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Washington University Alumni Association Records

Identifier: WUA-01-wua00156

This collection is largely comprised of papers relating to alumni association meetings, early campaign drives, and early graduation lists. Some photographs and three-dimensional objects are also included.


  • 1862-2010

Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)


2.00 linear feet

3 boxes

Historical Information

The Washington University Alumni Association is responsible for organizing various activities designed to foster a sense of camaraderie amongst graduates.  

The inauguration of Washington University occurred on April 23, 1857, and the first class graduated from the University on June 20, 1862. This class was composed of five members. On Monday, June 23, 1862, a meeting of the graduates of the Class of 1862 was held at the residence of Dr. Williams G. Eliot. Dr. Eliot stated that the object of the meeting was to establish an “Association of the Alumni of Washington University.” From this time the Association held yearly meetings, at which the annual oration was delivered, officers elected, and other matters of interest and importance to the Alumni discussed and acted upon. In 1870 the Alumni held their first banquet.

On February 7, 1881, a constitution and by-laws were adopted, the Association having continued to that date without them. This constitution, however, limited the membership in the Association to the graduates of the Collegiate Department, and therefore the graduates of the Polytechnic School formed a “Polytechnic Alumni Association,” which grew in strength and numbers until 1886. On May 14, 1885, however, a resolution was unanimously adopted whereby the graduates of the “Scientific” courses in the Undergraduate Department were invited by the Alumni Association of Washington University to meet with them at the Annual Business Meetings and to participate in the Election of Officers. This invitation was accepted, and on January 12, 1886, the first meeting of the graduates of all the Undergraduate Departments was held, and since that date there has been but one “Alumni Association of Washington University.”

For more information about the Alumni Association, see the introduction by Everett Paul Griffin, Secretary, in the “First Annual Bulletin of The Alumni Association of Washington University” 1907, within this collection.


Items are arranged by type or size, and then alphabetically.

Method of Acquisition

This material was donated to the University Archives at various times.

Accruals and Additions

Accruals are interfiled within the collection.

Related Materials

See also WUA00209 Publications – Alumni Association Collection, also held by University Archives, for materials regarding reunions and other alumni events.

Processing Information

Processed by Jay Kempen in September 2005. Updated by Miranda Rectenwald June 2009.  Updated by Ashley Eckhardt, June 2011.

Washington University Alumni Association Records
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 May 20: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.

Collecting Area Details

Part of the University Archives Collecting Area

Sonya Rooney
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
MSC 1061-141-B
St. Louis MO 63130 US
(314) 935-5495