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October 30, 1954 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1954-10-30

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PAGE TWia W1 MJE!WWE L1 illy

S A T U~flfl SOTOBER 30,185

The Front Door Custom:
How it Came--and Went

i .
icigUnion H istory Traced from '0


(Continued from Page 1)

"Michigan, I see, has no attach-
ment to tradition."
An elderly alumnus voiced this
bitter comment when, standing
near the Union's front entrance,
he saw three coeds nonchalantly
hurrying through the door.
Male Stronghold
He looked around for a full-time
doorman, who formerly was em-
ployed for the sole purpose of tell-
ing female Union guests that a
separate side entrance was re-
served for them-but that the front
door was a male stronghold on
The last front-door "bounder,"
however, died in 1942, and, ac-
cording to Union officials, has nev-
er been replaced.
With his demise the once strong
campus tradition, part of Union
rules since the building opened in
1919, has gradually declined until
now it isn't enforced at all. Any-
body, even women, can enter
through the front door.
Union President Tom Leopold,
'55, offered -an explanation for the
Union Houses
Many Groups
(Continued from Page 1)
An important function of the
Union is hotel service providing
more than 190 sleeping rooms
available for members and their
Television, chess and checker
tables, and a place to browse are
found in the main floor North and
South lounges.
Main floor bulletin boards list
all approved notices of student in-
terest along with union events for
the day.
A basement barbershop and
checkroom service round out facil-
ities used by members.
To make the Union self-contain-
ed, a constant maintenance serv-
ice is carried on, including a com-
plete upholstering and furniture
repair shop, electrical shop and
divisions devoted to food services.

tradition's virtual end. "We want
as many people as possible to use
Union facilities," Leopold said,
"through whatever door they pre-
The front-door tradition was an
outgrowth of original strong Union
policies based on customs of ex-

From the beginning, the Union
became a unifying and co-ordi-
nating agency in student society.
Class elections were held under its
direction, a student council was
set up, and a fund for the portrait
of President Angell, now in the
Union, was solicited.
The Union was then housed in
a small building called the "Union
Club House." There was little in
the way of precidence for a Union
building which the Directors want-
ed. Harvard had established a
union in 1901, and the University
of Pennsylvania had its Houston
Club, founded in 1896.
In the winter of 1905-'06, the
Union began asking for subscrip-
tions to its building fund. A stu-
dent carnival in 1906 added $12,-
000 to the campaign, the Student
Lecture Association donated a
year's prophets, $11,500, and the
Union Minstrels, an entertain-
ment group added another $11,-
With these funds the Union
purchased and remodeled the
former home of Judge Thomas M.
Cooley on State Street, to provide
room for some of its facilities.
Dues Fixed
In November, 1907, the first
Union Club House opened formal-
ly. Dues for members were fixed
at -$2.50. Student interest spread
rapidly and energies began to
crystallize in such ventures at the
Union Opera in February, 1908.
In 1910 tentative plans and ex-
terior sketches for present Union
building were first announced.
The preparation of the plans was
undertaken by architects A. B.
Pond and I. K. Pond, brothers
whose boyhood home stood on the
site where the Union building1
eventually was built.
The Pond brothers offered their
services gratis along with the aid
of Prof. H. M. Bates and Homer
L. Heath who became the driv-
ing force for the Union fund-
raising campaign through the
years 1908-1926.
As the Union grew in member-
ship in the early years the office
of the President of the Union in-
creased in importance. An early
plan was to alternate the office
between fraternity and independ-
ent men. With 4,047 men in the

* , . He Kept Them Out
clusive men's clubs in Detroit and
New York, where rules providing
separate doors for men and wom-
en are still respected.
Opinions Split
A sharp split marked the opin-
ions of students asked for their
stands on the Union door contro-
versy. S o m e w h a t surprisingly,
many women sanction the tradi-
tion and hope it will somehow con-
tinue. Gretchen Quine, 466Ed., for
instance, exclaimed "if this tradi-
tion goes the way of all the others,
this campus will be a pretty dull
place.. I'm all for a few old cus-
toms-even if it means walking out
of my way."

