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Stoic Society records

Identifier: 04.SS

Scope and Contents

The Stoic Society records documents the Stoic Society at Eastern Michigan University. The records span from 1909 until 2015 with gaps in the historical records. The collection is comprised of clippings, programs, and constitutions from the Stoic Society at Eastern Michigan University and is arranged in four series: Administrative Files, Events, General Files, Members, and Scholarships with additional files for clippings, awards, scrapbooks and photographs.

The Administrative Files series concerns budget and finance, the constitution, correspondence, and the secretary’s and treasurer’s book. There is one file with newspaper clippings the bulk of this file is from the 1960s. The Events series contains the announcements, flyers, and programs from events that the Stoic Society held such as the Annual Banquet and the May Breakfast. This series also contains information on the 50th Anniversary celebration. The General Files are from 1952 until 1980, these files include correspondence, events, and planning information during these years. Members series includes membership lists as well as alumni information cards. The Stoic Society is well known for the numerous scholarships that the society funded. The Scholarships series includes information on some of these scholarships including the Benjamin D’Ooge and Margaret M. Robinson scholarships.

Given that the Stoic Society is one of the oldest student organizations on campus the records donated to the archives are by no means a complete record of the organization.


  • Creation: 1909 - 2015

Conditions Governing Access

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

Historical Note

The Stoic Society was names after the teachings of the Greek philosopher, Zeno, who said that a true Stoic was strong, calm and unmoved by good or bad fortune. Eastern Michigan University's oldest honorary society had its beginnings in January, 1909, at an informal gathering of students in the home of Mr. J. Stuart Lathers, Head of the Department of Oratory.

Early on the organization was simple and informal with no dues, no officers, and no constitution. The group had no name until after several meetings, when Clark Davis suggested Stoic Society. Stoic meetings were held at irregular intervals during the year to discuss topics of general interest, hear speakers, sponsor plays, etc.

The Stoic Society really came to the attention of the student body late in the spring of 1909 when it sponsored a play by a traveling group known as the Ben Greet Players. Proceeds from this performance began a scholarship fund to encourage promising second year students to return for a third year of study because at the time it was customary for those preparing to teach to remain only two years.

Clare Milton received the first scholarship granted by the Society, which was also the first such award ever given at the Michigan State Normal College. He and his ten fellow nominees were made members of the Stoic Society, and it was this move which marked the beginning of the organization's history as an honor society.

By 1921 it was decided that the recipient of the scholarship should keep the minutes for the ensuing year. Since then it has been customary for the officers of the Stoic Society to receive scholarships in return for their services. Stoic-of-the-Year awards are also made to a member or members who have worked particularly hard for the organization.

Many of the activities of the early Stoic Society centered around raising funds for scholarships. The organization sponsored plays and traveling entertainment groups, sold ice cream at commencement time, and began a White Elephant Sale.

The first annual banquet was held in 1913 for the purpose of presenting to the school the E.A. Strong Scholarship fund. It was not until 1928 that a system of announcing the recipients at a Spring breakfast and awarding the actual scholarship at a banquet the following winter took place.

The procedure for selecting and receiving new members has changed over the years. Today nominees are informed of their selection for the Society on the basis of their academic standing after their sophomore year. Previously faculty members recommended student for membership using the following guidelines: 1. High standard of scholarship, 2. Interest and helpfulness in general school affairs, 3. Moral Responsibility, 4. Active rather than passive ability in recitation, i.e., initiative.

The Stoic Society has grown with the University. It has a total of twelve scholarships and loan funds commemorating outstanding faculty members. The traditional banquet, Spring Breakfast, and reception for new members are continued as annual events.


4.6 Linear Feet (3 archive boxes, 2 record center cartons, 2 flat boxes )

Language of Materials



The Stoic Society records documents the Stoic Society at Eastern Michigan University from 1909 until 2015. The Stoic Society has grown with the University and currently offers twelve scholarships and loan funds commemorating outstanding faculty members. The traditional banquet, Spring Breakfast, and reception for new members are the Society's annual events. The collection is arranged into four series: Administrative Files which includs historical sketches of the Stoic Society, meeting minutes, and Treasurer’s book; Events; General Files that date from 1952 until 1980; Members and Scholarships. There are additional files for clippings, awards and photographs. This is not a complete record of the Stoic Society. The society is still an active honor society on campus and the University Archives will add materials as acquired.

Stoic Society records
Courtney Dornburg and Amber Davis
2012 February 6
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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