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John Rood Cunningham Collection

Identifier: DC005

Scope and Contents

The collection contains biographical information and information about Dr. Cunningham's family. It also has correspondence from Dr. Cunningham's years as president, as well as original correspondence dated after his resignation, which discusses his term as president of Davidson College. There are several published manuscripts, most of which are about Davidson College. The printed material includes information about the Community Relations Committee of Charlotte, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, the International Conference on World Peace, 1946, and the Presbyterian Foundation. There is also printed material about Davidson College discussing the Cunningham Fine Arts Building, the inauguration and retirement from the presidency, and his activities while president. Additional donations added scrapbooks, some geneaological materials and more photographs.The photographs include pictures of Davidson College, photos of his family, portraits, general photographs, and negatives. The collection is organized into the following series: 1) Biographical Information; 2) Correspondence; 3) Manuscripts, published; 4) Printed Material; 5) Photographs 6) Scrapbooks and Oversize. The archives also as Cunningham's Presidential Papers, RG 2/1.13, and AV files related to him. See Video 42, Audio 226 & 311, artifact A-723 and the film Churchman, Educator, Gentleman, Dr. John, F. Cunningham.


  • Creation: 1940 - 1980

Biographical / Historical

Dr. Cunningham was born in Williamsburg, Missouri, on July 3, 1891. He attended Westminster Presbyterian College in Fulton, Missouri, graduation in 1914. In 1917 he graduated from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and was ordained to the ministry of the Presbyterian Church. Dr. Cunningham served as an army Y.M.C.A. secretary during World War I, then joined the service of the War Work Council before accepting his first pastorate in Grenada, Mississippi. In 1923 he accepted a pastorate to the First Presbyterian Church in Gainesville, Florida. In 1928 Dr. Cunningham became pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Bristol, Tennessee, and in 1930 he was asked to be president of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. In 1936 he returned to an active pastorate by acceping the call of the First Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem, N.C. In 1940 he was elected president of Davidson College. In 1945 he served on the American Section of the World Council of Churches, and in 1946 he served on the World Council Service Commission of the World Council of Churches. In 1957 Dr. Cunningham retired from the presidency to becone Executive Director of the Presbyterian Foundation. Dr. Cunningham retired from Mecklenburg Presbytery. He died in 1980.


1.04 Linear Feet (3 boxes + oversize)



Immediate Source of Acquisition

additional materials - 2008-16|2008-140|2013-085|2014-042

Processing Information

Processed on 08/23/1994

John Rood Cunningham Collection
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections Repository