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Samuel Reid Spencer, Jr. Collection

Identifier: DC007

Scope and Contents

The collection is organized in the following series: 1) Biographical Information; 2) Correspondence; 3) Literary Material; 4) Appointment Books; 5) Printed Material; and 6) Photographs. The biographical information includes material on Dr. Spencer and his family. The correspondence includes letters written by Dr. Spencer when he was at Davidson College, correspondence with Davidson College after his graduation, correspondence as President of the college, and correspondence as President Emeritus. The literary material includes speeches given as President of the college, many of which were published in both local and national publications. There is also a copy of Dr. Spencer's doctoral thesis, "Cornerstone of Defense: A History of the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 from Inception to Enactment." There are appointment books from his years as president, 1968-1983. There is a notebook containing lists of things to do. The printed material includes information about the various boards on which he served and awards and honors he received. There is much information about his relationship wth Davidson College, including his term as Assistant to the President, the committees and commissions on which he served at Davidson College, including the goals committee, the church relations commission, and the athletics commission. There is information on his tenure as Dean of students and professor of history. There is material about his election, inauguration, resignation and retirement as president of Davidson College. There are press releases from Davidson College which discuss policies which were enacted during Dr. Spencer's time as president. There is also information about the Davidson R.O.T.C. program, as well as information about the controversial Linden Case. The printed material also includes information about Hollins College and Mary Baldwin College. There is information about the portrait of Dr. Spencer and also the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges. The photographs include large and small portraits, as well as more informal pictures.


  • Creation: 1940 - 1994

Biographical / Historical

Dr. Spencer was born in Rock Hill, South Carolina in 1919. He attended Davidson College and was graduated summa cum laude in 1940. He served in the U.S. Army from 1940-1945, where his duties included serving as Assistant Professor of Military science and Tactics at Davidson College from 1941-1943. He was released at the rank of Major, and then attended graduate schools, first at U.C.L.A., and then at Harvard, where he received both an MA and a PhD in history. In 1951 he returned to Davidson College, serving as Assistant to the President from 1951-1954, and as Dean of Students and Professor of History from 1954-1957. In 1957 he left Davidson to become president of Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia. In 1968 he was invited back to Davidson to serve as President of the College, a position which he held until 1983. Upon his retirement from the Presidency, he became the President of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges in Richmond, Virginia. He has written two books and has published numerous articles and speeches.


2.71 Linear Feet (7 boxes)