This Month in MSU’s History: January

January can be a rough month for students. You are just getting back from your holiday break, winter has firmly set in (though not as much this year), and new classes are starting. For those of us at Campus Archaeology, January means working on processing the artifacts from last summer, working on ongoing research processes, and preparing for the upcoming Spring excavations. But what did it mean for students in the past?

1954 Rose Bowl Game, MSU v. UCLA, via MSU Archives

Like this year with our win over TCU, students in 1954 were excited that their football season ended in a victory at a bowl game. On January 1st of that year, MSU played UCLA in the Rose Bowl and won 28-20. Ending on a high note, we can now begin to look forward to the next football season. Today we are wondering who is going to be on the team next year, who will be heading off to the professional league, and who stays on the bench. In the M.A.C. Record, the student newspaper, from January 11th, 1916, students were also wondering how their football team would do in the upcoming seasons. They had match-ups against University of Michigan and Notre Dame, with possible games with Northwestern and university of South Dakota. The previous year for them had been an excellent season, and there were concerns that the 1916 season wouldn’t be able to meet the standards.

Beaumont Tower Construction, via MSU Archives

Currently there is construction work being done around the Music Building to fix the steam tunnels beneath it, but in 1929 the construction occurring in January was the erection of Beaumont Tower. The building was placed on the land where College Hall, the first campus building, first stood, and was meant to be a monument to MSU’s history. By the end of January, this landmark was almost complete except for the topmost portion. During this same month, but 14 years earlier, debate was being done over the future of College Hall in the M.A.C. record for 1915. Students describe the importance of maintaining College Hall as it was their landmark that alumni came to see. Now, Beaumont Tower is ours.

Williams Hall Fire, via MSU Archives

This January, many students moved back into Williams Hall, a north campus dormitory, to begin the new semester. In January 1919, students living at Williams Hall were unable to move back, as the building burned down in this month. The original building was located where the current MSU Museum stands, and held living space for 86 students. The building had a number of defects, and in 1919 it burned down (luckily no one was burt). It wasn’t until 1937 that a new building was constructed and named Williams Hall.



Author: Katy Meyers Emery

Works Cited

MSU Archives and Historical Records. On the Banks of the Red Cedar for M.A.C. Records and Images.

Kevin Forsyth’s Michigan Agricultural College History Page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *