2021 - MACRAO's 100th Anniversary

One hundred years ago on the campus of Michigan State Normal College in Ypsilanti (now known as Eastern Michigan University), registrars from four Michigan colleges and universities met to discuss their common responsibilities. The role of the college registrar was quickly evolving, with the growth of junior colleges and college attendance in general making their jobs increasingly complex. In addition to the hosts at Michigan State Normal, the other attendees represented Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University), Kalamazoo College, and the Detroit Teachers College (which later merged with several other schools to become Wayne State University).

Read about MACRAO’s first president - Elida Yakeley from Michigan Agricultural College

Building on the work of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars (AACR), which was founded in Detroit in 1910, the small group determined that a state organization would be helpful to sharing information and improving communication between the state's public and private institutions of higher education. Within a few months, the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars (MACR) was founded. As the admissions and recruitment component of student affairs began to grow in importance after World War II, the organization followed AACR in adding "Admissions Officers" to its official name in 1949, becoming the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (MACRAO).

Early meeting topics would seem familiar to today's MACRAO members: orientation, testing, application forms, transfer procedures between institutions, academic dismissal standards, and graduation requirements. In 1949, institutional membership dues were $1.00 per school; that year, the organization spent a total of $15.90 and had a bank balance at the end of the year of $112.84.

Over the course of the past century, MACRAO has been a leader in higher education in Michigan, not just in the specific areas of registration and records, admissions, recruitment, and, more recently, enrollment management, but in ways that have positively affected the post-secondary education of millions of Michigan residents. Moving forward, MACRAO will continue to lead in those areas while continuing to react to the increasing demands for professional development opportunities for its members.

It's my honor to be the president of this organization during this centennial year. I recognize that MACRAO's current leadership team stands on the shoulders of all of those who led us here over the last 100 years. As we recover from a national pandemic that disrupted us in 2020, I look forward to what we can accomplish this year!

Yours in education,

Tom Kephart, President
Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management
St. Clair County Community College



The Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers is a nonprofit association of institutions of higher education. We provide opportunities for the exchange of information, networking, and professional development concerning issues of common interest in the areas of registration, record keeping, admissions, recruitment and enrollment management.

Founded in 1921, MACRAO is entering its 101st year of continuous service to students, staff, and faculty of Michigan's colleges and universities.

The MACRAO Swag Shoppe

If you'd like to show your MACRAO pride, we have a number of items that you can have the new MACRAO logo or the 2020 Annual Conference logo printed on! Visit the MACRAO Swag Shoppe at Cafepress.com for details and to place your order! (15% of your purchase goes to support professional development opportunities like the Annual Conference.)