By on May 3, 2017

The following is a little bit of a history about APPA, MIAPPA, and SPPA. I am hoping that by starting this, we can get some of the old timers to take on the challenge of writing a more complete history so there is a more accurate record of MIAPPA’s beginning.

According to the APPA office, APPA was formed in Chicago in 1914. It split into regions between 1950 and 1952. Several of the current member institutions of Midwest APPA (MAPPA) were the original charter members of APPA. Although the acronym of APPA, which stood for the Association of Physical Plant Administrators of Universities and Colleges stayed the same, in the early 1990’s the name was changed to APPA/ The Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers.

Michigan’s APPA (MIAPPA) began around 1967, when Ted Simon, Assistant Vice President for Physical Plant at Michigan State University, and Gordon Hellman, Director of Physical Plant at Michigan Technological University, got together. Ted was a part of the Big Ten Physical Plant Association and the two felt there was a need for a similar group in Michigan. Things are a little sketchy at this writing, but I am guessing it started with the state colleges and universities that were in existence at that time.

It appears that MIAPPA began expanding in the late 1980’s from the then 15 state colleges and universities to include community colleges, private colleges and private universities. It now has approximately 80 schools as members.

At some point, Jon MacLeod, Assistance Vice President of Physical Plant at Central Michigan University, became the Dean of MIAPPA and served as a stabilizing force in keeping it running smoothly. When Jon moved on to the University of Iowa in 1987, Bill Blumhardt, Former Director of Facilities Management at Michigan Tech, assumed the role of Dean and very ably carried that on for many years.

In looking at a MIAPPA contact list published in 1985, of the 15 schools listed, there are no longer any physical plant administrators still in the business. The logo at the top of this page and currently being utilized is the new MiAPPA logo!

Earl Morrow
Central Michigan University