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Barbara Warner Weiss papers

Identifier: 04.BWW


The Barbara Warner Weiss papers, 1909-1997 bulk dates 1947-1950, primarily document her membership in the Sigma Nu Phi Sorority. Additional materials in the collection include a song book from the Alpha Delta Kappa sorority, clippings, programs of events at Michigan State Normal College, sheet music from a Christmas pageant title Song of Man and a plaque from the University Circle. Weiss, class of 1950, was a Music Education major and an active member of the Alpha chapter of the Sigma Nu Phi sorority. The sorority is the oldest continually active sorority on the campus of Eastern Michigan University; founded in 1897 the mission of the sorority continues as one to serve the campus community and the greater community of Ypsilanti, Michigan. The materials in the Sigma Nu Phi series includes a constitution, membership lists, song books and sheets, and photographs from 1947-1950 of members. There are early documents from the sorority that date from 1909 from member Madge Quigley that were sent to Weiss by another sorority sister in the 1990s. There is little in the collection to document Weiss' involvement in the Department of Music, the Orchestra, Band, or the Madrigal Club.


  • Creation: 1909 - 1994
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1949 - 1954

Conditions Governing Access

Researchers are asked to request materials 24 hours prior to visiting the the University Archives.

Biographical Note

Barbara Beatrice (nee Warner) Weiss was born February 5, 1928, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, the daughter of James F. and Marion F. (Hall) Warner. Weiss attended Michigan State Normal College and graduated in 1950 with a bachelors degree in music education. She was an active member of the Sigma Nu Phi Sorority serving as President in 1948. She was also a member of the orchestra, madrigal club and a basketball cheerleader. On August 19, 1950, she married fellow alumni Jack Weiss.

She returned to Eastern Michigan University in 1969 to obtain her master's degree in Music. Weiss was a member of the EMU Alumni Association where she served on the Board of Directors and as a former Past President; co-chaired the Pease Renovation Campaign and hosted EMU donor events at her home for the Arianna String Quartet and the Friends of Chamber Music at Pease. From 1950-53, she was employed as a vocal and instrumental teacher in the Wayne Public Schools. In 1964, she returned to teaching as a string orchestra teacher in the Ypsilanti Public Schools and served in that capacity until her retirement in 1985.

Weiss was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Ypsilanti where she served as an Elder/Trustee, choir member and former choir director, organizer and director of the bell choir, and numerous other leadership positions. She served as a volunteer for the Friends of the Ypsilanti District Library, former board member of the Ypsilanti Visitors and Convention Bureau, former board member of the Ypsilanti Savings Bank (now KeyBank), member of the Ladies Literary Club where she served as a former president and board member and was involved in helping the club’s foundation which gives scholarships to women students.

She was honored for her many years of volunteering and received the Ypsilanti Press Person of the Year in 1976; Michigan Minuteman Governor’s Award in 1983; Washtenaw United Way Heart of Gold Award (on behalf of the Corner Health Center) in 1990; Ypsilanti Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award in 1992; Ypsilanti Visitors and Convention Pioneer Award in 1993; Nominated for Ann Arbor News Citizen of the Year in 1997; Award Winner of Women of Washtenaw County in 2003; and Dr. John W. Porter Distinguished Service Award in 2004. With all Barb’s volunteer work, she always found time for her love of music.

She continued to play music after her retirement, acting as the principal violist in the Plymouth Symphony Orchestra from 1985-1999 and was a violist with the Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra for many years. She and her husband Jack Weiss had four children. Barbara Weiss died June 21st, 2013.


0.4 Linear Feet (1 archive box)

Language of Materials


Related Materials

For related materials, see the following collections in the University Archives:

Madge Quigley papers [01.MQ]

Department of Music and Dance records [05.DMD]


Barbara Warner Weiss papers
Alexis Braun Marks, CA
2014 December 4
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Repository Details

Part of the Eastern Michigan University Archives Repository

Bruce T. Halle Library, Room 310
955 West Circle Drive
Ypsilanti Michigan 48197