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A. Williams Professorship Foundation Drive
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The Williams Professorship Foundation was established June 1929 marking the beginning of a one-year drive to raise $1,800,000 to endow twelve professorships. Trustees were appointed as chairmen of geographical committees with alumni serving on each committee. The Foundation was able to raise approximately $1,400,000 in pledges by June 1930 despite the crash of the Stock Market in October 1929.
The files in this sub-series are arranged alphabetically. George Alfred Cluett was appointed Chairman of the Central Committee of the Williams Professorship Foundation in June 1929. This material contains correspondence with various committee chairmen (trustees) and reflects the organization and progress of the Professorship Fund campaign. Letters that comment on the Stock Market Crash (ex. Botsford, Herbert file) and subsequent discussions about postponing the campaign (ex. Johnston, Henry files) are of particular interest.
These files are arranged alphabetically and represent a sampling of material that had a large amount of duplication. Harry Agard, Director of Admissions at Williams College, served as secretary for the Williams Professorship Foundation. The first portion of these files contains reminders for payments due and acknowledgements for payments received. Several replies from subscribers reflect hardships resulting from the depression. The second segment contains correspondence with committee chairmen who reported payments received or uncollected.
Files are arranged alphabetically, with general correspondence arranged chronologically. Early correspondence discusses the need for increases in faculty salaries and pensions and the marketing of this need to alumni and trustees. Various statistical reports, including a graphical budget analysis for 1900-1929, gathered to inform and influence donors, are included. Correspondence during the drive reflects Garfield's efforts to secure large endowments for individual professorships. Letters regarding the Williams 1900 Fund and the Woodrow Wilson Professorship are of particular interest as they display Garfield's skill in mediation.
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This sub-series is arranged alphabetically. Routine and duplicate correspondence was sampled to represent the administration and progress of the campaign. Various committee reports also reflect the campaign's headway. Of interest is the correspondence of Francis B. Sayre who traveled west to meet with various alumni groups and rally their support. The first $1 million was raised by August 1915. The total reached $2,500,000 by June 1917, which included a $100,000 grant from the General Education Board. As a result faculty salaries were raised to a minimum of $1,200 and maximum of $4,000.
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These comprise alphabetically arranged files containing correspondence and reports. Some routine and duplicate correspondence was sampled. This campaign was administered by an outside agency, Tamblyn and Brown, with alumni committees making personal contacts for subscriptions. The initial goal of $1 million to increase faculty salaries was raised to $2 million at the beginning of the campaign in 1921 when the campaign was expanded to include funding for a new field house (Cole Field House). About $1,800,000 in total subscriptions was reported in June 1922. Construction of the new building was held off until enough subscriptions were received. Cole Field House was completed in 1926.
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Files are arranged alphabetically by donor's name. Correspondence, wills, legal documents and briefs make up the material in this sub-series. The most noted bequests during this time were those of John M. Bigelow (Class of 1866) and Francis Lynde Stetson (Class of 1867). The Bigelow will, contested by family members, was tied up in litigation for several years before a settlement was finally agreed upon in 1917. Williams College received a large portion of the Stetson estate estimated at nearly two million dollars. Much of the correspondence regards the sale of Skylands, the 1,100-acre Stetson estate in New Jersey.
One of the most noted gifts received during Garfield's presidency was the Dwight Collection's Ephraim Williams, Jr. volume, donated by Henry Dwight in 1919. In 1925, Edward Ayer, via the Newberry Library, donated a copy of Ephraim Williams' will. Grace Perry gave Dwight W. Marsh's letter regarding his 1882 gift of the Nineveh slabs--pieces currently in the collection of the Williams College Art Museum--in 1923. James Bullock donated an extensive coin collection and exhibit cases made to display the collection. F.R. Whittelsey offered many of Col. Charles Whittlesey's World War I effects to Williams College shortly after Charles's sudden death in 1922. The Whittlesey Collection is now administered by the Williams College Archives.
Also included in this sub-series is correspondence with the Carnegie Foundation. The Carnegie Foundation provided funds for faculty pensions and insurance. The files reflect the initial application process and actual payments made to widows and retirees.