Etter, Mary Spitzer Papers, 1924 – 2002 *JMU Alum Papers*

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Summary Information

Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University
Etter, Mary Spitzer, 1912-2002
Mary Spitzer Etter Papers
Collection No.:
SC 0191
1924 - 2002
7 folders, .25 Cubic Feet
Language of the Material:
The Mary Spitzer Etter Papers comprise correspondence, meeting minutes, treasurer's reports, and photographs related to Etter's time as a student and alumna of James Madison University.

Preferred Citation

[identification of item], [box #, folder #], Mary Spitzer Etter Papers, 1924-2002, SC 0191, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.

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Bio/Historical Note

Mary Spitzer Etter (1912-2002) was the daughter of Perry Franklin and Mabel Baldwin Spitzer. A 1934 graduate of the State Normal School (later James Madison University), she was active in the Glee Club, and was a devoted participant in campus events both before and after her tenure as a student. Her subsequent teaching career spanned four decades. She sponsored scholarships at Bridgewater College, Shenandoah University and James Madison University to honor her sister, Ruth, and her parents.

Mary Etter was an active member of the Madison College Alumni Association, serving as President of the Board from 1962-1966 and in various capacities throughout the 1950s and into the 1970s. She bequeathed her late Victorian era home to the local (Harrisonburg) arts association. Her life and possessions were featured in a 2002 exhibition at the Shenandoah Valley Folk Art and Heritage Center in Dayton, Virginia, "Vignettes from the Mary Spitzer Etter Collection."

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Scope and Content

This collection documents the relationship of Mary Spitzer Etter (class of 1934) with James Madison University as an active alumna, class agent, and member of the Alumni Association's Board of Directors.

Correspondence, 1959-1975, contains several dozen responses to Mary Etter's January 15, 1968 letter of appeal to her classmates to support the Agnes S. Dingledine Retirement Fund honoring "Mama Ding's" years of service as Alumni Secretary. Also included are letters regarding fundraising for the Glee Club Alumni Association as well as the State Madison College Alumni Association and the Harrisonburg/Rockingham Chapter of Madison College Alumnae.

Minutes, 1924-1976, contains the minute book of the Alumni Association 1924-1976 and handwritten minutes of the Harrisonburg/Rockingham Chapter of Madison College Alumnae, 1961-1968.

Treasurer's Reports, Accounting Records and Miscellaneous Papers, 1962-1975, contains financial records of the Harrisonburg/Rockingham Chapter of Madison College Alumnae, including receipts and treasurer's reports from 1963-1968. These materials also contain lists of donors and donations from 1976-1972, as well as a constitution and by-laws (1965-1972), a JMU crest needlepoint pattern, and miscellaneous papers of the Alumni Association.

Publicity and Photographs, 1934-2002, include photographs of Etter as a student and alumni, newspaper coverage of a historic exhibit featuring Mary Etter, two photographs of the 1988 Bluestone Society induction ceremony, and a self-published booklet of poems, 1986.

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The collection is arranged topically in seven folders.

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Administrative Information

Revision Description

David BlackConverted to schema conforming EAD by dtd2schema.vh.xsl. July 20122013-11-21

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collection Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (

Acquisition Information

Received from Alumni Relations in May 2003.

Processing Information

In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in 2017-2018. This collection was previously cataloged as SC 5012.


Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

880 Madison DriveMSC 1704Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807library-special@jmu.eduURL:

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Related Materials

Separated Material

A copy of Etter's book of poems, Celebrating Life, was removed and cataloged. A second copy remains in the collection.

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Index Terms


  • Madison College Alumnae Association
  • James Madison University Alumnae Association

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Collection Inventory

Title/Description Instances
Correspondence, 1959-1975, undated box 1 folder 1
Alumni Association Meeting Minutes, 1924-1968 box 1 folder 2
Alumni Association Meeting Minutes, 1968-1976 box 1 folder 3
Harrisonburg/Rockingham Chapter of Madison College Alumnae minutes, 1961-1968 box 1 folder 4
Harrisonburg/Rockingham Chapter of Madison College Alumnae financial records, 1963-1968 box 1 folder 5
Harrisonburg/Rockingham Chapter of Madison College Alumnae miscellaneous papers, 1962-1975 box 1 folder 6
Publicity and Photographs, 1934-2002 box 1 folder 7