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

An Inventory of His Papers

Biography | Contents Summary/Organization | Administrative/Access Info | Contents Details | Indexed Terms/Access Points


Creator: Ludwig, Marvin
Title: Marvin Ludwig papers
Date: 1951-1997
Collection Number: Y.USA.35
Abstract: Papers of Marvin Ludwig, documenting his work with the YMCA in the United States and Africa. The majority of the materials reflect Ludwig's interest in work with African YMCAs, especially the establishment in Ethiopian YMCA in the 1950s and 1960s and its re-establishment in the 1990s.
Quantity: 3.6 cu. ft. (8 boxes)
Location: See Detailed Description section for box listing.


Marvin Ludwig was born on August 29, 1926 in Sioux City, Iowa. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in physical education and has done graduate work in sociology and group work. He was awarded a Doctorate of Human Letters from George Williams College in 1975 and has also received a Doctorate of Technical Letters from Northwest Technical College.

His first professional position within the YMCA was as a youth director at the Marion, Ohio YMCA, a post he held from 1949-1954. From 1955-1968, Ludwig worked in Ethiopia as a YMCA World Service executive helping to expand that country's YMCA from one association in Addis Ababa to twenty-three centers in eighteen cities. Under his leadership, the organization became the first non-governmental organization to receive the Haile Selassie First Prize Trust Award for outstanding achievements in humanitarian activities. Another achievement of Ludwig's was the training of indigenous leadership, which eventually led to total Ethiopian leadership of the YMCA and the appointment of the first Ethiopian to serve as National Executive Secretary. Also during this time, five YMCA buildings were constructed with only three percent of the support coming from overseas.

In 1968 he became the executive director of YMCA education and income production for the International Committee, traveling extensively across the country raising money for World Service work.

In 1975 Ludwig became president of Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio. He stayed at this post until his retirement in 1994. During this time, he was still very active in YMCA committees and boards, including the Ohio/West Virginia area board from 1976-1980, the Midwest Field Committee from 1980-1990, the National Board from 1984-1992 and the International Committee from 1978-2001.


Personal materials contain correspondence, both personal and professional. Also included are speeches and writings for various organizations and publications, within and outside the YMCA.

Domestic YMCA service details Ludwig's work in the United States with the YMCA, including his tenure at the Marion, Ohio YMCA. Details of his work with various committees can also be found here, including the Archives Committee, area committees, the International Committee and the YMCA Fund, Inc.

Foreign YMCA service includes details of his extensive work with African YMCAs, especially in Ethiopia. Background material on social conditions in Ethiopia prior to the 1974 overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie and religious background are of particular interest in this series.


These documents are organized into the following sections:
Personal Materials
Domestic YMCA Service
Foreign YMCA Service


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]. Marvin Ludwig Papers. Kautz Family YMCA Archives. University of Minnesota.
See the Chicago Manual of Style for additional examples.
Acquisition Information
Accession number: Y0030
Processing Information:
Audio/visual material removed from this collection include 178 photographs.
Processed by: Chan Harries, October 2005.
Additional material, mainly on Ethiopia, received late 2009 and added January 2010.
Catalog Record ID number: 4644196


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

Personal Materials:

Box 1 Biographical information.
Correspondence, undated, 1965-1969, 1977, 1980, 1982-1983, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994. 9 folders.
Devotionals, 1951, 1960-1961.
Salary information, 1967-1968.
Speeches, undated, 1970, 1985, 1988-1990, 1996. 2 folders.
Speech outlines, undated.
World Day of Prayer services, 1957-1958.
Worship services, undated, 1956-1958.
Writings, undated.
Box 2 Writings, 1962, 1965, 1967, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1990, 1996.

