2 Before 1922

For some years prior to 1915, there was a growing feeling among the members of the American Mathematical Society (founded in 1888) that this organization, which had done so much to encourage research, was no longer meeting the widening needs of the teachers of college mathematics. The Mathematical Association of America was formally organized at a meeting on December 30 and 31, 1915, at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. Of the 104 persons listed in attendance at this meeting, none were from the six southeastern states.

Shortly after the appearance of the American Mathematical Monthly in January, 1916, Dean R.P. Stephens of the University of Georgia wrote the Editor of the MONTHLY, H.E. Slaught, about organizing a Southeastern Section. The reply from the Association President, E.R. Hedrick, was encouraging and included a copy of the regulations for establishing sections.

On March 15, 1916, Dean Stephens sent out letters to the leading universities and colleges in the southeast, suggesting that a Southeastern Section be formed. With many favorable responses, Dean Stephens called for an organizational meeting in Athens, Georgia, in June, 1916. This choice of times was unfortunate, and with so few able to attend, this organizational meeting was postponed for one year, until June, 1917.

The first summer meeting of the Association was held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on September 1 and 2, 1916. There were 111 members present, including J.R. Messick of Alabama Polytechnic Institute, Winona M. Perry of Judson College and Dean Stephens.

The second attempt to hold an organizational meeting was not successful, since June, 1917, found the country in the midst of World War I. Once again, this first meeting was postponed. In the fall of 1921, at the home of Floyd Field in Decatur, Georgia, organizational plans were made for the third time. Attending this meeting were M.T. Peed, Douglas Rumble, J.F. Messick, W.W. Rankin, Jr., R.P. Stephens and Floyd Field.