Internationalism has been an important characteristic of Springfield College since the very beginning of the school. Founded in 1885 as the School for Christian Workers, Springfield College's main purpose was to train YMCA professionals. This included secretaries (administrators/CEOs) and physical directors (professionals who ran the gymnasiums and gymnasium programs). Moreover, Springfield College’s academic programs, such as physical education and sport training-related programs, attracted many international students involved in YMCA and other institutions. Over the years, the college-educated international leaders worldwide have sent many of their graduates to work overseas. The establishment of the International Center was achieved under Dr. Attallah A. Kidess’s guidance and initiative. In 1965, with a gift of $15,000 from Olive Doggett, President Laurence Locke Doggett’s wife, he dedicated the new International Center in a ceremony in Carlisle Foyer of Alumni Hall. The International Center facilitates international education programs, helps international students and visiting scholars, promotes the college internationally, and helps internationalize the Springfield College campus.
The International Center Records collection contains information created and gathered by the International Center of Springfield College. This includes information from and by individuals, institutions, and governments from all world regions, including Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, the Pacific Islands, and South and North America. Most of the information begins with the establishment of the International Center in 1965, with the bulk of the material from the late 1970s through the early 2000s when Dr. Frank Fu and Dr. Kenneth Wall were the Director of the International Center. There is also material in the collection from before the International Center's founding, mostly reports, alumni lists, and publications. Types of materials within the collection include manuscripts, reports, budgets, meeting minutes, newsletters, pamphlets and brochures, advertisements, photographic prints and slides, immigration materials, memos, speeches, invitations, audiotapes, newspaper and magazine articles, manuals, postcards, and correspondence.