Stewart S. Howe Collection

Illinois alumnus Stewart S. Howe provided the impetus for the development of the Student Life and Culture Archival Program at the University of Illinois Archives. Howe was founder of the Stewart S. Howe Alumni Service, which provided management, public relations, and fund-raising assistance to fraternities, sororities, and institutions of higher education. He had a life-long interest in higher education and was a dedicated collector of material dealing with fraternal organizations and other areas of college life.


Howe was a long-time friend and supporter of the University of Illinois and a frequent user of the Library and the University Archives. When he passed away in 1973, his collection of material dealing with student life, along with his personal and business papers, were willed to the University Archives. The collection contains over 350 cubic feet of material, dating from 1810 to the present, including books, journals, newsletters, clippings, correspondence, and photographs. It includes files on student life at over 300 American colleges and universities.


As a Kappa Sigma, Howe had a special interest in the American fraternity system and his collection demonstrates his emphasis in that area. He built the world's largest collection of materials dealing with fraternities and sororities. Supported by a gift from the Stewart Howe Foundation, the Student Life and Culture Archival Program is dedicated to building and maintaining this unique and outstanding collection.

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