Military Ball

An MSU Army ROTC Tradition

1_web.jpgThe Department of Military Science at Michigan Agricultural College was founded during the school year 1884-85. One of the many traditions established since the program's development is the Military Ball, an annual formal dinner-dance hosted by the Spartan Battalion and the Department of     Military Science. The Ball evolved from military "hops" which were organized by the Michigan Agricultural College Officers' Associ­ation and were held each term during the early 1900's. In 1909 Cadets were required for the first time to wear their uniforms to the hops. This gave the affairs a distinctly military flair and dramatically distinguished them from other formal social functions on-campus.

In the fall of 1920, the custom of electing coed "sponsors" for Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps was established. The women were given honorary   Cadet officer rank and attended all military events. The sponsors were formally "crowned" at the winter   Coronation Ball, making it the most important social event of the year.

During the early 1970's, with the admission of women into the Army ROTC program, the sponsor coronations ended and the MSU Military Ball assumed its current form. Today, it serves not only as a premiere campus social event, but also as part of the Cadets' formal education on customs and traditions of the military service.