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A Finding Aid for the Campus Office Girls Records 1950-1998

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Campus Office Girls Records

Creator: Ferris State College. Campus Office Girls.

Dates: 1950-1998

Abstract: The Campus Office Girls organization was founded in 1950 to facilitate introductions between new personnel and previously employed staff. Functions included educational programs, social activities and charitable donations. The group later affiliated with the Michigan Association of Educational Secretaries. Records include financial records, administrative records, membership lists and programs.

Language: English

Quantity: 1.7 cubic feet; 1 records center box, 1 Hollinger box

Identification: UA 32.15.5

Repository: Ferris State University Archives and Records Management Program

Historical Note

The Campus Office Girls began in 1950 to facilitate introductions between new personnel and their families with previously employed staff. Ferris Institute was growing at a such a rapid rate, that it became hard to keep up with new faces. All sixteen office girls joined the new organization. Some of the social introductory activities were taken over by the new Faculty Wives club formed in 1952 but the group continued to meet.

In 1955, the organization wrote the first set of by-laws, which were subsequently amended and expanded into a constitution. Milton Kelly in the School of Business assisted in the formalization of the group's goals which included the emphasizing the importance of the office personnel function within the institution. The group chose to affiliate with both the Michigan Association of Educational Secretaries and the National Association of Educational Secretaries. Martha Flowers Schimel first attended a national conference in 1955. Because of their strong involvement with the state and national organizations, Ferris State College through the COGs and School of Business sponsored work-conferences for educational secretaries on campus between 1953-1978.

Education was not limited to professional development, but also to learn more about their local environment. Programs frequently drew on campus talent (whether it was a Pharmacy instructor advising on drugs or a slide show on a trip taken.) Other more socially oriented programs such as a fashion show, were used to raise funds for the groups charitable contributions.

COGs had an extremely active interest in charitable contributions. One of their early projects involved the adoption of eight-year old Manela Tamisin from the Philippines in 1958 through the Children's Christian Fund. They sent monthly checks until she turned eighteen. The COGs were strong supporters of local projects including the Mecosta County Hospital, Project Starburst, the Big Rapids High School athletics department, the community pool and to Eagle Village. They also supported Ferris projects including the Ferris Heritage Fund and an annual award presented to an outstanding office administration student. Following the dissolution of the organization, the remaining funds in the treasury were donated to the Mecosta County United Way.

The COGs organization had its highest percentage of staff member participation in 1966-1967, after opening the organization to receptionist positions on campus. In April 1991, following an unsuccessful search for officer candidates, the group voted to disband by a vote of 8-3 with one abstention.

Scope and Content Note

The Ferris Office Girls were officially transformed into the Ferris College Office Girls in the early sixties, when they invited their bosses to Boss' Night as the wheels (guests). The organization name reflected their mission of being vital in supporting the activities of the campus. When the name was changed to Campus Office Girls after the college became a university, they felt it was critical to retain the acronym that defined their mission.

COGs served both a social and an educational function. Each year, they sponsored a Boss's Night and a spring banquet (see cash book and Boss's Nights file). Their programs included not only banquets, but learning about subjects such as cosmetology (presented by faculty member Ann Hale), historic preservation (presented by Caryl Ferguson) and children's literature (presented by Ferris librarian Sally Krumin). Information about programs is available in the program files and in the press releases. Materials from the program committee is available for the 1980s.

Information about organizational structure is located in membership lists, sporadic committee records and lists of officers and committees. A short history of the organization, entitled "Down Memory Lane" is also available. The collection contains correspondence and newsletters from two presidents, Pamela Nyman and Deborah Shaw (covering the period 1987-199) Minutes and agendas are available for the period 1976-1991. Financial records of the treasurer have been separated into a different series.

In 1991, the organization disbanded because of declining membership and a lack of officers. A separate folder includes some documentation about this process.

There is also the gavel and mailing stamps in the artifacts series.


The papers are divided into a three series.

Access Information

Conditions of Access

The Campus Office Girls Records are open for research to all users in accordance with University Archives and Records Management access policies. It is available in the reading room of the Ferris State University Archives.

Conditions of Use

Requests for permission to publish material should be directed to the University Archivist. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Copyright interests for this collection have not been transferred to Ferris State University. For more information, contact the University Archivist.

Subject Headings

Below are a list of names, organizations and subjects relating to the collection. Names have been taken from Library of Congress Authority headings whenever possible.

Related Materials

None specified.

Administrative Information


Footnotes and bibliographic references should use the following format:
[Item], Folder, Box. Campus Office Girls Records. Ferris State University Archives. Big Rapids, Michigan.

Provenance (Acquisition Information)

The Campus Office Girls Records were donated by Deborah A. Shaw, president, in 1991, after the organization disbanded. Copies of reunion programs were donated by Neva Martin (Big Rapids, Mich.) in 1999. The cookbook was donated by Theresa Foust (Big Rapids, Mich.) in 2005.

