." The general intention was to supplement the work of the classroom with social as well as intellectual activity in a more congenial atmosphere, and with this end in view, the Barristers have functioned. In its first year, the society held biweekly meetings. It was customary at those meetings to have several members of the society deliver papers on current topics of the law and Barrister ideals. However, this practice was apparently abandoned after several years.
The Barristers flourished without interruption down to 1938. During these years the society was active socially, holding banquets, luncheons, and parties quite regularly. For many years the Barristers cosponsored with the Vulcans and Druids an annual "BVD Dance" until it fell into disfavor with the dean of students and had to be discontinued. In 1938 the Barrister's Society was suspended by the dean of students for one year. After a year in limbo, a more discreet Barrister's Society emerged. Soon World War II depleted the ranks of the society, but it managed to keep alive through the years of the war.
The postwar years brought about the establishment of new traditions and functions for the Barristers. In the spring of 1947, the Barristers sponsored the Crease Dance and published the Raw Review, and the Wig and Robe Dance was sponsored in December, 1947. These dances proved to be successful, and they have been held since then under the auspices of the society. In the fall of 1947, the black string bow tie made its appearance as the hallmark of membership. In recent years the Barristers have Page 1927made a substantial yearly contribution to the operation of the Case Club, and a scholarship fund has been established to assist deserving Law students not qualified for Law School scholarships because of grades. The basic objectives of the Barrister's Society have probably changed little from the ideals of its founders fifty years ago, but particular "traditions" have come and gone and new ones have been created to fill their places.
Each spring the members select men from the junior class who have distinguished themselves through their leadership in various Law School activities, through scholarship and good fellowship for membership in the society. The new members are inducted into the Barristers in the traditional initiation ceremony, marked by the wearing of the judicial wigs and robes by the old members. The new men continue the functions of the society into the following year, and during the following fall semester, they select additional members of the senior class for membership in the society.
The membership rolls are filled with the names of men who have later distinguished themselves, and the hopes of the charter members, that "an organization be founded which would become an agent for good to the Law School and its members," have been realized, as attested by the fact of its continued existence for more than five decades.
In 1914 a group of medical students gathered to form an honorary society. They selected the name of Galen, a famous Greek physician who lived about 1800 years ago, for the organization. Samuel W. Donaldson ('16m) and Hubert R. John ('16m) were instrumental in the formation of the society and did much of the preliminary organizational work. Other members of the group in its first year were Albert C. Furstenburg, '15m, now Dean of the Medical School; Maurice R. Lohman, '15m; Frank P. Hunter, '15m; Walter I. Lillie, '15m; John W. Sherrick, '15m; Alonzo C. Smith, '15m; Clarence A. Christensen, '16m; Frederick Harrison,' 16m; Edgar V. Beardslee, '16m; Evan G. Galbraith, '16m; George J. Curry, '15m; Glen J. Wilmore, '16m; Harold R. Henderson, '16m; Loren K. Meredith, '16m; William M. Dugan, '16m; John J. O'Leary, '16m; J. Bradford Seeley, '16m; and Richards E. Amos, '15m.
In the beginning the new society did not have the broad interests later developed. It was organized primarily to fill the need for a liaison agency between students and faculty of the Medical School. Meetings were held at different medical fraternity houses. Faculty men were invited to become honorary members. The new society began to form a closer bond between the students and faculty.
From modest beginnings the society has developed a comprehensive program of service to the University and to the children in its Hospital perhaps unequaled by a comparable society anywhere. Galen Medical Society, supported by the generosity of students and townspeople, has broadened its original interests to brighten the lives of thousands of individuals.
On the night of November 3, 1927, William W. Thomas ('28m) suggested at a meeting of the society that a tag day be held to raise money to "help the poor kids in University Hospital at Christmas time." Out of this suggestion has come happiness to many thousands of children.
Thoms was appointed to head a tag day committee that same evening, with Fred M. Doyle ('28m) and Glenn A. Carmichael ('28m) as his associates. In Page 1928the following month Galens held its first tag day, followed by its first annual Christmas party for shut-in children in the University Hospital.
