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May 25, 1960 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1960-05-25
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ie Place of Alumni at the University





Continued from Page Eleven
thur Hill (Hill Auditorium) suf-
ficient to meet the University's
needs. Each year the number of
contributors to the fund 'has in-
-creasedi by about 2,000, until it now
includes 13 per cent of those alum-
ni solicited. The Council welcomes
modest contributions: one dollar
for every year since graduation is
one alumni giving formula which
is stressed.
ALUMNI GIVING, one measure
of interest in- the. University,
has followed several g e n e r a
trends. Proportionately, the per-
centage of alumni contributing fol-
lows their geographical distribu-
tion: 45 per cent of our alumni live
in Michigan and contributed 46
per cent of last year's money.
Participation in alumni giving
is highest in the emeritus group--
those who have been out of Michi-
gan for.50 years or more. About 25
per cent of these alumni contri-
bute. As the graduating classes be-
come more recent, their amount
of participation declines.

Those who attended the Univer-
sity before 1930 are settled finan-
cially, their children are often in
college or recent graduates, and
their connections to the University
are often closer than with more
recent classes, Miller explained.
Recent graduates are still struggl-,
ing economically and are unable
often to make contributions to the
fund. Thus the "dollar for every
year"s program enables alumni to
start with an annual gift of one
dollar and build it up gradually as
their incomes increase,
THE UNIVERSITY faces prob-
lems in soliciting alumni funds.
Alumni assume that since the Uni-
versity is a state-supported insti-
tution, their money is not needed.
But alumni funds are used for "the
-extras," according to Miller, those
things which the state will not or
cannot support, such as research
and student aid. A private school
such as Harvard, whose fund last
year obtained almost $2.5 million
from alumni, can say with honesty
that alumni funds are necessary

to keep the school running; the
University cannot.
Alumni sometimes influence cor-
porations to give money to the
University. 'Alumni presidents of
out-of-state businesses often see
that money for higher education is
directed, at least in part, to their
alma mater. Michigan firms tend
to support the University because
of geographical proximity.
Another plan which helps alum-
ni giving is the "matching money"
program in which 75 corporations
now participate. The companies
will match gifts which alumni
make to their institutions, thus
send their educational funds where
their employees want them to go.
Individual programs vary with the
BESIDES the giving of money,
the alumni provide many val-
uable services for the University.
One of their very important func-
tions is promoting the University
among high school students. Alum-.
ni recruit good students and help
screen scholarship applicants. Can-
didates for Regents-Alumni schol-

arships must be interviewed by an
alumnus, and the freshmen schol-
arships for out-of-state students
are given by various alumni clubs.
Alumni can serve a, valuable
function in helping to screen ap-
plicants to the University, mak-
ing information available to pros-
pective students, and influencing
good students to attend the Uni-
versity, Dean Rea declares. The
intangible contacts-having met
an important alumnus socially, for
example-can also influence the
University's "image" for the na-
Crisler pointed out that alumni
frequently bring promising ath-
letes in their areas to the atten-
tion of the coaching staff. The
alumni of the 'M' Club have ath-
letic scholarships available, and
alumni can frequently look over
applicants to see if they will fit
into the Michigan tradition and
ALUMNI frequently come to the
University to locate employes
for their firms. This helps the Uni-
versity place its graduates in jobs
and at the same time provides
qualified personnel for corpora-
tions, Dean Rea says.
Alumni also work on the Univer-
sity's boards for athletics, student
publications, the League and the
Union and the rest. And, of course,

alumni contribute time and money
to the University.
Jim Martens, '60BAd, recently-
retired Interfraternity Council
president, reports that alumni in-
terest in the' fraternity system is
on the upswing. Fraternities need
alumni funds to help build or re-
model houses. "Alumni since World
War II have been slow in giving
money, but their interest has
picked up in the last two or three
years," Martens said..
He pointed to the building pro-
gram now planned or underway,
which will include new houses for
Beta Theta Pi and Zeta Beta Tau,
among other projects.
Alumnae interest' in sororities
can be. witnessed in. the large
iumber of new houses (Alpha Xi
Delta, Delta Gamma, Alpha Chi
Omega, among others) and addi-
tions or remodeling of present
houses (almost every other soror-
ity) which have taken place in
the last three to five years.
B UT ALL is not to be praised in
the alumni area. Officials at
the University report little serious
alumni , pressure or success in
alumni seizing control from Uni-
versity administrators. All of the
administrators interviewed termed
alumni pressure slight.
Many said the strongest area of
pressure came in admissions - an
Continued on Page Thirteen

To what Extent Do These Groups
Justify Their Place at the University?

