Max Worthington Papers, 1926-1990

Overview of the Collection

Worthington, Max, 1909-2003
Max Worthington Papers
1926-1990 (inclusive)
1.2 linear feet
Collection Number
The Max Worthington Papers consist of a scrapbook chronicling his career, personal and professional correspondence, and 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.
Montana State University Library, Merrill G. Burlingame Special Collections
Montana State University-Bozeman Library
Merrill G Burlingame Special Collections
P.O. Box 173320
Bozeman, MT
Telephone: 4069944242
Fax: 4069942851
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

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 DescriptionReturn to Top

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.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Series 1: Scrapbooks and scrapbook materials, 1926-1990

Series 2: Correspondence, 1932-1989

Series 3: Photographs, 1926-1980s

Acquisition Information

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.

Processing Note

This collection was processed 2009 May 18

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series 1:  Scrapbooks and scrapbook materials, 1926-1990Return to Top

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.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1
2 1
Newspaper clippings
2 2
Newspaper clippings: WWII
2 3
Newspaper clippings: athletics, Montana State University
2 4
Newspaper clippings: Bill Duncan
2 5
Newspaper clippings: 80s legislation
2 6
Newspaper clippings, miscellaneous
2 7
Military service: application, commission
2 8
Military service: orders
2 9-10
Military service: training
2 11
Military service: U.S.A.T. Sea Barb
2 12
Military service: U.S.A.T. Evangeline
2 13
Military service: travel vouchers and equipment inventories
2 14
Military service: medical
2 15
Military service: life insurance
2 16
Military service: postwar papers
2 17
Military service: certificates, dog tag, identification cards
2 18
Military service: memorabilia
3 1
Audiotape of 75th anniversary of university
3 2
Retirement party
3 3
MSU Hall of Fame programs and application forms
3 4
Worthington Arena
3 5
Alumni: team lists of football, basketball and track members
3 6
Assorted dedication programs
3 7
Dorothy Worthington, employment papers
3 8
Richard Nixon autograph
3 9
Certificates: Max and Dorothy Worthington
3 10
Legislation: admission standards
3 11
Legislation: referendums
3 12
Legislation: rural areas development
3 13
Legislation: miscellaneous
3 14-15
Special Olympics
3 16
Artwork from student: Mustapha Ghaddar
3 17
Diverse memorabilia: poetry, stories, brochures and miscellaneous souvenirs

Series 2:  Correspondence, 1932-1989Return to Top

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.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
4 1
4 2
4 3
Correspondence: Bill Duncan
4 4
Correspondence: Retirement
4 5
4 6
Correspondence: MSU Hall of Fame
4 7

Series 3:  Photographs, 1926-1980sReturn to Top

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 Philippines, 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.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
4 8
Photograph #1-4: Max Worthington, individual and with others
4 9
Photograph #5-6: Montana Basketball Championships (on court)
4 10
Photograph #7-8: MSU reunions: basketball and track teams
4 11
Photograph #9-39: Hall of Fame Banquet and Homecoming
4 12
Photograph #40-61: various reunions including banquet for Ott Romney
4 13
Photograph #62-63: snapshots of Hall of Fame and Worthington Arena plaques
4 14
Photograph #64-87: WWII pictures of shipmates, ships, gunnery practice and ship life
4 15
Photograph #88-117: WWII pictures of ports of call, native peoples and recreation
4 26
Photograph #118-137: Retirement party photos in a ring binder

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Basketball players-Montana-Bozeman
  • Basketball teams-Montana-Bozeman
  • Coaches (Athletics)-Montana-Bozeman
  • College sports-Montana-Bozeman
  • Deans (Education)--Montana--Bozeman
  • Football teams-Montana-Bozeman
  • Halls of fame-Montana-Bozeman
  • School sports-Montana
  • Special Olympics
  • Track and field-Montana-Bozeman
  • Veterans-Montana-Bozeman
  • World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations, American
  • World War, 1939-1945-Veterans-Montana-Bozeman

Personal Names

  • Breeden, John W., 1904-1977
  • Duncan, Bill, 1897-1967
  • Dyche, Schubert, 1893-1982
  • Glynn, Val G., 1903-1992
  • Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994
  • Paisley, Marjorie, 1909-2001
  • Renne, Roland Roger, 1905-1989
  • Romney, G. Ott-(George Ottinger), 1892-1973
  • Stenerud, Jan, 1942-
  • Storti, Tony
  • Thompson, J. Ashworth-(John Ashworth), 1906-1990
  • Ward, Frank
  • Ward, Orland
  • Wigger, Lones

Corporate Names

  • Golden Bobcats (Basketball team)
  • Montana State University--Bozeman--Alumni and alumnae
  • Montana State University--Bozeman--Faculty
  • Montana State University--Bozeman-Basketball
  • Montana State University--Bozeman-Football
  • Montana State University--Bozeman-Sports
  • Montana State University--Bozeman-Track and field
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon
  • United States-Navy-History-World War, 1939-1945
  • Worthington Arena (Bozeman, Mont.)

Form or Genre Terms

  • Albums (Books)
  • Interviews
  • Oral histories
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks