Forms Part of Record Group No. 3, Records of the Office of the President
ACCESS: This collection is open to the public upon request.
COPYRIGHT: Please consult the archivist for information about duplication or publishing of any materials from this collection.
Paul Frederick Douglass was born in Corinth, New York on November 7, 1904. He received his A.B. from Wesleyan University and his Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati in 1931 where he was a Taft fellow in government and public law. He also attended the University of Berlin for two years as a fellow in economics and jurisprudence. He was admitted to the Vermont Bar in the late 1930s.
Douglass was an author, journalist, lawyer, Methodist minister, and a member of the Vermont state senate. He worked as a reporter and educational editor for the Cincinnati Post from 1926 to 1928 and as a correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor. In 1933, he was ordained and served as a pastor of the Methodist Church in Poultney, Vermont until 1941. When serving in the Vermont State Legislature from 1933-1943, he chaired the House Committee on Education.
Douglass was nominated to be president of the American University by a special committee of the Board of Trustees when he was 37 years old. In his first month at the University, he impressed the students when he interviewed all the seniors, administered the graduate record examination, revitalized the school’s chapel programs, and preached to the students during Sunday services.
Douglass led AU through the turbulent war years. He was very active in the movement to establish the United Nations and worked diligently on refugee relief programs and international organizations. Hew as the first president to help foster integration at AU and he also initiated courses for disabled veterans of the war.
In 1951, Douglass decided against re-election to the presidency so he could spend more time writing. He became an advisor to the South Korean President Syngman Rhee from 1952 to 1955. From 1971 to 1978 he acted as General Counsel to the postmaster’s league in Washington.
Douglass never married and died at the age of 83 in Rutland, Vermont after a long illness. He authored more than a dozen books on a variety of subjects including city planning, education, estate planning, industrial parks, and recreation.
Scope and Content Note
The collection documents Douglass’ tenure as President of American University (1941-1951) through correspondence, programs, questionnaires, reports, and speeches. Topics include: the administration of American University, the Alfred Sloan Foundation Teaching Institute on Economics, the Methodist Church, and veterans’ benefits.
The Collection was transferred to the Archives when it was discovered in the attic of the McKinley Building in 1962.
Box & Folder Listing
Academy of Time Fellowship - Gordon Cowan Manuscript, 1948
Accreditation - American Chemical Society
Administration - Groups and their Administration - Preliminary Draft of Outline - An Orientation for Technical Courses in Administration - Faculty Seminar, L.C. Marshall, 1938
Administrative Committee of the Board of Trustees, 1941-1943
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation - Teaching Institute of Economics
1945-1949 (2 folders)
1964, correspondence Hurst
Alumni contributions and gifts, 1926-1949
Area Studies - Institute of the Americas Proposal, 1949
North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools - Faculty Records,
A - M, 1950-1951
N - Z, 1950-1951
Audio visual aids, 1945-1948
Budget Data, 1951-1953 (2 folders)
Bureau of Social Science Research, 1950-1956 (2 folders)
Campus plans and orientation literature
Citizens Policy Conference, 1951
Clippings (mostly relating to problems of returning and disabled veterans)
Cohen, Benjamin - Luncheon for Assistant Secretary of the United Nations, Sept. 24, 1947
College Program - Colloquiums and Seminars, 1949-1950
Committee of Three, 1951 - Committee on the Proposed Protestant-sponsored School of International Service - Harold Davis, Dec, 19, 1951
Department of Communication - Annual Report, 1950 (AC6309.1)
The Community War Fund, 1943-1946
Correspondence - General, 1935-1941 (2 folders)
C.C. McCabe Lecture by Kenneth DeCourcy, 1950
Development Program - New York Meeting, May 1951
AU and its Educational Service - Memo from Pres. Douglass, Feb 7, 1944
President Douglass – Chronology
Paul Douglass – Copies (Obituary, Resignation, etc.)
President Douglass Correspondence, 1940s-1951 (2 folders)
Miscellaneous Correspondence - President Douglass, 1949-1952; 1961
Douglass, Paul – Pictures from Rotogravure, Washington Post, June 1, 1941
President Paul F. Douglass – Resignation - News Clippings - The Eagle (Oct. 18, 1951)
Enrollment - Registration, 1946-1952
Faculty Appointments - Salaries
Faculty Questionnaire to the faculty, 1950
Committee on faculty and curriculum college - CAS, 1948
Faculty meetings and committees, 1946-1949
Financial statements and records, AU, 1930, 1948, 1951
Fire Damage - Repair Work at Recreational Building, 1949
Foreign Students, 1955
Health and Physical Education, 1947-1949
Institutes - Federal Taxes, 1945-1951
Institutes - AU Teaching Institute of Economics, 1948-1949