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Julius Isaac Foust Records

Identifier: UA 002.2

Scope and Contents

The Foust records cover every aspect of the School as it grew and changed during his almost twenty-eight years as president. The growth in programs, as well as the increase in the number of buildings and students, is reflected in the papers. During this period, the president was still very much involved with admitting students, hiring faculty, developing the curriculum, and designing campus buildings.

A great deal of the pre-World War I correspondence reflects the protective attitude of the parents and school administrators toward the students as they encountered problems arising from the new experience of college life. The strictness of the administration is reflected in a letter requesting Foust's permission to allow a brother to visit his sister on campus because visits were not always allowed (Nixon, 1907). Another letter informed a prospective student that she was not permitted to wear separate "middy blouses" (Vera Jackson, 1916). In 1916, there is a letter concerning a student who ran away (Mrs. T.H. Williams).

In 1915, the students petitioned for the charter of the Student Government Association. Foust defined the limits of the Association and added that "when the students fail to administer the affairs of this Department of the College [i.e. the relationship of the students with each other] to the best interest of all of the students, the authority granted will of course be withdrawn" (Blakeney, 1915). The correspondence also demonstrates that the students had their fun (the Olde English Pageant of 1916, Fischer) and they also had their pranks. A letter from Mrs. S. H. Rogers in 1917 seeks to buy some "thoroughbred goats" from the College because a student had told her that the college served goat every Sunday.

The papers also reflect the involvement of the students during World War I. Included are lists of sacrifices made by the students for the War Fund (Students War Fund, 1917), a thank-you note from the Red Cross for the use of a sewing machine room (Foust, 1917), a report of the Food Conservation Program (Food Administration, 1917), a description of a community [food] dryer (Dryer, 1918), and correspondence about the girls' operation of the school farm (Foust, 1918). There is also material on the broadened opportunities and responsibilities for women in the World War I era (Foust, 1918), and a call for typists and stenographers (Foust, 1917).

The 1918 Influenza Epidemic hit the campus particularly hard. Students were urged not to leave campus, and if they did, they were not allowed to return until all danger had passed. Town students were not permitted to attend classes (Foust, 1918). Instructions were given to the faculty and students on necessary precautions (Foust, 1918); and when students were allowed to return to campus, they were given special instructions for traveling and directed to report to the infirmary on arrival (Dorton, 1918). A large folder of records relating to the epidemic is in Box 21. Less severe epidemics of measles and diphtheria were reported in 1916 and 1917.

In 1925, in a report to the Board of Directors, Foust said that the students at that time were different from twenty-five years before--they were independent thinkers and more self reliant (Board, 1926). Foust also took issue with the opinion being espoused by many people of that day, that students were wasting time and were not serious. He felt that the problems facing the students were a result of World War I and that it would take a while for behaviors to adjust. The papers reflect a student's life; complaints about the hazing of freshmen (Students, 1924), camping trips to the school farm (Durand, 1925), a questionnaire concerning card playing in the society halls (Durand, 1925), night riding with boys (Hill and Horton, 1931), and an opinion survey on smoking (Smoking, 1931).

The changing size and shape of the College necessitated changes in the administration. The first thoughts on reorganization of the administration came in 1909 (R.P.Pell), but the reorganization did not occur until 1921. The papers include a full description of the new organization of the administration (Faculty, 1922) and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (Cook and Smith, 1922).

Increased size also required changes in the relationship between the administration and the students. These changes are reflected in the official papers. This began in 1924 with the reorganization of the Residence Department (Durand, Farrar, King) and the new plan for registration (Moore, 1925). The papers also contain material related to the introduction of Freshmen Week (Freshmen, 1928), the implementation of the faculty adviser system (Academic Board, 1928), and the establishment of a vocational director (Woodhouse, 1928).

Many of the official papers deal with the academic development of the College during the Foust years, as the School changed from a normal school to a full-fledged woman's college. As the College grew, it offered new departments and new programs. Vocal and school music was introduced in 1907 (Hoexter), and the first hint of a drama department appeared in 1926 (Taylor). New programs included an extension division (Gray, 1917), canning and home demonstration (Home, 1916), community organization (Jackson, Department of Interior, 1919), and commercial teacher training (Commercial, 1932). In 1909 there was mention of upgrading the curriculum to meet college standards (W. C. Smith), which included the requirement of twelve credits for the entering freshmen (Dorothy Harris and Linda Ramseur, l916).

Throughout the Foust papers, there are folders on faculty members, including applications, letters of recommendations, and offers and acceptances of positions. Most years also include salary schedules for the faculty. Some of the most interesting correspondence involving faculty members relate to several campus controversies. In 1922, Eric Lindemann resigned after several months of controversy resulting from allowing his African-American maid to hold a birthday party for her friends in his home while he was away. The Klu Klux Klan called for his resignation and this letter is included in the papers. In 1925, Dr. Albert Keister embroiled the College in the "evolution controversy" because of his remarks concerning the literal interpretation of the Bible. Correspondence relating to the tuberculosis of Professor Junius Matheson (1914) is also included.

