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.