Domestic YMCA Service:

Box 2 Archives committee, undated, 1982-1984, 1986, 1990-1995.
Camp Hi-Ridge patches, undated.
Committee on Membership Standards, 1988-1990.
Defiance College, 1975, 1991.
Defiance College Africa tour, 1988.
Great Lakes Region/Midwest Area, 1981-1987.
International Committee, correspondence, 1972, 1977-1980, 1986-1993. 3 folders.
Includes a letter with a memorial tribute to Merlin A. Bishop.
Leader's Club manual, 1981.
Marion, Ohio YMCA, undated, 1952-1953.
Marion, Ohio Tri-Y, undated, 1952-1953.
Box 8 The Marion Star, 1953.
Special coverage of the opening of the new YMCA building.
Box 2 Marion, Ohio, youth programs, undated.
Midwest field office, 1986, 1988-1993.
Mission review task force, undated, 1994.
Box 3 Mission review task force, 1995-1996. 2 folders.
National YMCA Fund, 1995-1997. 6 folders.
National YMCA Fund, correspondence, 1994-1997.
Ohio/West Virginia Area Council, 1983-1987.
Student YMCAs, 1983-1989.
YMCA of the USA, undated, 1977-1985, 1989-1994.
Latin American Federation, 1994.

Foreign YMCA Service:

Box 4 World Alliance, aid policy recodification, 1960.
World Alliance Committee on Program and Leadership, 1966.
World Alliance, correspondence, 1966-1968, 1977, 1981-1991. 2 folders.
World Council, 1994.
World Service fact book, undated.
Report on Ethiopia and Sudan, 1986.
Background, undated.
National church leaders conference, 1990.
CARE Briefs on Development Issues, undated.
Box 4 Eritrea, background information, undated, 1978, 1980.
Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, map, 1965.
Ethiopia, background information, undated, 1960-1965, 1974, 1978-1986, 1990, 1992. 3 folders.
Ethiopia, religious background, 1967.
Box 8 Ethiopian Herald, 1958, 1963, 1971.
Ethiopia YMCA:
Box 4 Ethiopia YMCA, undated and 1962-1969, 1993.
Includes a 1965 floor plan of the new Asmara YMCA building
Box 7 Haile Selassie I's Activitiesundated and 1962-1969. Mainly magazine and newspaper clippings.
Annual and end-of-term reports, 1962-1965.
Annual reports, 1964-1965, 1966-1969, 1971-1972.
Box 4 Correspondence, 1969.
Box 5 Memorandum of association, 1990.
Programming, undated, 1968.
Africa Alliance:
Box 5 Kenya YMCA, 1971, 1981, 1984, 1988.
African YMCAs, background, undated, 1965, 1970, 1972, 1986-1987, 1992, 1995. 2 folders.
Box 3 First meeting of Africa Alliance, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia1965.
Box 5 Courses for African YMCAs, 1965, 1990.
Courses taught by Ludwig on management and leadership.
Africa Alliance, 1987-1998. 5 folders.
Includes correspondence and reports.
Africa/YMCA of the USA partnership seminar report, 1991.
Box 6 Financial development, 1995-1997.
Financial development office, final hand-over report, 1998.
Leadership development, 1989.
Mombasa Covenant follow-up workshop, 1990.
The covenant was signed in 1988 for African YMCA movements to re-dedicate themselves to the renewal of the YMCA movement in Africa.
Partners meeting notes, 1994.
Publication, 1988-1989, 1992, 1997.
Report on CLDP evaluation, 1995.
Consolidated Leadership Development Program, a leadership program developed for African Alliance YMCAs.
Self reliance project, 1996.
Strategic plan, 1992-1993.
YMCAs in Crisis: A Search for a New Vision in Africa, 1988.
Statesmanship Project IV, 1973.
A seminar to promote development, cooperation and coordination among YMCAs in Africa.


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.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Africa.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Ethiopia.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Ohio.
Ethiopia -- Social conditions.
Marion (Ohio).
Ludwig, Marvin.
Africa Alliance of YMCAs.
Defiance College.
World Alliance of YMCAs.
YMCA of the USA.