Tag days have been held by members of Galens annually ever since in order to provide Christmas cheer and year-long vocational and recreational interest to children in the Hospital. Another source of revenue for the society is the Galens newsstand, operated at the Hospital, and the annual Caduceus Ball and Medical School Smoker also produce income which goes into the general fund.
The society has set up a loan fund to assist medical students, and Galens scholarships are also available. The society has donated money to obtain much-needed surgical equipment for a hospital in England. Contributions have been made to the Hospital Bulletin, to the Internship Committee, to the photography shop at the Hospital for the purpose of increasing medical knowledge by study of photographs, to the maintenance of a physiotherapist for polio cases, and to numerous other projects.
In February, 1928, the society received a letter from Miss Dorothy Ketcham, then Director of the Social Service Department of the Hospital, outlining the need for a prevocational shop and for recreational facilities for children confined to the Hospital. Members of Galens foresaw the enormous value of such an investment and arranged to provide funds for its inception.
The Galens Shop was begun in 1928. It is now regarded as the finest venture of its kind in any general hospital. Financed through the generosity of University students and Ann Arbor townspeople the shop was founded and carefully nurtured through the years by Galens and Miss Dorothy Ketcham.
All children who are confined to the University Hospital are welcome to the Galens Shop. When they are physically limited in their movements the materials of the shop are brought to their bedside. The project has immeasurable therapeutic value.
Self-sufficiency is the keynote of the shop's program. Under the careful guidance of a thoroughly trained instructor, the children are free to select what they desire from the multitude of tools, work projects, toys, games, books, and records. The program attempts to help the children attain self-sufficiency through individual expression. They learn to design and create things which produce inner satisfaction. They express themselves through materials and tools. And they learn the all-important faculty of sharing their experiences, working together, and encouraging each other.
The materials and tools provided in the shop are many and varied. There are jig saws, a lathe, a sander, a drill and circular saw — all equipped with safety features and run by electricity. There are innumerable hand tools, all readily accessible to the children, and work tables, paint facilities, drying racks, and plenty of books and patterns designed to stimulate ideas.
Out of the Galens "Fun Fund" have come books, games, manipulative toys, many kinds of dolls, trains, and endless other toys and educational tools. A complete record library, designed especially for the children, is maintained. The wonder, amazement, and sheer joy of finding these things at a hospital have been expressed in the eyes and voices of thousands of sick children.
Initiates into Toastmasters, all-campus honor society, are told that the organization is the second oldest of its classification at the University. Priority, they are advised, goes to Owls, though Owls became inactive shortly after World War I and has been unknown to undergraduate generations since that time. Thus far no advocate has come forward Page 1929to dispute the contention made by the members of Toastmasters.
Toastmasters came into existence in 1897. There was no formal launching of the society; it merely began in an informal way and grew to man's size. Early members gave to Paul A. Cowgill the right to the title of founder. Cowgill had been a student at Michigan State Normal College at Ypsilanti before entering the University, and there had gathered together a group of students who enjoyed making speeches after having partaken of a meal. Originally those "meals" had been the contents of boxes of delicacies from "home."
The scheme proved so enjoyable that when Cowgill entered the University he sought to perpetuate the idea. He was successful, for the informal gatherings which he engineered were relished by the participants. Formal organization was the natural consequence and Toastmasters was in full swing.
The society took a unique place on the campus. Though classified with class honor societies, it made little pretense to being other than a rather selfish, social organization. The members gathered regularly for a dinner. The appointed chairman of the evening took charge after the menu; announced topics for "toasts" only a few seconds before the member was to respond; and at the close of the toast program a "critic" made scathing comment on the after-dinner-speaking mannerisms of his fellows.
Toastmasters became, consequently, a valuable training ground for extemporaneous speaking. The meetings were enjoyable, for there was sought for membership the witty and the alert student. Alumni pride in membership in Toastmasters is general among those who have appeared on its rosters. This alumni pride resulted in the reviving of the club in 1934 after a period of inactivity between 1921 and that date.