10 fun facts from AACRAO's Annual Meeting history

March 11, 2014
  • AACRAO Annual Meeting
  • AACRAO Connect

AACRAO celebrated its centennial as an organization in 2010 -- so why is the 100th Annual Meeting this year?

In 1918 and again in the 1940s, Annual Meetings did not convene due to the constraints of WWI and WWII. In 1943, the Office of War Mobilization and Re-conversion went so far as to place an "outlaw" stamp on conventions, in effect making it a criminal offense to hold conventions. In addition, in the 1920s, some meetings were not held due to the effects of the Depression.

Therefore, 2014 marks AACRAO's 100th Annual Meeting!

In honor of the occasion here are ten highlights from meetings past:

  • 1910: The first meeting was held in Detroit, attended by 15 registrars and 9 college accountants or secretaries.
  • 1969: Four years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, AACRAO had its first workshop on civil rights issues and compliance with Clarence Laws, Deputy Regional Director of the Office of Civil Rights, Dallas.
  • 1940: Lost hats were such a cultural problem that each attendee to the conference (held in St. Louis) was issued a small label to paste inside his or her hat.
  • 1952: Attendees were treated to afternoon tea in Georgetown with the actress Myrna Loy. (Cost of tea... 50 cents!)
  • 1911: Annual membership fee set at one dollar!
  • 1931: Attendees were wowed by the talents of Trumbull Jackson on the musical saw.
  • 1952: Members voted to purchase "a machine for recording the conversation and profound utterances of Executive Committee Members." (Machine has yet to be used.)
  • 1915: AACRAO Treasurer and Accountant Mary Brown paid $3.80 for 19 hours of accounting. 
  • 1917: Henry Barker, President of the University of Kentucky, welcomed women with these words: “Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen:  I am very happy to be able to say in greeting you, ladies and gentlemen.  Ordinarily when I address conventions of this character they are composed of men only, but it seems that the intellectual institutions of this country, at least some of them, have sense and good taste enough to pick women registrars and therefore I am able to say, ladies and gentlemen.  I believe firmly in the equality of the sexes; I am a women’s rights man.  I have been married a long time and know how to obey orders, and my wife tells me that is what I ought to believe; and ladies, I assure you, I believe it from the bottom of my heart…Before I leave the personal phase of this welcome, I wish to say that in all of my experience in attending gatherings of this sort, I have never seen a convention where the ladies were more beautiful and attractive or the men homelier and more intellectual.”
  • 1913: George O. Foster, Registrar from the University of Kansas passed along these words of wisdom: "The stress and turmoil of the registration days makes it impossible to give the candidate more than a few words of friendly greeting.  To overcome this, I give every entering man a card on which the following is printed:

“My Friend”


Remember-no man is down and out until he has lost faith in himself. 


Don’t be a recluse, or a bookworm.  Be a mixer, but don’t get mixed. 


Get into the University life and help make life.


Don’t be a quitter – the world hates a quitter.


Be courteous – it pays.  Be generous – your heart needs it.


Be deeply sincere in your mental habits; this quality will reflect itself in your speech, and people will believe in you.


Never DESCEND in your speech.  Speak in private as you would in public.


Keep your life so that you may always enjoy the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children.


Look for the best in others and give them the best you have.


Take time for plenty of out-door exercise.  Appreciate earth’s bounty. 


Breathe deep God’s fresh air day and night.


Identify yourself with the University Y.M.C.A., and thereby secure yourself the cordial fellowship of many fine fellows – a sure prevention of homesickness.


If you need a friend at any time during your University career, remember the man who hands you this card.  He esteems it a privilege to serve you. 


He wants to know you so as to be able to call you by name.


‘O, the world’s a curious compound


With its honey and its gall’


With its care and bitter crosses,


But a good world after all.


An’ a good God must have made it –


Leastwise, that is what I say,


When a hand is on your shoulder

Stay tuned for the next issue of Connect, which will highlight more interesting and fun facts from the AACRAO's Annual Meeting history! And to read more and register for the 100th Annual Meeting in Denver--guaranteed to make even more fun and profound association history--click here.


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