By Thomas Kabaker


BELIEVE that honoraries play,
a vital part 'in the student life
of this University. They offer
great opportunities for the growth
and development of student influ-
ence not only in activities, but al-
so in administrative fields."
This enthusiastic endorsement
of honoraries made recently by a
high level member of the Univer-
sity administration is quite op-
posed to the evaluation made by
another administrator who said:
"Honoraries have become a ster-
Ile tradition on this campus. Their
function at the University has been
greatly magnified in their mem-
bers' eyes by an overwhelming col-
lective egotism."
THE DEBATE over the value of
the men's honoraries has in-
creased during the past few years
as the growing awareness of the
value of education has changed
the atmosphere of the University,
shifting it more and more from
traditional procedures and pas-
times with which these groups are
generally associated.
The general association is, of
course, with tapping and initiation.
This is the only activity in which
the honoraries take part that is
made public. Everything else that
Thomas Kabaker is acting
magazine editor of The Daily.
He is a junior in the literary
llege and is majoring in Eng-

is done is kept in strictest confi-
dence, and all efforts are made by
the leading honoraries to avoid
publicity of any sort.
The result is that in investigat-
ing honoraries, one compiles vast
knowledge of violations of Univer-
sity regulations and city and state
laws that occur every year as part
of tapping, but uncovers little of
the usefulness and serious side.
Some honoraries have done a great
deal that is worth while, but would
rather remain silent to criticism
than publicize their activities as
Bart of their defense.
The main men's honoraries at
the University are Michigamua for
all senior men, Druids for seniors
not in the engineering college,
Vulcans for engineering seniors,
Sphinx for all junior men not in
the engineering college, and Tri-
angles for junior engineering stu-
In addition to these there are
smaller honoraries of much more
limited membership. These groups
are not discussed in this study.
BUT TO examine the most obvi-
vious problem first, what, if
anything, is to be done with the
honoraries' tapping procedures? It
is generally acknowledged that as
a matter of course, honoraries vio-
late the state law with regard to
persons who are not 21 years old
drinking, and a University rule
and state law concerning indecent
exposure. In addition, many feel
the students' behavior during tap-
ping is juvenile, senseless and gen-

erally unbecoming student leaders
at a well-respected school.
Direct violations of laws and Uni-
versity regulations occur solely in
the evening tapping, and -those
who object to the tapping and ini-
tiation procedure as a whole, gen-
erally confine their criticism to
this facet rather than the more
formal initiation on or near the
Diag. The greatest concern on the
part of the administration centers
on the fact that honorary members
drink, and sometimes very heavily,
during the course of the evening
tapping. Many feel that this is
wrong anddshould be done away
with immediately.
Others, however, are not willing
to go that far. One Michigamua
summed up many persons' opinions
when he said, "I cannot.present
any rational argument about what
goes on during tapping, yet I feel
that it is all right."
Other violations include strip-
ping initiates during tapping, and
generally disorderly conduct per-
vades the evening's actions.
YET University and Ann Arbor
police do not step in to curb
the honoraries. It is a long stand-
ing tradition that these groups
may do pretty much as they please
without any interference from city
and University authorities. This
year, however, .the members of
one honorary were held at the city
jail when police accidentally found
their truck to contain a large
quantity of beer. A University of-
ficial had to come to the station
house to arrange for the boys' re-

How do tey go

The gayest, most carefree way to


~. 4j

lease. No action is being taken by
the University.
But incidents like this bring
pressure to bear on the honoraries
to modify their customary tap-
ping procedure. In addition, it is
only fair to point out that the
honoraries themselves are aware
that the University climate is
changing, and are taking steps on
their own to tone down their rit-
This year, for example, Michi-
gamua abstained from completely
stripping their initiates during the
earlier parts of the evening when
it was possible that women would
be on the streets. Sphinx toned
down its initiation on the Diag
this year without making the oc-
casion any less colorful.
But then on the other hand,
these same honoraries sunk to

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