Club History

The University of Michigan Club of Seattle applied for a charter from the General Alumni Association in 1913. Our club was the first outside of the state of Michigan to be so chartered, and only the fourth club in the nation to be recognized in this way.

Over the years the Seattle club has hosted visits from such luminaries as Fielding Yost, Fritz Crisler, Harlan Hatcher, Bennie Oosterbaan and Robben Fleming.

The first visit of the U-M Glee Club to Seattle occurred in 1917.

The Seattle Club Scholarship fund was started in 1943, and would have been started earlier, but club officials were waiting until the aftereffects of the Great Depression of the ’30s had passed.

The first recorded visit of the U-M basketball team to Seattle was in 1936 for a series with the University of Washington, won by Michigan.

The Michigan football team visited our area to play Washington in 1954, and 475 local alums attended a dinner held in the team’s honor.

Starting in 1922, our club began providing a trophy to the annual champion Seattle high school football team. Garfield High School won the first trophy three years running, and so received permanent possession in 1932. The club then provided a second trophy more elaborate than the first. Garfield again won it three times and retired it in the early forties. So the club then invested over $300 in a third silver trophy, but finally got wise and stipulated that this was a perpetual trophy that could only be retained by the winning school during the year or years it is champion. This award generated so much positive publicity for our club over the years that other local organizations finally began handing out their own awards, leading to our club eventually retiring our trophy.

See the attached PDF file for additional details about the club’s history, as prepared by Roby M. Burley, who was a U-M graduate of the class of 1920.