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Georgia Tech YMCA collection

Identifier: UA329

  • Staff Only


The papers in this collection document the early years of the Georgia Tech YMCA, the dedication of the building in 1912, and the social and religious activities at Tech that were sponsored by the YMCA, especially during the late 1930s to early 1950s. These records also provide some information on the organization's support and administration of international programs during the 1960s and early 1970s.


  • 1902-1979 (bulk 1935-1959)
  • Majority of material found within 1935 - 1959


General Physical Description note

(1 archival document case, 2 oversize boxes)

Restrictions: Access


Restrictions: Use

Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.


1.9 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

The papers in this collection provide some documentation for the activities of the Georgia Tech YMCA during its early years. A 1902 newspaper clipping provides an account of the founding of the organization, and newsletters and a program document the building dedication in June 1912. Newspaper clippings, programs, and a few items of correspondence also date from the period before 1930. One folder contains a brochure and a receipt for the Gene Turner fund, a fund to support Turner, a Tech alumnus, in his activities in China.

The period of the late 1930s and 1940s is covered somewhat better in these records. Two annual reports from the late 1930s provide information on the organizational structure of the YMCA during these years. The two scrapbooks in the collection, which consist mainly of newspaper clippings, document social and religious activities at Tech from 1944 to 1947 especially well. Other records illustrate further the organization's involvement in social activities, especially freshman orientation during the 1940s and 1950s.

A few items in the collection document the reduced role that the YMCA played at Georgia Tech in the late 1960s and 1970s. Correspondence, flyers, newspaper clippings, and materials on the World Student Fund illustrate the organization's focus on international scholarships.

Administrative History of the Georgia Tech YMCA

Founded by about 1890, the Georgia Tech YMCA served as the social and religious center of activity for the students at Tech for several decades. Student activities shifted to the newly built Student Center in the late 1960s; after 1970, the YMCA reduced its role to the administration of international scholarship programs. The YMCA moved off campus in 1973.

Students at the Georgia School of Technology were holding YMCA meetings in the school chapel by about 1890. Later in the decade, difficulties arose regarding a room to hold meetings, but in early 1902 the organization began meeting in the reception room of Swann dormitory. The need for larger facilities and the growth of social and religious organizations on campus led to the construction of a YMCA building. The new facility, located on the south side of North Avenue across from the main campus, was dedicated on June 7, 1912, during commencement activities. The building contained numerous facilities, including two bowling alleys, pool and billiard rooms, a barbershop and a 300-seat auditorium as well as offices and meeting places for most student organizations. John D. Rockefeller donated $50,000 for the new building; the remaining $25,000 cost of construction was raised by supporters of the Georgia School of Technology.

During the 1930s and 1940s, the YMCA remained the hub of social and religious activities on campus. During this period the organization consisted of student officers, a Cabinet Committee, and Freshman Council officers, overseen by a Board of Directors with faculty, alumni, and at-large representation. Among the many activities that the "Y" sponsored was a Freshman Camp, held each year during orientation at a campsite near Roswell.

As the campus expanded, student activities gradually shifted to the campus Student Center. The YMCA began to focus its attention on international programs such as the World Student Fund and an annual tour of the U.S.S.R. By 1970, the Y ceased to receive funding from student activity funds, and in the same year the Fred B. Wenn Student Center opened. Three years later the YMCA moved off campus to All Saints Episcopal Church, at the corner of North Avenue and West Peachtree. The YMCA building was refurbished in the late 1970s, and the building was rededicated as the L. W. "Chip" Robert, Jr. Alumni/Faculty House in November 1979.


Folders are arranged alphabetically by title. The two scrapbooks are housed in oversize boxes, and listed last.

Other Finding Aids

A print copy of this finding aid is available in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.


Accession #1994.0401. Material removed from Vertical Files and formed into a collection by Archives and Records Management, Georgia Institute of Technology.

General Physical Description note

(1 archival document case, 2 oversize boxes)

Processing Information

Christine de Catanzaro processed these papers in July 2008.

Inventory of the Georgia Tech YMCA Collection, 1902-1979 (bulk 1935-1959)
Christine de Catanzaro
Copyright July 2008.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology Repository

Georgia Institute of Technology
266 4th Street, NW
Atlanta 30332-0900 USA