Processing Information

The Campus Office Girls Records were processed to the folder level by Melinda McMartin Isler in April 2005. A finding aid was prepared in a word processing format and converted to EAD 1.0. A revised finding aid was created in January 2008. A collection level MARC-format record was prepared and placed in the library online public access catalog. Description was based on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2004).

Separated Materials

During processing, duplicate materials were discarded. There were no other materials placed in other collections.

Technical Requirements

This collection consists of paper based materials and artifacts. No specialized software or hardware is required for viewing.

Content Listing

Series 1. Administrative Records. 1950-1998

This series consists of approximately one cubic foot of files. Records include membership lists, programs, news clippings and materials about the organization. The bulk of the records cover the period 1960-1961.

The issues are arranged in alphabetically by subject and name.

Box Folder Contents
1 1 Bosses Night. 1970; 1986-1990.
1 2 Cache raffle drawing. 1987-1991.
1 3 Charitable contributions committee. Correspondence. 1986-1991; undated.
1 4 Christian Children's Fund. 1967-1968.
1 5 Committee preference sheets. April 1982.
1 6 Committee preference sheets. May 1989.
1 7 Committee preference sheets. August 1990.
1 8 Constitutions and bylaws. Adopted 1955. Revised 1957; 1968; 1970; 1972; 1975; 1980 and 1990.
1 9 Constitutional review committee. 1972.
1 10 Dissolution of the organization. 1991.
1 11 Down Memory Lane. Organization history. 1988.
1 12 Gammon, Doris. Obituary. 1990.
1 13 Gifts committee. 1963.
1 14 Hostess committee. 1988; undated.
1 15 Installation ceremony. Undated.
1 16 Meeting agendas. 1987-1991.
1 17 Meeting minutes. 1967; 1976-1991.
1 18 Membership cards. 1962-1991; undated.
1 19 Membership certificates. Undated.
1 20 Membership lists. 1950-1991.
1 21 News clippings. 1985-1991.
1 22 Nominating committee. 1985-1990.
1 23 Nominating committee. Election ballot. 1969.
1 24 Nominating committee. Election ballot. 1990.
1 25 Officer; committee lists. 1950-1991.
1 26 Officer photographs. 1986-1989.
1 27 President- Miessen, Ruth. Correspondence. 1983-1987.
1 28 President- Nyman, Pamela A. Correspondence. 1987-1989.
1 29 President- Shaw, Deborah A. Correspondence. 1989-1991.
1 30 Presidential memorandum. 1987-1991.
1 31 Press releases. 1987-1991.
1 32 Program and Roster. Booklet. 1984-1991.
1 33 Programs. 1953-1954.
1 34 Programs. 1965-1966.
1 35 Programs. 1968-1969.
1 36 Programs. 1969-1970.
1 37 Program committee. 1984-1985.
1 38 Programs. 1985-1986.
1 39 Program committee. 1985-1986.
1 40 Programs. 1986-1987.
1 41 Programs. 1987-1988.
1 42 Program committee. 1987-1988.
1 43 Programs. 1988-1989.
1 44 Program committee. 1988-1989.
1 45 Programs. 1989-1990.
1 46 Program committee. 1989-1990.
1 47 Programs. 1990-1991.
1 48 Program committee. 1990-1991.
1 49 Publicity. 1987-1991; undated.
1 50 Recipes from the Kitchens of COGS. Cookbook. Undated.
1 51 Resignation correspondence. 1969-1990.
1 52 Reunion committee. 1992-1998.
1 53 Room reservations. 1988-1990.
1 54 Schedules. Undated.
1 55 Scholarship committee. 1985-1991.
1 56 Stationary. Undated.
1 57 Survey. Future Directions for COGs. 1988.
1 58 Survey re: collective bargaining. 1972.

Series 2. Office of the Treasurer Records. 1950-1991; undated

This series consists of approximately 0.6 cubic feet of records such as early bills and budgets (pre-1970) and later financial reconciliations and monthly reports (1980-1991).

These records are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Box Folder Contents
1 59 Annual treasurers reports. 1981-1985.
1 60 Bills. 1955-April 1960.
1 61 Bills. May 1960-April 1965.
1 62 Budget. 1962-1964.
1 63 Cash book. 1953-1968.
1 64 Checkbooks. Undated.
1 65 Citizens State Bank. Big Rapids (Mich.) Statements. 1968-1970.
1 66 Citizens State Bank. Big Rapids (Mich.) Savings passbook. 1958-1965.
1 67 Correspondence. 1968-1973.
1 68 Financial reconciliations. July 1985-June 1986.
1 69 Financial reconciliations. July 1986-June 1987.
1 70 Financial reconciliations. September 1987-June 1989.
1 71 Financial reconciliations. July 1989-June 1990.
1 72 Financial reconciliations. July 1990-August 1991.
1 73 Monthly treasurer's reports. 1977-1991.
1 74 Receipt book. 1969-1970.

Series 3. Artifacts.

This series consists of approximately 0.25 cubic feet of records of physical artifacts.

Box Folder Contents
2 1 Gavel.
2 2 Mailing stamp.