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318 Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, 222 21st Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455

An Inventory of its Records

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Creator: Young Men's Christian Association of Metropolitan Minneapolis
Title: Hi-Y program records
Date: 1914-1971
Collection Number: Y.MPL.3-1
Abstract: Historical data, correspondence, reports, memoranda, articles, newspapers, pamphlets, photographs, scrapbooks, and other records documenting the YMCA Minneapolis Hi-Y programs.
Quantity: 1 cubic foot (1 box)
Location: See Detailed Description section for box listing.


The organization of the Hi-Y program in Minneapolis by W. G. Cartlich, Boys' Work Secretary and I. S. "Moxie" Lindquist began in the fall of 1909 through a partnership between the Minneapolis YMCA and the City of Minneapolis school system. Initially designed as YMCA clubs for high-school age boys within the five Minneapolis high schools (North, East, South, West and Central), the program developed to include the junior high (Junior Hi-Y) school and some grammar school boys (Gra-Y). The clubs were known initially as the "Moral Discussion Clubs"; next, less formally as "Bean Clubs" ( named so for the dinner menu served); and finally as "Hi-Y Clubs" with the growing prominance of the national movement. The clubs were initially for upper classmen only, juniors and seniors; but the popularity grew to include freshman and sophomores, known as "Triangle Clubs." As the area's junior high school plan of education took hold, Junior Hi-Y Clubs were organized, mirroring the original concept. Many local Hi-Y graduates went on to become active members in the University of Minnesota YMCA branch.

The initial objective of the program was "to create, maintain, and extend high standards of Christian living among the students of the high schools." The program was by invitation only, comprised of boys chosen for their leadership in scholarship, athletics, social life and other student activities. Meetings focused on such school-related topics as athletic competition, classroom honesty, clean habits and speech, and standards of social life.

At the height of this program between 1950-1959, there were 1,106 boys in 60 senior Hi-Y clubs in eight high schools, and 991 boys in 60 junior Hi-Y clubs in twelve schools in the Minneapolis community. After graduating, a number of Hi-Y participants transitioned over to the University of Minnesota YMCA branch for their college years, becoming leaders and presidents of that organization.

The social changes of the decades between 1960 and 1989, including the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam conflict, the questioning of traditional institutions such as organized religion, marriage, and the dispersion of the middle class to the suburbs lead to the reduction of interest in the original Hi-Y programming. In response, the Minneapolis YMCA updated the programs to reflect the modern needs of the communities' youth. New programs included Project Motivation, Project Preparation, the Detached Worker program, the Urban program, and Junior Olympics.

(Information taken from Breaking New Ground, Building Strong Lives: 140 Years of Youth Work with the Minneapolis YMCA by Paul Hillmer, 2006; from Builders of Men: A History of the Minneapolis Young Men's Christian Association: 1866-1936 by S. Wirt Wiley and Florence Lehmann; and from the collection).


Reports, manuals, cabinet minutes, workshop materials, and other records documenting the Hi-Y programs in the metropolitan Minneapolis area. Records relating to the YMCA Minneapolis Hi-Y program, its function and activities. Some Junior Hi-Y and Gra-Y materials are included in this collection, as well as materials focusing on the Roosevelt high school Hi-Y programs.


Use of Materials:
This collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright, ownership, and to obtain all the necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials.
Preferred Citation:
[Indicate the cited item and/or series here] Hi-Y Program Records. Young Men's Christian Association of Metropolitan Minneapolis. Kautz Family YMCA Archives. University of Minnesota.
See the Chicago Manual of Style for additional examples.
Processing Information:
Processed by: Jesse Harpestad and Kathryn Oosterhuis, May 2012.
Catalog Record ID number: 6388445


The following section contains a detailed list of the materials in the collection. To request materials, please note the corresponding box number.


The Gra-Y program was a grammar school club for boys mirroring the Hi-Y philosophy of "creating, maintaining, and extending high standards of Christian character throughout the school and community". Many older boys already serving in Hi-Y programs often participate as student facilitators at this level, building upon their leadership skills.
Box 3 Consultation, 1963.


The Hi-Y boys met once a month at their local schools, and once a month at the Central Y during the early years of the program. They were addressed by local educators, leaders, clergymen, and others to discuss "the practical problems of every day life from the Christian point of view." The program's evolution mirrored the changes in the country, through World War I, the depression years, World War II, and the postwar era with a new global perspective, but always maintained a core focus on character and leadership development through Christian principles.
Box 3 Cabinet minutes, 1934-1951. 2 folders.
Roosevelt high school.
Council minutes, 1959-1966. 2 folders.
Goodwill Industries pick up, 1967.
Graduate book, 1924-1933. 1 volume.
High school youth conference, 1971.
Hi-Y (high school), 1950-1959. 2 folders.
Roosevelt high school.
Induction, undated.
Induction, citywide, 1966.
Box 3 "Fishers of Men" club leader recruitment, 1963.
Club officers leadership training, undated. 1 volume.
Group leaders conference (Robert Rice Memorial), 1963-1963. 2 folders.
Group leader training institute, 1964.
Group leaders training manual, 1962.
Leadership seminar, undated.
Officers training, undated.
Training camp, 1935.
Historical material.
Minutes, 1918-1919.
Roosevelt high school.
Miscellaneous, 1961-1969. 5 folders.
Miscellaneous youth programs, 1965.
National Hi-Y assembly, 1965.
Palm Sunday breakfast, 1961-1968. 2 folders.
Program resource book, undated. 1 volume.
Roosevelt camp rosters, Hi-Y and Gra-Y 1953-1956.
Roosevelt high school alumni, Y-Partners fundraising, 2003-2004.
South branch, senior Hi-Y fellowship, 1938-1946. 7 volumes.
Warriors, undated.
West Lake program Hi-Y clubs, 1923-1932.
Workshops, 1964-1965.
Youth Studies:
Box 3 Study commission, 1965-1967.
Studies, youth & Hi-Y, 1963.
Youth studies, 1963.
Youth studies, 1971.
Y-Phalanx, 1962.
Y-Phalanx was a service fraternity for young men in the YMCA.
Y-Teens, blue and silver Tri Hi-Y album, 1960-1969.

Junior Hi-Y

The Junior Hi-Y program was a club in the junior high schools for boys. It was hoped that club participants would "find practice in group living, a sense of community responsibility, worthwhile activity for excess energy, and the fun of giving unselfish service".
Box 3 Miscellaneous, 1948-1949.
Program resource book, undated. 1 volume.
Roosevelt high school.
Program resource book, 1963. 3 folders.


See also the Publications and ephemera records of the YMCA of Metropolitan Minneapolis, separately catalogued in the Kautz Family YMCA Archives.


This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the University of Minnesota Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Boys -- Societies and clubs.
Social work with youth -- Minnesota.
Youth -- Societies and clubs.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Minnesota -- Minneapolis.
Minneapolis (Minn.).
Roosevelt High School (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Young Men's Christian Association of Metropolitan Minneapolis.
Young Men's Christian Association of the City of Minneapolis.