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President. Dr. Samuel Reid Spencer. Records

Identifier: RG02-15

Scope and Contents

Please note that Presidential records are closed fifty years prior to the current year.

The files from President Spencer's office consist primarily of correspondence and reports. These files cover all aspects of his administration including information on coeducation, minority students, self-selection for fraternities, the college's relationship with the Presbyterian Church, integration, student unrest and the Vietnam War, the changing role of athletics, College Bowl competitions, academic governance, the E. H. Little Library, and international students.

Information on coeducation can be found in the following files: Admissions, Agnes Scott College, Association of American Colleges--Project on Status and Education of Women, Coeducation, Consortium--Eight College Student Exchange, Housing--Student, Mary Baldwin College, Student Exchange Programs, and Transfer Students.

Information on integration and minority students can be found in the following files: Admissions, Black Student Coalition, Black Studies, Integration, and Richardson Fellows Program.

Information on self-selection can be found in the following files: Alcohol- Use of, Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) Fraternity, Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, Chi Psi Fraternity, Fraternities--Committee of Eighteen, Fraternities--Correspondence with Alumni re: Self -selection, Fraternities/Eating Houses, Kappa Alpha Fraternity, Kappa Sigma Fraternity, Patterson Court, Self-Selection, and Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity.

Information on athletics in the late 1960s through the early 1980s can be found in the following files: Athletics, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Scholarships--Athletics, Sports Information, and Athletics--Sports Center Project.

Information on the issue of governance is in the following files: American Association of University Professors, By-Laws, Governance, and Faculty Constitution.

Information on the college's relationship with the Presbyterian Church can be found in the following files: Campus Ministry/Chaplain, Chapel/Assembly/Vespers, Church/College Relationship, Council on Campus and Religious Life, Davidson Christian Fellowship, Davidson College--Presbyterian Church, Faculty Committee--Religious Program, National Congress on Church-Related Colleges and Universities, Presbyterian Church in the U.S., and Presbyterian Colleges--Association of.

Information on international students and study abroad programs can be found in the following files: Council on International Educational Exchange, Internationl Study, Faculty Committee--International Education, India, International Students, Richardson Fellows Program, Richardson Foundation, and Student Exchange Programs.

Information on Vietnam War can be found in the Moratorium (Vietnam), Peace Vigil, and Student Unrest/Dissent files. Information on service-learning internships can be found the Southern Regional Education Board folder.

Information on the inauguration of President Kuykendall along with the inaugural oath taken by President Kuykendall can be found in the file "Kuykendall, John Well '59 - Inauguration of"


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1968-1983, 2010


Conditions Governing Access

Please note that Presidential records are closed fifty years prior to the current year.

Biographical / Historical

The first president of the Davidson student body to become president of the College was Samuel Reid Spencer, class of 1940. After graduating summa cum laude from Davidson College, Spencer served in the U.S. Army during 1940-1945 and was released from active duty as a Major. He entered Harvard University, where he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. In 1951, Spencer returned to Davidson to serve as assistant to President Cunningham. After three years at Daivdson, he was named Dean of Students and Associate Professor of History, advancing to full professor in 1955. He left Davidson in 1957 to become president of Mary Baldwin College. In 1968, he returned once again to Davidson and accepted the office of president. During his tenure as president, 1968 to 1983, Davidson College witnessed the introduction of coeducation, the active recruiting of minority students, the establishment of the self-selection social system for fraternities, the emphasis on faculty research, and the development of foreign study opportunities for students. In addition, the college's endowment increased from $13.8 million to $30 million. Enrollment also increased from 1000 students in 1968 to 1350 in 1983.


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