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Frank B. Martin - Biography
The founder and architect of the Machine Records Conference(MRC) was a consummate leader and organizer disguised as a serious, quiet, low-keyprofessional participant. He was highly respected for his leadership, his technical knowledge and his understanding of the processes and politics of university administration.
Frank was born in Benton Harbor, Michigan on October 15, 1915. In 1938 he graduated from Michigan State College with a degree in Business Administration and in 1943 received a Masters degree from Harvard University in Industrial Administration. Frank was appointed Manager of the MSC Tabulating Department in 1938 and held that position (later known as the Director of MSU Data Processing) until his retirement on April 1, 1975. During World War II he had a leave of absence to serve in the Army Quartermaster Corps with the rank of Captain.
During his tenure at Michigan State, Frank continually upgraded his department to meet new university needs and regularly installed innovative systems. During these years he was active with several organizations associated with machine accounting methods and was a regular speaker at IBM Executive programs. He was an active member and officer of the Central Michigan Chapter of the National Machine Accountants Association. In addition, he addressed various professional associations such as AACRAO and NACUBO and was a member of CAUSE, GUIDE and the Big 10 Directors Group.
Frank married Ruth E. Bailey and their six children were all born and raised in East Lansing. Ruth Martin supported Frank's work in the early years of the Conference and after Frank's death, she was an annual guest of the Conference and presented The Frank Martin Award to its recipients. Ruth died on December 1, 1989 in East Lansing.
Frank had broad support for his personal vision of he structure and objectives of CUMREC for nearly twenty years. From time to time, the early pioneers, participants and officers of the first twenty years look back and discuss Frank's influence on CUMREC. All generally held him in high regard and supported his plan, often without realizing the degree of control he exercised. Some have said affectionately, "he really knew how to get things accomplished through others" or "he made us feel it was our plan." They saw in him a pioneer, an innovator and a leader in the development and use of information technology in colleges and universities. His theme was "sharing ideas."
Very modest himself, Frank was anxious to recognize other contributors. The first Conference Service Award was clandestinely created and first presented in his name to honor Leo Corbaci and Ernest Zimmermann at CUMREC '73. In order to avoid Frank's scrutiny and likely rejection, approval for the name of The Frank Martin Service Award was not requested from the Board (Frank was the Chair) prior to the presentation. After it had been presented for the fifteenth year, the official creation of the award was approved retroactively.
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