░─├┼┴¨║¤▓╩╣┘═° Archives contains  a collection in excess of 4,500 linear feet of documents.

Our History & Archives

Our History

A group of visionaries from Flint founded Kettering University in 1919 as The School of Automobile Trades. It opened under the direction of Major Albert Sobey with the goal of training technical and management talent for the rapidly growing automobile industry. By 1923 the school had grown to offer a full four-year cooperative education program enrolling more than 600 full-time students, and in recognition of this growth Major Sobey rechristened it the Flint Institute of Technology. Three years later and appreciating the importance of cooperative education, the General Motors Corporation acquired the school, renaming it the General Motors Institute (GMI).

For the next 56 years, GM operated the school as GMI, and it became for the company one of its best sources of creative and successful engineering and managerial talent. By 1945 the Institute had added a fifth-year thesis requirement and had evolved into a full degree-granting university with a unique educational model built upon an ongoing and strong commitment to cooperative education.

In 1982, GM divested itself of ownership of the school,┬áand it became the private, non-profit University it is today,┬áhowever first under the┬áname GMI Engineering┬á& Management┬áInstitute (GMI-EMI).┬áShortly thereafter┬áthe institution began┬áoffering MasterÔÇÖs-level┬ágraduate programs┬áto both on and off┬ácampus students.

On January 1, 1998, GMI-EMI changed┬áits name a final time to honor,┬áCharles Kettering (1876-1958), an inventor, an industrialist,┬áand an early and strong proponent of professional┬ácooperative education. Today as ░─├┼┴¨║¤▓╩╣┘═°, the school continues this historic tradition, and marked its centennial year in 2019. Over that proud 100-year history,┬á░─├┼┴¨║¤▓╩╣┘═° has become one of the countryÔÇÖs┬ápremier STEM institutions and is known around the world┬áfor educating great and successful leaders, entrepreneurs,┬áinnovators, engineers, scientists, and business people.

Reflect, Inspire & Share: ░─├┼┴¨║¤▓╩╣┘═° Stories

Learn more about the institutionÔÇÖs unique history.

░─├┼┴¨║¤▓╩╣┘═° at 100 book cover

Centennial Book

With 2019ÔÇÖs ÔÇť░─├┼┴¨║¤▓╩╣┘═°/GMI at 100,ÔÇŁ author, historian and consultant Troupe ÔÇťTimÔÇŁ Noonan captured the institutionÔÇÖs unique story of perseverance and adaptation in its first century. Noonan has published over 35 books specializing in institutional and family histories and written extensively for Life, Esquire, Forbes and other publications.

Archives and Special Collections

The ░─├┼┴¨║¤▓╩╣┘═°┬áArchives is located ┬áat Factory One in Flint.┬áThe focus at the┬áarchives┬áis to preserve and provide access to the history of ┬á░─├┼┴¨║¤▓╩╣┘═°, the automotive industry and Flint.

The Special Collections and University┬áArchives was established in 1974, largely through the vision and research interests of Richard P. Scharchburg and members of the UniversityÔÇÖs Alumni Foundation.┬áThe nexus of the collection was the acquisition of the William C. ÔÇťBillyÔÇŁ Durant Collection from DurantÔÇÖs widow, and has grown into a collection in excess of 4,500 linear feet of documents (manuscripts and photographs, mainly), plus several hundred books and other ÔÇťartifacts.ÔÇŁ

The emphasis of the collection documents the early history of the automobile industryÔÇönot surprisingly, given the early history of the University itself. Because of this, however, the collection is also an excellent source for the history of Flint and the history of ░─├┼┴¨║¤▓╩╣┘═° itself; the three are inexorably intertwined.

The collection also documents the administrative, academic and social life of ░─├┼┴¨║¤▓╩╣┘═°. Beginning with the papers of Major Albert Sobey, the┬áarchives┬áis the home of the records kept by his successors as well as many other offices of the University. The┬áarchives┬áhas also collected copies of The Reflector, the yearbook published by the student body, and other student organizations, as wellÔÇöand the┬áarchives┬áis always looking to add more of those kinds of records.┬á

The Charles F. Kettering Collection is one of the largest collections in the archives and has been used by scholars worldwide. The archivesÔÇÖ digital photo collection now exceeds 100,000 images. A partial online catalog along with digitized photos can be found on the┬áarchives website.

The Humanities Art Center is located on the fourth floor of the Academic Building on campus. The gallery features world-class exhibits and collections that exemplify the craftsmanship of local and national artists. A variety of media are represented including paintings, photographs, sculpture and ceramics. The center also holds a permanent collection of over 500 pieces.

Hours of Operation

 Archives at Factory One

The Archives is open to the public from 10┬áa.m. to 4 p.m. (ET), Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.┬á░─├┼┴¨║¤▓╩╣┘═°'s Curator of Special Collections may be reached at (810) 762-9690.