What Happens
To Union Staff
After College?
Many Rise to Fame
In Chosen Careers
What happens to presidents of
the Michigan Union after they
A good percentage of them from
the look of the records and "Who's
Who" fulfill the promise they
showed as students. Howard L.
Barkdull, '09, began practicing law
in "Cleveland after hiis commence-
ment. Chosen president of the Ohio
State Bar Association, then Direc-
tor of American Judicature Soci-
ety, in 1952 he received the high-
est honor* in the legal profession,
becoming President of the Ameri-
can Bar Association.
Kentucky Colonel
An honorary citizen of Texas and
a commissioned Kentucky Colonel,
Barkdull is also a trustee of the
alumni fund. He served as a mem-
ber of the Patterson Committee to
Co-operate with the Kefauver Com-
Also a lawyer, Thomas J. Lynch,
'25, has served as counsel to the
Securities and Exchange Commis-
sion, the War Production Board,
and as special assistant to the at-
torney general. He was general
counsel to the Treasury Depart-
ment for five years.
After leaving the University,
Hugh Allen worked on the Detroit
Free Press and the Cleveland
Plain Dealer. At various times in
the next years he edited the Seat-
tle Daily Star, the South Bend
News Times, and managed Akron's
Beacon Journal.
After joining the advertising de-
partment of the Goodyear Tire
and Rubber Company, Allen wrote
an account of the rise of that in-
dustry, "The House of Goodyear."
Among other books he has writ-
ten are "The Story of the Air-
ship," "Why Has America No Rig-
id Airships," and "Rubber's Home
President of the Union in 1908-09,
James K. Watkins, '09, was De-
troit Police Commissioner from
1931 to 1933. A Rhodes scholarat
Oxford, he received an honorary
degree from Wayne University in
1947 for his "work as a govern-
ment reformer" and his efforts in
inter-racial understanding.
Active in local politics, Watkins
served as president of Grosse
Pointe Farms and chairman of the
Home Rule Committee for Wayne
County. He has also chaired the
Detroit Community Chest and the
mayor's interracial committee.
Directs Institute
Prof. John W. Lederle, director
of the Institute of Public Admin-
istration, headed the Union in 1932-
33. After practicing law for sever-
al years, Lederle joined the fac-
ulty of Brown University and re-
mained there until 1944, when he
left to begin teaching here.
Prof. Lederle served as counsel
to the Senate Special Committee
on Campaign Expenditures from
1944-46, and in 1950, as counsel to
a similar group in the House. Coun-
sel to the Mutual Security Agency
in 1952, Lederle headed the Insti-
tute for Public Instruction for the
University of Hawaii in 1952 and


Anniversary Balli
1., Red Johnson's Orchestra

ranks in 1914 the Union had rap-
idly become a leader in expressing
student opinion and an effective
means of close faculty-student in-
Pioneer Venture
In 1912 the Union's Infirmary
Committee was created which
later expanded to the present
Health Center. It was one of the
pioneer ventures in this field for
any college group.
First definitive moves for con-
structing a new building were in-
itiated in December, 1910 at an
alumni meeting in Ann Arbor.
Leaders of the new building cam-
paign had to spend the first few
years developing a cooperative and
cordial attitude among alumni.
Heath first led a movement to
get the Cooley home expandedh so
that alumni could see what bene-
fits a meeting place like a future
Union building could produce. Ten
thousand dollars was borrowed
and the Heath addition was built.
After its erection in 1912 it was
used for social gatherings, class
dinners and dramatic perform-
ances. By now Union property was
worth $40,000 with an indebted-.
ness of little over half that
Suscriptions at this time, before
any actual fund raising campaign
got under way, amounted to $23,-
The campaign, which was to
start in June 1914, was postponed
because of the opening of World
War hostilities and actual solici-
tation of funds didn't begin until
October, 1915.
$1,000,000 Goal
Pledges immediately began roll-
ing in and by 1916 $765,000 had

