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President Paul F. Douglass Papers

VOLUME: 7.5 linear feet

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.

Biographical Note

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.

Provenance

The Collection was transferred to the Archives when it was discovered in the attic of the McKinley Building in 1962.

Box & Folder Listing

Box 1

  • 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
    • 1937-1945
    • 1945-1946
    • 1945-1949 (2 folders)
    • 1945-1952
    • 1964, correspondence Hurst
    • Misc. brochures/booklets
  • Alumni contributions and gifts, 1926-1949
  • Area Studies - Institute of the Americas Proposal, 1949

Box 2

  • North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools - Faculty Records,
    • A - M, 1950-1951
    • N - Z, 1950-1951
  • Audio visual aids, 1945-1948
  • Budget, 1951-1952
  • Budget Data, 1951-1953 (2 folders)
  • Bureau of Social Science Research, 1950-1956 (2 folders)

Box 3

  • 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.)

Box 4

  • 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

Box 5

  • Insurance - Lumberman's Mutual Casualty, 1939-1942
  • International Students Day, 1943-1945
  • Investments - Loomis, Sayles & Co., Feb 1949 - June 1951
  • Lectures and Courses, etc., 1937-1943
  • Lectures before the diplomatic corps, 1937
  • Legal counsel - Colladay, Colladay & Wallace, 1929-1949
  • Leonard, Adna Wright, Jr., 1943-1945
  • Legendre, Leonce R. - Correspondence - Boy's Nation Program, 1943
  • Littauer, Lucius N. - Fellowship, 1940-1941
  • Lobingier, Charles S. - The Lobingier Foundation, 1939-1949
  • Long Scholarship - Long and Eaton Correspondence, 1928-1931
  • Macomb Street property, 1929-1949
  • The Maret School and AU, 1947-1951
  • Ice Marketing Institute - Milk Ind. Foundation, 1949
  • Medical Technology and Nursing, 1942-1948
  • Methodist Church Relationships, 1947-1950
  • Methodist Youth Fellowship, 1941-1943

Box 6

  • Metropolitan Memorial Methodist Church - Pledges with signatures of US Grant and Salmon P. Chase (printed), May 1871
  • Metropolitan Memorial Church - Papers and Correspondence re: relocating church on AU campus, 1929-1945
  • Methodist Church - Statement by AU to the Methodist conference, 1952
  • Mexican Claim - Estate of John W. DeKay, 1943
  • Mexico - Students, Hall of Nations, Ambassador Daniels, 1936-1942
  • Military programs and AU contract, 1948-1951
  • Military program (AU) - AU War Bulletins (Korean War), 1950-1951
  • Minister's Seminar
    • Direction our society is moving, April 1944
    • Copies of speeches and materials 1944
    • Courses of study at AU, 1945
    • April 3-5, 1945

Box 7

  • Minister’s Seminar (continued)
    • April 23-25, 1946
    • Syllabi and materials, April 23-25, 1946
    • Graduate Seminar, 1947, 1948, 1949
    • Graduate Seminar, April 1950
    • Pittsburgh Area, Oct. 1950
    • Richmond, VA, 1950
    • Graduate Seminar, April 10-12, 1951
    • Illinois, 1949-1952
  • Miscellaneous Memoranda by Pres. Douglass
  • Nasht, John - Hochschild Scholarship, 1944-1947
  • National Capital Sesquicentennial - AU's participation, 1950
  • National Institute of Public Affairs
    • Correspondence, 1937-1945
    • 1936-1945

Box 8

  • National Service Officers - Memoranda and Syllabus - Standing Committee on English Program, 1946
  • National Youth Administration, 1938-1942
  • Navy Department - correspondence, contracts, bulletins, lease equipment, 1943-1950
  • Negro Students, 1944-1949
  • Observatory (AU) - correspondence re: possibility of mounting a telescope on the campus, 1946
  • Office of Education, Federal Security Agency, 1942-1950
  • Office of War Information Broadcasts, 1943-1946
  • Olsen, George W. Correspondence, 1945-1946
  • The Optimist International - AU meeting, June 1946
  • Order of Patron Forms (AU)
  • Parkhill Construction Company - Alterations to AU Buildings and Repairs - The Quonset Huts, 1945-1947
  • Patent Office Survey - Research Program at AU, 1948,/li>
  • Parker, Judge Edwin - Will, 1929
  • Pension Plan - TIAA, 1947

