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Georgia Tech YMCA collection

Georgia Tech YMCA collection

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Descriptive Summary

Title: Georgia Tech YMCA collection
Identification: UA329
Date: 1902-1979 (bulk 1935-1959)
Size/Quantity: 1.9 linear feet (1 archival document case, 2 oversize boxes)
Language: This collection is written in English.
Creator: Georgia Institute of Technology. YMCA.
Repository: Archives & Records Management, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology
Abstract:The papers in this collection document the early years of the Georgia Tech YMCA, the dedication of the building in 1912, and the social and religious activities at Tech that were sponsored by the YMCA, especially during the late 1930s to early 1950s. These records also provide some information on the organization's support and administration of international programs during the 1960s and early 1970s.

Biographical/Historical Note

Founded by about 1890, the Georgia Tech YMCA served as the social and religious center of activity for the students at Tech for several decades. Student activities shifted to the newly built Student Center in the late 1960s; after 1970, the YMCA reduced its role to the administration of international scholarship programs. The YMCA moved off campus in 1973.

Students at the Georgia School of Technology were holding YMCA meetings in the school chapel by about 1890. Later in the decade, difficulties arose regarding a room to hold meetings, but in early 1902 the organization began meeting in the reception room of Swann dormitory. The need for larger facilities and the growth of social and religious organizations on campus led to the construction of a YMCA building. The new facility, located on the south side of North Avenue across from the main campus, was dedicated on June 7, 1912, during commencement activities. The building contained numerous facilities, including two bowling alleys, pool and billiard rooms, a barbershop and a 300-seat auditorium as well as offices and meeting places for most student organizations. John D. Rockefeller donated $50,000 for the new building; the remaining $25,000 cost of construction was raised by supporters of the Georgia School of Technology.

During the 1930s and 1940s, the YMCA remained the hub of social and religious activities on campus. During this period the organization consisted of student officers, a Cabinet Committee, and Freshman Council officers, overseen by a Board of Directors with faculty, alumni, and at-large representation. Among the many activities that the "Y" sponsored was a Freshman Camp, held each year during orientation at a campsite near Roswell.

As the campus expanded, student activities gradually shifted to the campus Student Center. The YMCA began to focus its attention on international programs such as the World Student Fund and an annual tour of the U.S.S.R. By 1970, the Y ceased to receive funding from student activity funds, and in the same year the Fred B. Wenn Student Center opened. Three years later the YMCA moved off campus to All Saints Episcopal Church, at the corner of North Avenue and West Peachtree. The YMCA building was refurbished in the late 1970s, and the building was rededicated as the L. W. "Chip" Robert, Jr. Alumni/Faculty House in November 1979.

Scope and Content Note

The papers in this collection provide some documentation for the activities of the Georgia Tech YMCA during its early years. A 1902 newspaper clipping provides an account of the founding of the organization, and newsletters and a program document the building dedication in June 1912. Newspaper clippings, programs, and a few items of correspondence also date from the period before 1930. One folder contains a brochure and a receipt for the Gene Turner fund, a fund to support Turner, a Tech alumnus, in his activities in China.

The period of the late 1930s and 1940s is covered somewhat better in these records. Two annual reports from the late 1930s provide information on the organizational structure of the YMCA during these years. The two scrapbooks in the collection, which consist mainly of newspaper clippings, document social and religious activities at Tech from 1944 to 1947 especially well. Other records illustrate further the organization's involvement in social activities, especially freshman orientation during the 1940s and 1950s.

A few items in the collection document the reduced role that the YMCA played at Georgia Tech in the late 1960s and 1970s. Correspondence, flyers, newspaper clippings, and materials on the World Student Fund illustrate the organization's focus on international scholarships.


Folders are arranged alphabetically by title. The two scrapbooks are housed in oversize boxes, and listed last.

Index Terms

Georgia Institute of Technology. Religion.
Georgia Institute of Technology. Societies, etc.
Georgia Institute of Technology. YMCA.
Georgia School of Technology.
Georgia School of Technology. History.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Please cite [Folder title], Georgia Tech YMCA Collection (UA329), Archives, Library and Information Center, Georgia Institute of Technology.


Accession #1994.0401. Material removed from Vertical Files and formed into a collection by Archives and Records Management, Georgia Institute of Technology.

Processing Information

Christine de Catanzaro processed these papers in July 2008.

Revisions to Finding Aid

March 2010:
  • Finding aid imported into Archivists' Toolkit.

  • Restrictions

    Restrictions: Access


    Restrictions: Use

    Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.

    Other Finding Aids

    A print copy of this finding aid is available in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.

    Container List

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    11Annual report, 1936-1937
    12Annual report, 1937-1938
    13Building dedication, June 1912
    14College Night programs, 1919-1920
    15Constitution, March 1965
    16Correspondence, flyers, 1925-1972
    17Flyers, ca. 1940s
    18Freshman camp brochures, 1953-1959
    19Freshman orientation booklets, 1953-1955
    110Gamma Psi bylaws, May 1966
    111Gene Turner fund, ca. 1920s
    112Georgia Tech YMCA founding (article in The Georgia Tech), 1902
    113Newspaper clippings, 1935-1967
    114Newspaper clippings, 1944-ca. 1972
    115Programs, lectures, ca. 1955-1966
    116World Student Fund, ca. 1948-1979
    117YMCA camp brochure, ca. 1940s
    118YMCA faculty forum, April-May 1968
    119YMCA Tech newsletters, 1912



    21YMCA scrapbook, 1944-1945



    32YMCA scrapbook, 1946-1947