Collection ID: UA292

Collection context


12.25 Linear Feet and 25 boxes, 1 flat file
Preferred citation:

(Name of item, if applicable), STUDENT ACTIVITIES OFFICE: SUBJECT FOLDERS, 1926-1968. Rare Books Special Collections & Preservation Department, University of Rochester.


Scope and Content:

This collection consists of subject folders maintained by the Student Activities Office at Todd Union. The material dates from 1926 to 1968. Several items date from before the opening of Todd Union, and bulk dates for the material are 1955-1967. For the period before integration of the women's and men's colleges (1930-1955), material is only for the College for Men. The collection covers a range of topics, including student government, fraternities and sororities, Freshman orientation ("Frosh Week"), student organizations, administrative groups, and material about the Student Activities Office and Todd Union themselves. These folders were the office's records on clubs and other activities, and the material in the folders primarily reflects what the groups themselves collected. Materials include correspondence, University press releases, notes, budgets, constitutions, meeting minutes, newsletters, reports, and membership lists.

Dates refer to when materials were created. Files related to Frosh Week and Parents Weekend also contain, as an integral part of the title, dates that refer to when those events were held.

Biographical / Historical:

The College of Arts and Science Bulletin for 1931-1932 described "extra-curricular activities . . . as a means of promoting the education and developing the character of all students." While pointing to their potential value in "the development of a rounded individual," the University noted that student activities should not be compulsory because they depend on students' interest, available time, and academic work (page 45).

This collection bridges the period when the University was coordinate—with a separate College for men and College for Women—and after it became coeducational in 1955. Student activities for men were housed in Todd Union, one of the original buildings on the River Campus that opened in 1930. During the period from 1930 to 1955, the College for Women continued to remain on the Prince Street Campus, where their Student Activities Office was located in Cutler Union. When the Colleges for Men and Women integrated in 1955 on the River Campus, their activities offices consolidated as well. Todd Union was redesigned at this time to suit its new coeducational role. Several offices, such as the Dietary Office, were moved out of the building to accommodate the larger student body that would use the space. Kitchen facilities were also downsized in Todd Union as two new dining halls were added on the River Campus, and this created more room for activities.

Cornelis de Kiewiet was the president of the University at the time of the merger, having been inaugurated in 1951. The 1955-1956 issue of the College of Arts and Science Bulletin noted that, "Under [his] leadership there has been a sharpening of educational purpose at Rochester based on the conviction that 'we must concentrate on the coordination and efficiency of all those activities which constitute each student's total educational experience'" (page 18). Therefore, in 1955 Todd Union became a center of student activities for all students. Residence Hall governments provided activities as well, but these were often limited to the residents of those buildings and were not coeducational for the most part. At Todd Union, men's and women's groups often merged into a single entity; for example, The Campus newspaper from the men's college and The Tower Times newspaper from the women's college merged into the Campus Times.

The Student Activities Office in Todd Union for most of the first 35 years was staffed by a director, assistant director, and secretary. As the student body at the University grew more rapidly in the 1960s, the office expanded to include other staff as well. Several members of the office staff figure prominently in the collection: Jane Stellwagen (Class of 1947), Assistant Dean of Students from 1961-1965 and Director of Student Activities from 1958-1962; Martin Van de Visse, Director of Student Activities from 1962-1964, Director of Student Life in 1963, and Assistant to the Dean of Students in 1964; Marion "Rusty" Dearnley (Class of 1960), Assistant Director of Student Activities from 1962-1963, Associate Director of Student Life from 1963-1964, and Director of Student Activities from 1964-1965; and Vicki Proschel Schwartz (Class of 1962), Director of Student Activities from 1965-1967. Other University administrators whose names frequently appear in the collection are Alice Corbin, Director of Residence Halls for Women from 1960-1963 and Director of Residence Halls from 1963-1965; Alexander Cameron, Associate Dean of Students from 1961-1963 and Dean of Students 1963-1965; and Joseph Cole, Assistant Dean of Students from 1956-1959, Dean of Students from 1959-1963, University Dean of Student Affairs from 1963-1967, and Associate Provost of Student Life from 1967-1968.

Acquisition information:
Received from Marc Hoberman (Class of 1970), October 1968.

Oversize materials have been shifted to flat file.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard



For access to this collection, please contact the University of Rochester Archives ( at least two business days prior to your planned visit.

Please note: Some materials may be restricted or require permission for use.


To request reproductions or permission to publish materials from the collection, please contact the University of Rochester Archives ( Researchers may be responsible for determining any copyright questions.


(Name of item, if applicable), STUDENT ACTIVITIES OFFICE: SUBJECT FOLDERS, 1926-1968. Rare Books Special Collections & Preservation Department, University of Rochester.

Rush Rhees Library
Second Floor, Room 225
755 Library Road
Rochester, NY 14627, United States
(585) 275-2121