Box 9

  • Pension records, 1947
  • Peyser, Julius I., 1942-1950
  • Police, 1948
  • Posner, Stanley – Correspondence - 5th Institute on the US in World Affairs, 1949-1950
  • President Harding Death (Pittsburgh Post: August 3, 1923)
  • Presidential System - Research and Writing - Letter to William D. Hasset, Sec. to FDR, 1946
  • Protestants and other Americans United for Separation of Church and State, 1951
  • Public Administration Dept. (SSSPA) courses and Bibliography, 1946, 1948
  • Public Administration Clearing House - Civil Service Assembly of the US and Canada, 1935-1944
  • Public Opinion Clearing House, 1935-1946
  • Publications Board, AU organization, etc.
  • Questionnaires, 1939-1941
  • Rankin, W. A. - correspondence relating to his will, 1917
  • Reading program, 1948-1951<.li>
  • Recreation, 1950
  • Rendezvous Room, AU, 1945-1946
  • Report - Director of Research, 1918
  • Report of the President to the Board of Trustees, October 1951
  • Rhee, Syngman - copy of letter to Mrs. Parmly, 1942
  • Resignation, 1951
  • Resume
  • Rhode Scholar Program (AU), 1949-1950

Box 10

  • Robinson, James Frank - Will and Estate, 1930-1940
  • Robson, Matthew, 1928-1929
  • Rockefeller Foundation
    • 1935-1983
    • 1934-1939
  • The Rockefeller Foundation and the Establishment of Public Affairs at AU
  • Roper Chimes, 1941-1950
  • Rosenwald, Julius - Fund, 1938-1944
  • ROTC, 1946-1951
  • Russell Sage Foundation, 1937-1938
  • Russia, 1943-1946

Box 11

  • Sedgewick, Anne Douglas - a portrait in letter
  • School of Public Affairs
    • Statement - AU Today and Tomorrow
    • Summer Institute, 1935
    • Publications, 1936-1937
  • SSSPA
    • Committee on Faculty and Curriculum School, 1948
    • History, Feb. 1948
    • Objectives, 1937-1942
    • Standing Committee, 1946-1947
    • Standing Committee Memoranda, 1947-1949
    • Undergraduate Counseling Manual, 1949
  • Social Activities - Report of the Advisors of Extra Curricula Activities, Fraternities, 1941-1942
  • Social Science Research Council, 1936-1947
  • College Council - Student Affairs and Activities, 1948-1950
  • Stocks - President Douglass records, 1949
  • Student Guidance, Committee of, 1939
  • Student Loan Fund of Methodist Church, 1927, 1942-1944

Box 12

  • Summer Sessions, 1931-1951
  • Surplus war property, 1944-1948
  • Testing Program – Graduate Record Examination, 1940-1951
  • Thesis on William and Mary library in 17th and 18th c. by J.M. Jennings, 1947
  • The United Nations war relief, 1943-1945
  • University officers and administrative council minutes, 1947-1953
  • University Organization
    • CAS - Divisional Academic Program, 1947-1948
    • Graduate Division
    • Undergraduate Division, 1940-1949

Box 13

  • University Senate - Methodist Church, 1940-1947
  • University Statistics on Questionnaires, 1923-1941
  • University Statistics - admissions, rules, degrees, 1937-1940 (2 folders)
  • Veterans dwelling units - temporary housing provided by public housing authority, 1946-1947
  • Veterans program, 1947-1949
  • War Council, 1950-1951 (2 folders)

Box 14

  • War Bulletins, etc., 1950-1951
  • War programs
    • Letters from servicemen, 1950
    • Legislation – Congressional Publications, 1948-1951
  • Ward Circle campus - Correspondence, 1946-1949
  • Washington Federation of churches - Visual education workshop - AU campus, 1945-1948
  • Wesley Junior College, 1941-1945, 1962
  • World Federation of Educational Associations in cooperation with AU Institute on World Problems, July 12 - August 15, 1942
  • The World through Washington - Fortnightly news letter – AU, April 1944 - July 1946
  • World War II Honor Roll (AU)

