Our History

Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics turned 90 in 2019!

90th Anniversary

In 1929, the Michigan Dietetic Association (MDA) held its first Meeting at the Post Tavern in Battle Creek, Michigan and adopted its Constitution. It was hosted by the 1st MDA President, Lenna Frances Cooper, who was also one of the founding members of the American Dietetic Association in 1917.  Ms. Cooper also served as the 14thPresident of the American Dietetic Association from 1937 – 38.

MDA now known as the “Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics”, celebrated the 90th Anniversary of our founding in 2019.

MDA/Michigan Academy Timeline

The early history of Michigan Dietetic Association is richly intertwined with the beginning years of the American Dietetic Association. Among the 38 charter members of the American Dietetic Association were seven Michigan dietitians including Lenna Frances Cooper, the first Michigan Dietetic Association president 1929-1930 and fourteenth American Dietetic Association president 1937-1938.

During ADA’s first four decades, seven Michigan dietitians served as ADA presidents. A legacy of service and advocacy was established by these pioneering dietitians and has continued through the years as Michigan nutrition professionals have served the public through nutrition awareness campaigns and legislative activity for public health issues.

Michigan remains on the forefront of the dietetics profession through our highly respected university and internship programs. Hundreds of registered dietitians throughout the U. S. and many foreign countries have received degrees or completed internships at our longstanding programs. MDA demonstrates the ideals of early founders by being risk takers and innovators. We “never say never” and pursue licensure for nutrition professionals in a state with a challenging political climate.

  • 1917 The American Dietetic Association is founded in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1917 by a visionary group of women, led by Lenna F. Cooper and the organizer’s first president, Lulu C. Graves, dedicated to helping the government conserve food and improve the public’s health and nutrition during World War I.
  • 1929 First MDA Meeting at Post Tavern, Battle Creek, hosted by the 1st MDA President, Lenna Frances Cooper. Constitution developed.
  • 1931 MDA affiliated with ADA on April 2, 1942 25th Annual ADA Meeting at the Hotel Statler, Detroit. ‘The Dietitian and the War” was the topic of the presidential address.
  • 1952 The first MDA scholarship of $120.00 was awarded.
  • 1969 ADA adopted registration. Nine districts for MDA.
  • 1970 MDA was incorporated on April 28, 1970, as a Michigan nonprofit corporation and said corporation is validly in existence under the laws of this state.
  • 1980 Michigan Dietetic Association Education and Research Institute formed. Lobbyist hired to facilitate licensure.
  • 1981 First Executive Secretary. New bylaws established.
  • 1988 Eight dietetic practice groups existed in Michigan.
  • 1994 -1996 Program year changed to June. Licensure team established.
  • 1998 Licensure bill vetoed by Governor after winning majority votes of support in both House and Senate.
  • 2000 MDA website established.
  • 2001 New governance structure
  • 2002 Introduced internet and conference call technology used to conduct business.
  • 2004 75th Anniversary Reception held in Troy, Michigan. MDA membership over 2000. First public forum “Michigan Healthy Habits For Healthy Kids.
  • 2012 On June 11, 2012 the Michigan Dietetic Association officially changed its name to the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, in response to the ADA name change in January 2012 to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • 2019. The Michigan Academy turned 90!