Millersville University Alumni Association History:
The Millersville University Alumni Association was incorporated on October 24, 1961, with the objective to originate and operate such programs and projects as may be of general concern to the members of the Association and of specific service to the University and to perpetuate the spirit of fellowship formed during student days at Millersville University.
Out of gratitude for the education received at Millersville University and a belief in the value of public higher education, the Alumni Association is committed to continuous improvement of the educational process through its support to the University. The Association promotes a meaningful dialogue and exchange of ideas between the University and its alumni. Through the diverse programs of volunteer services and financial assistance, the Association is committed to strengthening alumni relations in support of the University’s mission. These services include providing information about the University to alumni, encouraging and supporting Millersville’s educational relationships with alumni, sponsoring a variety of activities of interest to alumni and providing alumni with opportunities for service to the University.
The Millersville Alumni Association is almost as old as the University. Members of Millersville’s first graduating class in 1858 vowed to form an alumni association with the classes of 1859 and 1860. In 1860, the three classes united and appointed a committee of three members, one from each class, to write an alumni association constitution. On August 30, 1861, the Millersville Alumni Association met for the first time in the library room of Old Main.
The Association’s governing body continued to include one representative from each graduating class and adopted the name of Alumni Council. Today, students become members of the Alumni Association automatically upon their graduation from Millersville University. The current association is governed by an appointed board of directors which elects its own officers and members.
Over the years, many branches of the Alumni Association have been formed. The first branch was the Philadelphia branch, chartered in 1884. The White Rose branch, now called the York County branch, was founded in 1897. Added in 1904 were the Dauphin, Mifflin, Lebanon, and Lancaster County branches. Other current alumni branches include those in Bucks County, Berks County, Harrisburg, Florida Sun Coast and Florida Gulf Coast. Plus, groups of alumni often meet in cities across the United States without forming Alumni Association branches.
As Millersville’s alumni body grew, the work of keeping records and sponsoring alumni programs became too much for the Alumni Association’s officers. The constitution was thus rewritten to designate a paid alumni secretary. This position was later added to the University payroll and carried the title: Director of Alumni Programs.
The Alumni Association’s first major fund-raising initiative took place in connection with the University’s centennial celebration in 1955. A total of $33,000 was raised to purchase an organ for the new Lyte Auditorium. Prior to 1955, very little effort had been made to raise private funds. The success of the organ project demonstrated the willingness and ability of Millersville alumni to financially support the college. Fund-raising increased when the Alumni Association incorporated in 1961 and created a loyalty fund that accepted tax-deductible gifts.
Today, fund-raising is conducted by the University’s development office in conjunction with efforts from the entire division of University Advancement. Proceeds support many annual scholarships and student research grants.
In March 1968, the Alumni Association purchased a large house at 207 N. George Street in Millersville. The alumni files that were housed in Old Main and Dilworth Administration Building were moved to the new alumni house. In 1983, the Alumni Association turned ownership of the house over to the University and, in 1991, offices for Millersville’s division of University Advancement and the Alumni Association were added to the existing structure. The building was officially named the Duncan Alumni House in 1995 to honor William H. and Alma Duncan. Dr. Duncan, class of 1940, is a former president of Millersville State College and a past president of the Alumni Association.
The current scope of the Alumni Association is broad and includes work with all the academic departments on campus, Career Services, Admissions, student-alumni activities and more. The Executive Committee, in conjunction with the Director of Alumni Engagement, and the Board of Directors establishes operating structure and long-range planning for alumni engagement. This supports the Association’s mission statement and provides advanced insight for planning alumni events.
Now over 150 years old, the Millersville University Alumni Association continues to support and serve the University’s mission in all its efforts as it positions itself to new levels of excellence now and into the future.