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College of the City of Detroit

Detroit, Michigan



Digital copies of the 1927 and 1933 Griffin are part of the Yearbook Collection found at The Wayne State University archivists were very helpful, providing the seal and access to other digital yearbooks. 


The Detroit Board of Education founded the Detroit Junior College in 1917, establishing it in “Old Main.”  In 1924 the College of Pharmacy and the Detroit College of Education were added to the campus, and Detroit Junior College became a four-year college, now called College of the City of Detroit.  The original junior college became the College of Liberal Arts.  The first Bachelor’s degrees were awarded in 1925.  The 1927 Griffin shows that the school’s first graduating class numbered 90.  By 1930, the college was offering graduate work in Liberal Arts and Education.


The most distinctive student activity was the Class Games.  The Freshman and Sophomore classes engaged in three contests on Belle Isle—a 20-to-the-side ball push on a muddy field, a tug of war across an icy stream, and a flag rush, in which each side attempted to capture the other’s flag.  In addition to the school’s publications, debate, drama, music and opera, each class sponsored a dance.  College of the City of Detroit offered the usual number of academic fraternities; additionally it boasted of no fewer than 11 social fraternities and four sororities to enhance the life of the school.


In 1933 College of the City of Detroit was merged with the Medical College, the Engineering College, and the Graduate School.  The new entity ultimately took the name Wayne State University, a school in operation today.


Renovated Old Main in 2008 (User:Ipoellet<>) CC BY-SA 3.0 accessed 10-19-2017


Bricks and Mortar

Old Main dates from 1896, when it was built to house Detroit Central High School. The original "T" shaped building had 103 rooms for over 1,600 students.  The auditorium, one of the largest rooms, seated over 2,000.  The building featured maple floors, oak doors, and a clock tower.  Detroit Junior College and later Colleges of the City of Detroit took over more and more of the use of the building, pushing aside high school use. 


When the roof was replaced in 1952, the building was deemed to have 200 years of service left.  However by 1980, the years of student use were taking their toll on the building.  In 1985 Wayne State began a fundraising effort to rescue the building.  In 1994, when the building was close to a century old, the state of Michigan appropriated funds for renovation.  The building celebrated its 100th year of service in 1996.


Today it is home to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences of Wayne State University.






      Team name: Tartars

     Colors: Green and Gold


Men’s teams at C.C.D. participated in football, basketball, track and tennis.  In 1927 the teams became a part of the Michigan Collegiate conference along with the normal schools that are now Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan and Central Michigan. College Football Data Warehouse shows that C.C.D. played football from 1918 onward, the early years as a junior college.  In 1920-21 C.C.D. had a 13-1-3 record, but up until the merger which resulted in Wayne State, these were the only good years.


The Women’s Athletic Association sponsored a number of sports and recreational activities for coeds.  C.C.D. fielded teams in basketball, tennis and field hockey, playing intercollegiate matches on a limited basis.




1927 women's field hockey team split games with the Teachers College.  (1928 Griffin, Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University.)

Note: Images are used in accordance with their “terms of use” as I understand those terms.  Recopying or republishing these images may be restricted or forbidden.

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