The Multicultural Student Center (MSC) was established in 1988 as a direct result of organizing efforts by students of color and their allies (See, Holley Report). The MSC's first Home (1988-1998) was in the Memorial Union where it was strategically referred to as the "Interim Multicultural Student Center (IMSC)". In 1999 the the MSC simultaneously celebrated its 10th anniversary and the dedication of its new facility located on the 2nd floor of the Red Gym (716 Langdon St.). The Multicultural Student Center (MSC) – a unit of the Division of Student Life – honors the Center's historic legacy in its mission : To collaboratively strengthen and sustain an inclusive campus where all students, particularly students of color and other historically underserved students, are engaged and can realize an authentic Wisconsin Experience. In order to do so, the MSC grounds all of its work in a Social Justice framework. Social Justice, which is defined as: "equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs" (Adams, Bell, Griffin; 2007), is our interpretation of the Wisconsin Idea.
Compiled in conjunction with the MSC's 25th (Silver) anniversary, this archive strives to document and preserve the history of UW Madison students who are underrepresented in campus collections. The bulk of the MSC Archive comprises representative samples from photograph albums arranged by Candace McDowell, the founding Director of the Multicultural Student Center. The photo albums cover the years between 1991 and 2007 and document events and activities sponsored by the MSC. The annual Multicultural Student Orientation and Reception (MCOR) and yearly MSC graduation celebrations are particularly well represented in the collection. The albums depict other Multicultural Student Center events, including speakers, retreats, and student trips as well as, daily life at the MSC. The photo albums also document events and activities of affiliated student organizations like the Wisconsin Black Student Union, the Hmong American Student Association, Wunk Sheek, La Colectiva Cultural de Aztlan, and many others. This collection includes posters and flyers advertising: movies, speakers, dances, lectures, and other events sponsored by allied student organizations in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.