The general course of the building activity on campus can be traced in the correspondence with architects; first Hook and Rogers (filed under Hook) and then Harry Barton (filed under Barton). The actual bids for the construction projects and any related disputes are filed under the names of the contractors. These, of course, are scattered throughout the papers, but it is clear that the major contractor after World War I was J. A. Jones Construction Company. Correspondence relating to landscaping is generally found under Warren Manning and after 1920, under Thomas Sears.

The relationship of Foust with other schools, especially the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University, is also seen in the papers. Material relating to the formation of the consolidated University of North Carolina system in 1932 and the Foust-Frank Porter Graham correspondence is of particular interest and importance.

Life outside the College is also represented in the papers. The hardships created by the Great Depression are vividly seen in some of the letters. Other events include World War II (in private papers); political and legislative action in North Carolina; and events in the Greensboro community.

A large group of private papers is included, dating from 1903. The bulk of the papers follow Foust's retirement in 1934. Family correspondence includes both Dr. and Mrs. Foust's immediate families, letters between the two before and during their marriage, and Mrs. Foust's correspondence after his death. Following his retirement, Foust undertook writing an official history of the School. An outline is included in the papers as are fifteen chapters of the unfinished manuscript. More importantly, correspondence with various alumnae as well as leaders in the movement to establish the School is included. Another group reflects his role in the operation of the Alumnae Association and the building of the Alumnae House, which opened in 1937.


  • 1903-1970


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information. Please see our Sensitive Materials Statement.

Biographical or Historical Information

Julius Isaac Foust, son of Thomas Carbry and Mary E. Robbins Foust, was born November 23, 1865, in Graham, North Carolina. After attending Graham Academy and Graham Normal School, he entered the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1885. He received his Ph.B. (Bachelor of Philosophy) in 1890 and was later awarded an honory degree of Doctor of Laws in English from the same institution.

Foust began his career as principal of the Goldsboro schools and later became superintendent of the Wilson schools (1891-1894) and of the Goldsboro schools (1894-1902). In 1902, he became a professor of pedagogy at the North Carolina State Normal and Industrial College. After Charles Duncan McIver's death in 1906, Foust became acting president of the College. The following year he was made president, serving in that capacity until 1934 when he became president emeritus of the College. He died at Lakeland, Florida, February 15, 1946.

During his long and esteemed career, Foust served as president of the North Carolina Association of City School Superintendents, president of the North Carolina Teachers Assembly, president of the North Carolina Association of Colleges, and a member of the Board of Directors of the A and M College (now North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.) He was also the author of a textbook on the geography of North Carolina and co-author of a spelling book.


32.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection contains the personal papers and official records of Julius Isaac Foust (1865-1946), second president of the North Carolina State Normal and Industrial College now known as The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Taking up leadership of the school after the untimely death of founding president Charles Duncan McIver in 1906, Foust became the acting president for the year following his colleague's death. Foust served as the official president until his retirement in 1934.

Arrangement Note

Papers are arranged chronologically within each series, and alphabetically within each year. The Foust records (Boxes 1-56, 63-100) are the official records of the Office of President of North Carolina State Normal and Industrial College (1906-1919), the North Carolina College for Women (1919-1932), and the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina (1932-1934). The original filing system used by Foust, was a general alphabetical arrangement using the first two letters of the name. For instance names beginning with "B" were filed separately under Ba, Be, Bl, Bo, Br, and Bu. However, in order to facilitate research, the papers have now been arranged in an exact alphabetical order. The filing system was also changed from an academic year to a calendar year.

Correspondence about a specific student, faculty member, or organization/business is usually filed under the name of the student, faculty member or organization/business rather than under the name of the letter's author. There are also papers filed according to subject such as: budget, faculty, Foust, building/state building commission, board of directors, and others.

Some of the records are missing. The only records for 1930 are those few that were misfiled in other years and have now been moved to the correct year. The records for 1933 stop with folder "D." No explanation can be made concerning these missing items.

Foust's responses to correspondence, 1906-1915, are in letter press books. After August, 1915, the responses are carbon copies. Many of the copies are filed immediately following the original piece of correspondence. However, responses on low-quality, yellow carbon paper have been separated from the originals in order to prevent deterioration of the original. The copies are filed in alphabetical order in the back of the folder with the originals. At times, the original, or most likely, the response is missing.

Clora McNeill Foust, his second wife and former secretary, went through some of the papers after they were deposited in the Archives. During this time, she made handwritten notes on some of the items. Most of the notes appear on private papers, but there are some on official papers. These notes are most likely to appear on papers written after their marriage in August 1932. In several instances, Mrs. Foust typed several paragraphs in explanation of certain items. These items can be easily identified; she usually signed "CF" to her notations.

Method of Acquisition

Boxes 1-56 and 63-100, are the official records of the Office of the President of the University and have been on the campus in various locations since Foust left office in 1934. The remaining boxes were deposited in the University Archives in 1967 by Mrs. Clora McNeill Foust, the second wife of Julius Isaac Foust. Foust had apparently removed these papers from the campus at his retirement in 1934 because he considered them to be private files.

Related Materials

Charles Duncan McIver Records (UA 2.1) Walter Clinton Jackson Records (UA 2.3) University Artifact Collection (UA 201) University Biographical Files (UA 202) University Textile Collection (UA 204)

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Julius Isaac Foust Records
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Repository Details

Part of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives Repository

P.O. Box 26170
320 College Ave.
Greensboro NC 27402-6170 US