Box 15 - Addresses, Sermons, Speeches, and Writings

  • Writings of Paul F. Douglass – Index
  • “The Indicative Mood” (no date)
  • “Methodism” (no date)
  • Pastoral Psychiatry (September, 1940)
  • “The Construction & Interpretation of Orders for Civilian Tactical Defense Exercises” (1941)
  • “The Idea of a University” (July 14, 1941)
  • “Dynamic Democracy” (May 22, 1941)
  • “Morale” (July 14, 1941)
  • “The Obligations of a University” (November 24, 1941)
  • “Intellectual Freedom in Education” (May 12, 1942)
  • “Great Teachers & Great Students” (May 31, 1943)
  • President Paul Douglass Address in support of the Educational Financial Act of 1943
  • “The Healing Fact: Common Ground of Faith & Action” (January 12, 1943)
  • “Memorandum Submitted by Pres. Paul F. Douglass” (April, 1943)
  • “Human Engineering in the Age of the Machine” (1943)
  • Memorandum on the Educational Program of a University (July, 1943)
  • “An American Pattern: Education for Mature, Mission-motivated Individuals” (1943)
  • “The Return of the Banker to Banking Business” (November 5, 1943)
  • “Washington: New Frontier Town” (1943)
  • Article re: Carrie Chapman Catt (March 14, 1944)
  • “Our Contemporary Problems as Defined by Current Court Decisions” (April 11, 1944)
  • “Disabled Veterans and their Education” (January, 1946)
  • “The American Idiom” (September 25, 1946)
  • “The Climate of Isolation” (June 9, 1946)
  • “Television is here: The Communications Revolution” (1946)
  • “Advertising’s Idea of Modern Man” (February 18, 1947)
  • “We Live Forward” (April 23, 1947)
  • “Cadres of the Sane” (April 23, 1947)
  • “Poet as Government Clerk: Robert Burns, 1789-1796 – Internal Revenue Collector” (1947)
  • “How Shall the College Curriculum be Adjusted Wartime” (1947)
  • “The New Pattern of Our Lives” (September 10, 1947)
  • “The Civilizing Road” (November 4, 1947)
  • “An Ostrich Lesson for Phi Beta Kappas” (December 29, 1947)
  • “Broadening the Base of Leadership” (1948)
  • Address at Advertising Club of Baltimore (January 18, 1948)
  • “The Stewardship of Democracy” (April 6, 1948)
  • “Secular Catastrophe on the Terrestrial Road” (July 19, 1948)
  • “The Act of Oral Communication” (December 30, 1948)
  • “Saints in History” (January 30, 1949)
  • “Changing the Minds of Men” (March 9, 1949)
  • “The Need for a Philosophy of Government” (May 4, 1949)
  • Welcoming Address of Douglass to Conf. on Improving Gov. Management (June 3, 1949)
  • “Saints Live in History” (June 6, 1949)
  • “Help Wanted for All-Tangled-Up People” (July 20, 1949)
  • “In Search of a Good Road for Better People in a Better World” (August 31, 1949)
  • “Scientific Management in Modern Society” (September 26, 1949)
  • “The University and its Teaching Function” (September 30, 1949)
  • “The University in the Urban Age” (October 31, 1949)
  • “Counseling by Newspaper” (January, 1950)
  • “Opportunity Unto all Men” (February 21, 1950)
  • “How far has America moved toward Socialism” (May 15, 1950)
  • “The Protestant Witness in Washington” (1950)
  • “The Public Office of the Private Citizen” (March 17, 1950)
  • “The Income Tax Payer as Historian” (March 25, 1950)
  • “An Audit of Mid-century America” (1950)
  • “Television and its Effect on Children” (May 10, 1950)
  • “Financing Higher Education” (1950)
  • “Penalties for Being Bright” (May 17, 1950)
  • “Communication—Weather Reporting” (June 14, 1951)
  • “The Dismal Chant: Into the Hollow Age” (1951)
  • “Now Mine Eye Seeth Thee” (1951)
  • “Everyman a Traveler” (October 24, 1951)
  • “Small Business is Man with Ideas” (1951)