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Gordon Williams Blackwell Records

Identifier: UA 002.6

Scope and Contents

The Blackwell papers contain much material on the attempt to cope with the increased number of students attending college. Here are found the use of high school class standing and SAT scores for admission (Admissions, Testing Results, Godfrey, 1957) and the use of enrollment projections for planning for the next decade (Enrollment 1957, 1958). The Blackwell papers also include correspondence concerning an institutional self-study (Self-Study 1957-1958).

In preparation for the expanded enrollment, the Blackwell administration undertook many improvements and additions to the physical plant. Information concerning many of these physical changes on campus is found under Capitol Improvements. There is also some information filed under individual projects. These include the renovation of the Chancellor's Residence (Chancellor 1957), the Alumnae House (Friday letter to Tomlinson, 1958), the Administration Building (Capital Improvements, 1958; Administration, 1959) and the McIver Street Home Management House (Departments, Home Economics, 1957). The rebuilding of Spencer Dining Hall (Capital Improvements 1959), the construction of the new McIver Building (McIver, 1957-1960), and the construction of Moore-Strong Residence Halls (Capital Improvements, 1960) are seen through the papers. Funds were appropriated for the air-conditioning of Jackson Library (Capital Improvements 1959) under Blackwell.

To assist in bearing the cost of the expanded programs, Blackwell devoted a great deal of time to the organization of a comprehensive development program (Development 1959); and an overall master plan was implemented in 1960 (Development 1960). The papers also document efforts to increase financial aid through scholarships and loans (Scholarships/Student Loans 1957-1960). Efforts continued in strengthening the Home Economics Foundation (Home Economics 1957-1960). The Bryan Professor for Financial Affairs was created in 1959 (Bryan 1959), and the Friends of the Library was organized (Library 1959).

The Blackwell papers reflect the response of Woman's College to the increased opportunities for women in the United States after World War II, to the state's commitment to improved public services, and to the growing American role in world affairs. Programs in nursing education (Nursing 1957-1958), special education (Special Education 1957), medical technology (Curriculum, Chancellors Report, Medical, 1958) and adult education (Adult 1958) were established. In-school and educational television came into being (Television 1957-1958).

A new undergraduate major in Political Science was approved in 1959 (History 1959). New graduate programs were offered in Special Education (Special Education 1957), Home Economics (1959), Physical Education (1959) and Music Education (1959). Preliminary efforts were also being made to establish a doctorate of Home Economics with a major in Child and Family Development (1960).

Various changes during the Blackwell years affected the students as well as the type of student that came to Woman's College. A superior students program was established (1959, 1960); weekends for prospective students were first held in 1960 (Freshmen); psychiatric help for students, begun in 1955-56, continued (Health Services, 1957-1958); a reading clinic was established (Reading 1960); and a faculty committee on counseling was created (Academic Counseling 1959).

Expanded benefits for faculty came about under Blackwell. The Research Council offered support for faculty scholarship and emphasized faculty research and publication (Research Council 1958, Board of Trustees 1957). Although funds for faculty salary adjustments (Faculty 1958) and an improved insurance program (1960) were implemented during these years, raids on the faculty by other institutions were a continuing concern.

The records also provide material on special events and the specific atmosphere of the period--the Asian flu epidemic (Asian 1957); the Coraddi "incident" (Coraddi 1958); tour of the Far East by drama students (Departments, Drama 1958-1959); Civil Defense plans (Executive Reserve 1959); Brandis Commission Report on Academic Freedom (Brandis 1959; Board of Higher Education 1958); civil rights sit-ins in Greensboro (Dime Store Crisis 1960); and an interview with Mrs. Jefferson Penn about Chinqua-Penn Plantation (Penn 1960).

Blackwell's speeches (Box 22) reflect the times and the problems confronting the Woman's College in the late 1950's. Many of the speeches concern the renewed interest in education for women.

Blackwell spoke frequently of the "tidal wave of students" which offered both a challenge and an opportunity. He called for special attention to the role of women in the future and to the need for "uncommon women." He also dealt with other aspects of the contemporary educational world, trends in higher education and adult education. He depicted the changing mission of the Woman's College, the need to plan for the future needs of the metropolitan and urban Piedmont crescent, and he lauded the importance of education as a financial investment for the state. On current national issues, Blackwell reflected the moderate view on racial and religious prejudices: a concern for the rights of others, but the belief that reason, not coercion, would provide a sounder base for civil rights and equity.


  • 1957-1960


Conditions Governing Access

This 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.


8.80 Linear Feet (22 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection contains the official records of Chancellor Gordon William Blackwell during his tenure at the College dating from 1957-1960. They include correspondence, reports, speeches, and related materials.

Arrangement Note

Blackwell's papers are arranged by calendar year, rather than academic year and are in an exact alphabetical arrangement. Unlike the papers of the other Presidents and Chancellors, the papers are usually by subject, rather than by the name of the correspondent. Departmental papers are most frequently placed under "Departments" and then by alphabetical order. But related materials may also be found under the name of the chairman or under a special project. Reports of deans are usually filed under the name of the dean or division. The Board of Trustee folders often have general reports from various areas.

Method of Acquisition

Boxes 1-22, the official papers of the Office of the Chancellor of the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, have been on campus in various locations. Some of the biographical material in box 22 was originally in the vertical file in the University Archives.

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Processing Information

Processed by University Archives Staff.

Gordon Williams Blackwell 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