been secured. With $1,000,000 as
the final goal, $800,000 had been
subscribed in March 1917 and
about half of this was in cash.
This outstanding response to the
campaign seemed to jutify im-
mediate construction of the build-
ing and soon afterward President
Hutchins turned the first sod
for the building.
Although preliminary construc-
tion began, problems evolving
from World War I finally caused
the committee to indefinitely post-
pone procedings.
When the war ended Union of-
ficers realized that because they
had a large investment already in
the building, it was imperative
(Much of the material for this
story has been gathered with assist-
ance from "A History of the Michi-
gan Union" compiled by Richard
L. Pinkerton, Union Executive Sec-
that it be completed rapidly and
their debt to the state be paid.
More money was borrowed and
the building was sufficiently com-
pleted by the fall of 1919 to be
Annual Fee
To help pay off the remaining
debts, Heath and Chapin pressed
the University to include a five
dollar Union membership in the
annual payment of fees collected
by the University. This was done
in 1919-20 making all male stu-
dents automatically members of
the. Union.
The building immediately be-
came a center of student activity.
An analysis showed that an aver-
age of 7500 persons entered its

mal and informal nieetings were
held in the Union during the first
Five years later the unfinished
portions of the building, the swim-
ming pool and second floor library
and reading room were finished.
A gift of $21,500 by Mrs. E. W.
Pendleton enabled the Governors
to have the library finished as a
memorial to her husband.
Evidence of the intense activity
of early Union days may be noted
by the list of committees active in
this period: House, Dance, Pub-
licity, Life Members, Music, Bil-
liards, Bowling, Library, Enter-
tainment, Reception, Opera, Upper-
classmen, Advisors, Scoreboard,
and Sunday Afternoon Meetings.
Dissatisfaction over the campus
election of Union senior officers
brought about moves for a change
of this system in 1925. It was
thought that politics were becom-
ing too involved in the elections.
Committee Established
A resolution was passed October
26, 1928 delegating the Board of
Directors to elect the senior offi-
cers. Two years later, a special
Union meeting set up a senior of-
ficer selections committee com-
posed of four faculty or alumni
members and three student vice-
This system was established so
that senior officers would be ap-
pointed on a basis of merit.
While the Union as a building al-
most immediately assumed a rec-
ognized place in University life,
the fact that it was completed and
functioning as planned made it dif-
ficult to make headway in raising
more money to meet the debts

Finally the Board of Regents ap-
proved an increase in the Union
student fee to ten dollars, one-half
of which was to go for mainte-
nance and the other half for retire-
ment of sthe Union's debt.
Debt Paid
After the debt was wiped from'
the books in 1935 additions includ-
ing further rooms, dining room
space, quarters for the University
Club and the International Student
Center made the Union an even
more vital center in University un-
dergraduate life.
Last year the lower floors under-
went a remodeling. The second
floor balcony of the swimming pool
was removed and floored over, pro-
viding space on the main floor for
Business and Student Offices. The
main desk and hallway, were re-
modeled and a registration desk
installed where the old student of-
fices were located.
Today another facet of the Un-
ion's long history will begin to
become reality. When the new $2,-
900,000 addition is completed the
Union will ne more than ever a
center of student life.
Perhaps the hopes of Edward F.
Parker, the Union's first presi-
dent, will be realized.
"We put our hearts into the Un-
ion; they are still there. If the
boys give theirs, then indeed will
the Michigan Union be the very
Heart of the Campus."
Entertainment at the Union Fif-
tieth Anniversary Banquet at 6
p.m. today will be furnished by the
Union Opera and Mimes and the
Michigan Glee Club under the di-
rection of Prof. Philip Duey.


9 to 1 A.M.


} I I

doors every day and that 2500 for-which amounted to $306,000 in 1925.1





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