Series Descriptions

Board of Trustees

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A. Correspondence (1908-1934)
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Files are arranged alphabetically by Trustee's name and then chronologically within. This sub-series comprises routine correspondence with Board of Trustees members regarding meetings, regrets for missed meetings, committee business (especially with committee chairmen), announcements and requests for Garfield. Correspondence with Harry P. Dewey contains Committee on Degrees information. Henry Lefavour's correspondence includes documentation of the activities of the Committee on Instruction. Francis Lynde Stetson's correspondence documents a wide variety of issues as Stetson served on several different committees and was often called upon by Garfield to advise in college matters. Clark Williams' letters contain information on the activities of the Committee on Finance. Correspondence from Frederic T. Wood includes letters to Bentley Warren regarding the gymnasium addition, a lengthy letter questioning the role of the Committee on Grounds, Buildings and Improvements and letters regarding the publication of the Williams College in the World War which Wood co-wrote.

Note: Some trustee correspondence from the period 1917-1919--during Garfield's tenure as U.S. Fuel Administrator--was originally kept in Garfield's "Personal" file in the Fuel Administration office. This correspondence generally deals with the War, unofficial Fuel Administration business,or personal issues. It does, however, also contain information regarding college issues. Alfred C. Chapin

B. Chapin, Alfred Clark Correspondence (1910-1934)

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This sub-series contains correspondence between Harry Garfield and Alfred Clark Chapin , Williams Trustee (1917-1935) and benefactor. Files are arranged chronologically by year and contain letters, telegrams, forwarded letters, news clippings and reports.

Correspondence dated 1910-1912 deals primarily with the building of Grace (now Chapin) Hall which was funded by Chapin (see also Warren, Bentley W. Correspondence). The files also contain a significant amount of correspondence regarding Chapin's donation of rare books, and the opening of the Chapin Library in 1923. Chapin often shared insights on politics, reminiscences, and clippings and other items of interest . Letters of particular interest include those Chapin wrote from Germany just before World War I began.

Bentley W. Warren C. Warren, Bentley W. - Correspondence (1909-1934)

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This sub-series contains correspondence between Harry Garfield and Bentley W. Warren, Williams Trustee (1902-1947). Files are arranged chronologically by year and contain letters received, carbon copies of letters sent, forwarded letters, and informational material such as blueprints, proposals, etc.

Bentley Warren, a Boston attorney, was a close personal friend of Garfield. They became friends at the age of twelve when both of their fathers were serving in Congress. They were later undergraduates together at Williams (Class of 1885). Because of their close relationship, their correspondence is voluminous and often personal. The two men corresponded on almost a daily basis during the college year. Warren served on the Board of Trustees from 1902 until his death in 1947. He was chairman of the Committee on Grounds, Buildings & Improvements for many years. Much of the correspondence relates to issues before this Committee including architects' proposals, blueprints, progress reports on building projects, suggestions for improvements, etc. Major building projects included: Grace Hall (1910), an addition to Lasell Gymnasium (1926) , and the Physical Plant (1931). Warren also served as legal advisor to the Fuel Administration during Garfield's tenure from 1917 to 1919.

Note: Four folders containing correspondence regarding the construction of Grace/Chapin Hall (1909-1913) and dormitories in Grace Hall Quad (1910-1912) are included in this series. The correspondence belonged to Bentley Warren but was apparently bundled and turned over to Garfield's office after the projects were completed. Correspondents include Alfred C. Chapin (the benefactor), Willard Hoyt (Treasurer), Harry Garfield, Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson (architects), and Perry Smedley (builder). Chapin Hall Practically every detail of the plans and construction is documented including lengthy discussions about the proposed site, architectural design, and a heated debate over the construction of the Chapin Hall organ that continued for several years.

D. Meetings and Committees (1917-1934)

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This sub-series contains material relating to Board of Trustee meetings and Board committee meetings. General meetings--which occurred four times a year in Oct., Feb., May and June--are arranged chronologically by year. These files contain meeting announcements and responses (especially special meetings), agendas, some minutes, statistics and other information presented at meetings. They also contain meeting schedules for committees.

Committee meetings are arranged alphabetically by committee name and then chronologically by year. Committee meetings were held regularly, usually on the same day as general meetings. Specific information regarding committees follows.

Committee on Degrees and Membership (1917-1934)
This committee considered candidates for honorary degrees bestowed by the College. Files contain correspondence concerning recommendations, references, acceptances and lists of candidates. The committee was renamed the Committee on Degrees of the Trustees in 1928. (See also Committee on Commencement Arrangements )

Executive Committee (1912-1934)
The Executive Committee consisted of the President and the chairman of each standing committee. It reviewed appointments for faculty and trustee vacancies, candidates for tenure, and nominations for committee appointments. This committee also reviewed matters such as admission requirements and college terms.

Committee on Finance (1913-1934)
The Committee on Finance reviewed and approved the management of college investments including securities and bonds, Treasurer's Reports and budgets, and endowments and gifts.

Committee on Grounds, Buildings and Improvements (1908-1909, 1913-1915, 1922-1923, 1927-1934)
This committee took up matters relating to property purchases, building projects, and renovations and improvements to college property. It also reviewed room charges and rental fees for college-owned residences. Included are several memoranda from Willard Hoyt, Treasurer, regarding building repair needs and costs. A memorandum documenting the increased usage of the college infirmary includes statistics on the number of surgeries performed in the infirmary between 1915 and 1922. (See also Warren, Bentley Correspondence)

Committee on Instruction (1916-1934)
The Committee on Instruction reviewed appropriations for departments, salaries for instructors, faculty appointments, class schedules and the college schedule. Most of the material relates to candidates for faculty vacancies and includes information on the experience of each candidate, correspondence with candidates, recommendations and references.

Special Committees

Executive Committee Response to the Committee of Ten - The Committee of Ten was established to address the fraternity question, i.e. the inequity in social opportunities and dining facilities for non-fraternity men, the abolishment of fraternities or the addition of more fraternities. The Committee, consisting of four non-fraternity men and six fraternity men, produced a report entitled "The Fraternity-Neutral Situation at Williams College 1925." A draft and a published version of this document are contained in these files.

The Gift Committee was established in 1926 to seek out new contributors to the College and to acknowledge financial gifts.

Committee to Meet with Student Committee of the Gargoyle Society held two meetings in 1932. The committee discussed matters such as the Scholarship Fund and the Latin Requirement.

Committee Consisting of Lawyer Members of the Board met in September 1932 to address the Samuel Hopkins trust.

Salary Increases and Organization of Instructors (1917, 1920) material appears to document business of the Trustees but it is unclear which committee reviewed it. The files contain correspondence from faculty members, including several long letters from Theodore C. Smith (see also Smith, Theodore C. Correspondence) regarding salary increases and professorship standing, and statistical reports on salary and rankings. Also included is correspondence from other colleges regarding salaries.

Harry A. Garfield Records, 1908-1934

Harry A. Garfield, 1934

Series List
Introduction
Scope and Content
Biographical Chronology