Creator: Worthington, Max, 1909-2003

Provenance Note: The Max Worthington Papers were donated to both the MSU Archives and Special Collections by Max Worthington in several deposits between 1979 and 2001. These separate donated accessions (#2433, #78012, #90069, #92009, #92041, #94009 and #94057) have been integrated into one collection.

Historical Note: Max Worthington was born Oct 7, 1909 in Billings, Montana. He was a star athlete at Billings High School in both football and basketball. He started his college career at Montana State College (now Montana State University, Bozeman) in the fall of 1927. He continued his football and basketball careers from his freshman year, most notably as a member of the Montana State "Golden Bobcats" basketball team. In 1932, he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education. He took a job as a coach and teacher in Shelby, Montana from 1932 - 1938. In 1933, he married Dorothy Douglas of Wisdom, Montana, and they had one son, Douglas. In 1938, he moved to Helena High School, where in 1942 he became Director of Athletics. In 1943, he joined the U.S. Navy and served in the Pacific Theater. After the war, he joined the Montana State College faculty in 1946 as Assistant Professor of Physical Education and Assistant Football Coach and Basketball Coach. In 1948, he became the Associate Director of Public Service, and in 1950, the Secretary of the Alumni Association. In 1964, he was appointed Dean of Student Affairs and Service, a post he held until his retirement in 1973. As Dean of Students Emeritus, Max lived in Bozeman and continued to support the athletic events of the Bobcats and other university programs until his death in 2003.

Content Description Note: Max Worthington's personal papers have been arranged into three series. Series 1 includes: a scrapbook and many scrapbook materials from his long career which include newspaper clippings, programs, postcards, social ephemera, brochures, World War II naval papers, collected materials of personal interest (including a Richard Nixon autograph), one oral interview, testimonials and certificates. Series 2 consists of personal and professional correspondence. (Researchers are reminded that official records generated by Max Worthington in his capacity as an MSU faculty member and administrator are held within the pertinent record groups within the University Archives.) Series 3 consists of photographs. Subjects present in the collection include the Montana State "Golden Bobcats;" the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity; college football, basketball and track teams; the Helms Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame; the Montana State University Hall of Fame; Montana high school athletics; Worthington Arena; Max Worthington's retirement party; "Golden Bobcat" reunions; and the Montana Special Olympics. Individuals prominently featured are Ott Romney, J. Ashworth "Cat" Thompson, Frank Ward, Orland Ward, Valery Glynn, John "Brick" Breeden, Schubert Dyche, Marjorie Paisley, Roland R. Renne, Tony Storti, Jan Stenerud, Lones Wigger and Bill Duncan.


Series 1: Scrapbooks and scrapbook materials, 1926-1990
Series 2: Correspondence, 1932-1989
Series 3: Photographs, 1926-1980s

Series 1: Scrapbooks and scrapbook materials, 1926-1990

Series one contains materials and papers accumulated by Max Worthington from his high school years to the late 1980s. A substantial scrapbook of college days includes his sports career and his membership in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Photographs of classmates and fraternity brothers along with newspaper clippings, correspondence, social ephemera and brochures are present. There are numerous newspaper clipping files about the "Golden Bobcats," WWII, athletics and special events at Montana State University, legislation of the 1980s affecting the University system, the career of sports writer Bill Duncan and other diverse subjects. A comprehensive group of military records trace his service in the Naval Reserve on active duty from 1943-1946 in the Pacific Theater during WWII. His recognition as a significant athletic of the 1920-30s is represented by files of programs, tributes, souvenirs and certificates for the Montana State College Hall of Fame, Worthington Arena, and alumni reunions. Files of materials for the 1989 Montana Special Olympics, artwork of a grateful student, a group of Dorothy Worthington's employment records, legislative information of the 1980s, an audio tape interview for the 75th anniversary of the university, retirement party records, a Richard Nixon autograph and a selection of diverse memorabilia completes the series. Groups of materials are arranged in approximate chronological order.

Box 1
1. Scrapbook, 1926-1981

Box 2
1. Newspaper clippings: 1929-1930
2. Newspaper clippings: WWII
3. Newspaper clippings: athletics, Montana State University
4. Newspaper clippings: Bill Duncan
5. Newspaper clippings: 80s legislation
6. Newspaper clippings, miscellaneous
7. Military service: application, commission
8. Military service: orders
9. Military service: training
10. Military service: training (cont)
11. Military service: U.S.A.T. Sea Barb
12. Military service: U.S.A.T. Evangeline
13. Military service: travel vouchers and equipment inventories
14. Military service: medical
15. Military service: life insurance
16. Military service: postwar papers
17. Military service: certificates, dog tag, identification cards
18. Military service: memorabilia

Box 3
1. Audiotape of 75th anniversary of university, 1968
2. Retirement party
3. MSU Hall of Fame programs and application forms
4. Worthington Arena
5. Alumni: team lists of football, basketball and track members
6. Assorted dedication programs
7. Dorothy Worthington, employment papers, 1955-1970
8. Richard Nixon autograph
9. Certificates: Max and Dorothy Worthington (1928-1990)
10. Legislation: admission standards, 1980s
11. Legislation: referendums, 1980s
12. Legislation: rural areas development, 1980s
13. Legislation: miscellaneous, 1980s
14. Special Olympics, 1989
15. Special Olympics, 1989 (cont)
16. Artwork from student: Mustapha Ghaddar
17. Diverse memorabilia: poetry, stories, brochures and miscellaneous souvenirs.

Contents | Special Collections

Series 2: Correspondence, 1932-1989

Correspondence collected by Max Worthington has been arranged in chronological order with special files for retirement and Hall of Fame congratulatory letters and a file of letters between Max Worthington and sports writer Bill Duncan.

Box 4
1. Correspondence: 1932-1961
2. Correspondence: 1962-1966
3. Correspondence: 1966-1967 (Bill Duncan)
4. Correspondence: 1973 (Retirement)
5. Correspondence: 1973-1985
6. Correspondence: 1986 (MSU Hall of Fame)
7. Correspondence: 1986-1989

Contents | Special Collections

Series 3: Photographs, 1926-1980s

Collected photographs include posed and candid shots of Max Worthington; athletic events, teams and reunions; university celebrations; WWII snap shots of shipmates, shipboard activities and ports of call. Two booklets of photographs chronicle some of the life in Lae, Papua New Guinea and the Papuan natives while stationed on the U.S.A.T. Sea Barb at Milne Bay, New Guinea with additional pictures of Leyte, the Phillipines, and Australia. The final group of photos are in a ring binder which chronicles Max Worthington's 1973 retirement party with friends and colleagues of the university community.

Box 4 (cont.)
8. Photograph #1-4: Max Worthington, individual and with others
9. Photograph #5-6: 1926-1927 Montana Basketball Championships (on court)
10. Photograph #7-8: MSU reunions: basketball and track teams
11. Photograph #9-39: Hall of Fame Banquet and Homecoming, 1986
12. Photograph #40-61: various reunions including banquet for Ott Romney
13. Photograph #62-63: snapshots of Hall of Fame and Worthington Arena plaques
14. Photograph #64-87: WWII pictures of shipmates, ships, gunnery practice and ship life
15. Photograph #88-117: WWII pictures of ports of call, native peoples and recreation
16. Photograph #118-137: Retirement party photos in a ring binder

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 5/18/09