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Luther H. Buchele


Luther H. Buchele came from a Kansas farm family that had belonged to cooperatives for years. As a student at the University of Kansas he lived in a cooperative house. This cooperative background played an important role in his career. He helped found the North American Students of Cooperative League (predecessor to the North American Students of Cooperation) in 1946 and served for two years as its executive secretary. In 1951 he moved to Ann Arbor where he served for 34 years as the executive secretary for the Inter-Cooperative Council, the governing body of student cooperatives at the University of Michigan. He expanded the 5-house, 170-member cooperative system on campus to a 23-house, 512-member organization.

Buchele is hailed by many as the father of the student cooperative movement because the cooperatives he built served as models for those at other universities. He served as a coach and trainer for generations of college cooperators, many of who have become leaders in today's cooperatives.

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