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MACRAO’s First President - Elida Yakeley

MACRAO’s First President - Elida Yakeley

MACRAO was born in 1921 on the campus of the Michigan State Normal College in Ypsilanti. America’s colleges and universities were experiencing rapid change, and the college registrars were responding by expanding and modernizing their work. These challenges motivated registrars from of four of the state’s colleges to meet in person to share ideas and work on standardizing processes between institutions. Besides the hosts from Michigan State Normal (later to become Eastern Michigan University), registrars from Michigan Agricultural College (later Michigan State University), the Detroit Teachers College (which later merged with other Detroit colleges to create Wayne University, then later Wayne State University), and Kalamazoo College attended.

After discussing their shared interests, the group decided to create a formal organization. About a decade earlier, Michigan had also been the first meeting place of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars (AACR), and since that group had grown to national prominence, it seemed like a good idea to have a similar group that would deal with the specific issues of colleges in Michigan. So the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars (MACR) was born.

Of course, every good organization needs leadership, and the newly minted MACR membership turned to one of the state’s pioneers in the profession: Elida Yakeley from M.A.C.

Elida Yakeley was born on April 4, 1876, in Trenton, Michigan, but grew up in Montana. After graduating from high school in Big Sky Country, she returned to her home state to attend college at Ferris Institute in Big Rapids, where she studied business. After graduation she worked in a series of short-term positions until she was hired in 1903 as the secretary to Jonathan L. Snyder, the president of what was then known as the State Agricultural College in East Lansing.

Yakeley was a diminutive woman, so sitting behind the huge desk in the anteroom of Snyder’s office meant she had to stand to greet everyone who came in. This made her the face of the college, which in those days had only about 500 students, and she quickly came to know each of them personally and was a great resource for them. As she pointed out later in life, registering students wasn’t terribly difficult in those days, since there were so few students and only three choices for programs to follow: agriculture, engineering, and the “women’s course.”

Over the next several years, however, the school added new programs and its enrollment started to grow significantly. Soon the registration process was becoming more difficult, and Yakeley took it upon herself to come up with a way to automate the system – at least as much as it could be in an age well before computers. Recognizing her genius in setting up one of the first modern registration systems of its kind in the country, Snyder appointed her the first registrar in the college’s history in 1908, just before the institution became Michigan Agricultural College the following year. This not only made her one of the first female college administrators in Michigan, but also in the United States.

The 1923 MACR meeting was at M.A.C. in East Lansing

In charge of all student records, she continued to make it a point to talk to nearly every student at the school throughout her 30 years at M.A.C. She also kept in touch with alumni, taking an interest in their success after they’d left East Lansing. Students were very fond of her and thought of her as a “thoroughly just, broad-hearted friend.”

She took a 27,000-mile journey around the world in the fall of 1923 with M.A.C. history and political science professor E.H. Ryder, his wife, and home economics associate professor Anna Bayha. During the trip, they were feared to have been lost during the Great Kantō Earthquake but had left Japan just five days before the disaster. They toured Japan, Korea, the Philippines, India, Egypt, Palestine, France, Italy, Switerland, and England. The travelers returned safely to East Lansing in January 1924.

Yakeley was elected Vice President of AACR at their annual meeting in Seattle in April 1929. Later that year in November, she was seriously injured while attending the AACR meeting in Buffalo. According to newspaper accounts of the time, she was struck by a car and thrown into the path of another vehicle and suffered head and chest injuries. Clemens P. Steimle, another early president of MACR, reported that she was barely conscious and was unable to speak. She did recover, though, and returned to her work at the newly renamed Michigan State College of Agriculture and Science (M.S.C.).

As registrar at M.A.C./M.S.C. she was also instrumental in maintaining the early history of the college. After turning over the registrar’s duties in 1939, she continued as a historical research associate at the college until she retired in 1941 due to ill health and moved to southern California.

Elida Yakeley in 1951

In 1949, M.S.C. named a new women’s dormitory after its first registrar. Yakeley Hall is in the North Neighborhood, which at the time was all housing for female students; Yakeley is today the only remaining all-female residence hall on the MSU campus. Although the college named the building after her, they neglected to let her know about the honor! She found out during a visit to Lansing shortly after the building opened to students, reading about it in the State Journal while staying with friends.

Elida Yakeley died on April 18, 1970, in Chula Vista, California. She was 94 years old.

 
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RSVP Form and College Fair Calendar are now Live!

MACRAO Members & Affiliates:

The College Day/Night Committee has finalized the fall MACRAO college fair calendar! The following links include the calendar, the universal RSVP and other useful resources. Please let the committee know if you have any questions.

MACRAO College Fair Calendar
View the fall calendar. Please forward the calendar link to your counselors/reps who will be attending the college fairs for your institution. Representatives/counselors should access their specific fair information in the Google Calendar. The event can be added to their calendar and will include address information, host coordinators contact information, fair details and possibly forms/links/google docs to fill out prior to the event.

MACRAO College Day/Night RSVP Form
The Universal RSVP can be used to indicate which fairs you plan to attend. We recommend an RSVP date of August 15th.

College Fair RSVP List
To review your institution's responses in the Universal RSVP and for host sites to see who will be attending their fair. If you must change any responses, please access the original RSVP form, make amendments, AND contact a host site directly to determine if space is still available (contact information is available within each calendar event).

Thanks to all for your patience in implementing this process. MACRAO members are encouraged to respond to sanctioned events through this new RSVP format only, no additional response is required. We are assisting host site coordinators with this new process.

Should you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the CDN committee.

Cheers to a new recruitment cycle!

MACRAO College Day Night Committee
Chair – Jill Irving

Member – Stephanie Briggs
Member – Mike Eichberger

Member – Megan Hoover

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Get involved! Join a MACRAO committee!

MACRAO's standing committees are where the real energy and innovation happens. Our committees work on professional development opportunities, discuss and develop best practices and other solutions, and create networking opportunities and friendships that provide support when we need it most!

Who is eligible to be on a MACRAO committee? Any current member... institutional, affiliate, individual, or honorary. If your institution is a MACRAO member and you work in the areas of registration, records, admissions, recruitment, or related fields, you're eligible! (If you're not already listed as an institutional member, ask your school's key contact to request that you get added to the membership list.)

Request to join a committee by filling out the online committee membership form. The President-Elect reviews all applications and appoints volunteers to committees, pending final approval by the Board of Directors.

Take the next step in your professional career... join a MACRAO committee today!

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