Skip to main content

Lowell Institute School Alumni Association records

 Collection
Identifier: M030

Scope and Content Note

The Lowell Institute School Alumni Association (LISAA) Records span the years 1905-96 (bulk 1905-74) and comprise 4.3 cubic feet of material organized into four series: Administrative Files, Correspondence Files, Subject Files, and Student Files. These records offer insight into the structure, functions, and activities of the association and its membership and provide demographic information on almost every alumnus of the Lowell Institute School through 1955. The collection contains memoranda, bulletins, correspondence, reports, newsletters, photographs of alumni (1940-55), photographic half-tone plates of Lowell Institute School yearbook images, and a phonograph-recorded speech by the Lowell Institute School's first director, Charles F. Park (ca. 1936).

Dates

  • 1905-2001

Creator

Conditions Governing Access:

Records are closed for 25 years from the date of their creation, unless researchers have written permission from the creating office.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.

Historical Note

The Lowell Institute School was founded in 1903 to provide technical training to industrial workers seeking to enhance their skills. Its Alumni Association was founded in June 1905 by members of the Lowell Institute School's first graduating class, the Class of 1905. The first meeting of the association was held in Everett, Mass. at the home of alumnus Oliver Macy and was attended by 14 recent graduates. During the meeting, a committee of three men (Macy, George Webster, and Ernest Chase) was appointed to draw up a constitution, nominate officers, and recommend a "class tax," or membership fee. The founding members voted to institute an annual membership fee of 50 cents. With the adoption of its first Constitution in 1906, the association was officially named the Alumni Association of the Lowell Institute School for Industrial Foremen. Its mission was to further the well being of the school by maintaining and increasing the interest of the graduates in the school and in each other; by increasing the influence and reputation of the school in the industrial community and by assisting the work of the school in all ways possible.

The Constitution laid the foundation for the association's administrative structure and functions and stipulated that: all Lowell Institute School graduates were considered members; the offices of President, Vice President, and Secretary were to be elected by ballot at the association's annual meeting and comprise the core of the Executive Committee; the Secretary was to perform the additional duties of Treasurer; and the payment of $10.00 up front constituted Life Membership in the association. Upon graduating from the Lowell Institute School, members of the Class of 1905 gave a banquet honoring Trustee A. Lawrence Lowell and the school faculty for their efforts on behalf of the student body. This event inaugurated the institution of an annual alumni banquet to which the school's trustees, faculty, and the president of MIT were traditionally invited.

In 1908 the association's Executive Committee adopted a school pin, made the office of Secretary a permanent position, and established an Auditing Committee with the purpose of examining all records and accounts of the association. Over time, the association expanded its committee roster to include a Nominating Committee, Reorganization Committee, Membership Committee, Planning Committee, Publication Committee, Park Memorial Fund Committee, Social Activities Committee, and Student Relations Committee. Concerned about its dwindling membership during the Great Depression, the association established an Advisory Council in 1936. The council was composed of members from each graduating class since 1905 and was charged with forging and maintaining contact with all Lowell Institute School graduates and recruiting them to the Alumni Association.

The association held annual business meetings attended by its officers and members. These meetings provided a forum for reviewing committee annual reports, selecting and installing new officers and committee members, discussing old and new business, and socializing with fellow members. Originally held during the winter (Jan. or Feb.), the annual business meeting was moved to banquet night (May) in 1949. In the effort to help alumni find employment matching their technical skills and interests, the association established an Employment Bureau (1911 or earlier). Although the bureau was eventually phased out, the association maintained job placement information on graduates through the mid-1950s and possibly later.

After the death of the Lowell Institute School's first director, Charles Park, in 1944, the Charles Francis Park Memorial Fund Committee was founded in his memory. Composed of long-time association members including A.B. McKechnie '10, F.J. Emery '17, F.A. Giesel '27, R.B. Cheney '17, and B.K. Thorogood '07, the committee was responsible for establishing the Charles Francis Park Memorial Fund. In addition, the committee instituted the annual award of a Charles Park Silver Medal to the most outstanding graduating student. Eventually, surplus funds were used to develop the Charles Francis Park Scholarship Fund which provided tuition assistance to eligible alumni seeking further education. The association's activity waned considerably during the early 1970s and all correspondence to/from the Secretary-Treasurer ceased in 1974; nevertheless, the association's bulletin, the Alumni News, continued to be published until 1996 when the Lowell Institute School was transferred to Northeastern University.

Chronology

  • 1905-1907 Ernest Chase
  • 1907-1909 Edward Temple
  • 1909-1920? M.C. Mackenzie
  • 1920-1937 Francis Emery
  • 1937-1940 Herbert Wilson
  • 1940-1955 Robert Cheney
  • 1955-1965 James Aitken
  • 1961-1962 James Crawford
  • 1962-1974 B. Joseph Patten
1905-1907
Ernest Chase
1907-1909
Edward Temple
1909-1920?
M.C. Mackenzie
1920-1937
Francis Emery
1937-1940
Herbert Wilson
1940-1955
Robert Cheney
1955-1965
James Aitken
1961-1962
James Crawford
1962-1974
B. Joseph Patten

Extent

4.30 cubic feet (6 containers)

Language

English

Overview

The Lowell Institute School was founded in 1903 to provide technical training to industrial workers seeking to enhance their skills. Its Alumni Association was founded in 1905 by members of the Lowell Institute School's first graduating class, the Class of 1905. The association A adopted its first Constitution in 1906 with the mission of "maintaining and increasing the interest of the graduates in the school...[and] increasing the influence and reputation of the school in the industrial community...." In an effort to help alumni find employment, the association established an Employment Bureau (ca. 1911). Although the bureau was eventually phased out, the association maintained job placement information on graduates through the mid-1950s and possibly later. The association activity waned considerably during the early 1970s; nevertheless, the association's bulletin, the Alumni News, continued to be published until 1996 when the Lowell Institute School moved to Northeastern University.

Overview

The Lowell Institute School Alumni Association records offer insight into the structure, functions, and activities of the association and its membership. The collection also provides demographic information on almost every alumnus of the Lowell Institute School through 1955. The collection includes memoranda, bulletins, correspondence, reports, newsletters, photographs of alumni (1940-55), photographic half-tone plates of yearbook images, and a phonograph-recorded speech by the Lowell Institute School's first director, Charles F. Park (ca. 1936).

System of Arrangement:

The collection is organized into in four series: Series I. Administrative Files, Series II. Correspondence Files, Series III. Subject Files, and Series IV. Student Files.

Physical Location

71/3

Bibliography

  • Box 1: Folders 2, 5, 10, 20, 22, 26. Box 2: Folder 71.
Title
Finding aid for the Lowell Institute School Alumni Association Records
Author
Finding aid prepared by Karen Abramson; updated by Migyeong Geum
Date
March 1999, October 2012
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
92 Snell Library
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US