The records of the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs document the fund-raising, reporting, research, and public relations activities of the development arm of Oberlin College from 1887 to the present. Unfortunately, they do not provide a consecutive account of the complicated history of the Development Office per se. That history may be constructed by consulting this collection and related holdings of institutional records and personal papers (as detailed below) in the Oberlin College Archives which fill a great many of the informational gaps in these records. Inevitably, gaps will remain in such a history; for example, the correspondence of such key development administrators as C.R. Keesey, Charles Isackes, Richard Fenn Seaman, David W. Clark, and Richard J. Dunn is either unavailable or no longer extant.
Records are arranged into two subgroups: Subgroup I, Administrative Files; and Subgroup II, Campaign Files. Within each subgroup, records are subdivided into records series as follows: Subgroup I (Administrative Files): Series 1. Annual Reports; 2. Board of Trustees, Reports to; 3. Budgetary Reports; 4. Gift Reports and Summaries; 5. Consultants' Reports on Fund-Raising; 6. Miscellaneous Correspondence; 7. Donor Correspondence Files; 8. Estate Appraisal Records; 9. Named Funds and Foundations; 10. Office Procedures for Handling Gifts; 11. Personnel Files; 12. Public Relations Files; 13. Funded Educational Project Files; and 14. Subject Files. Subgroup II (Campaign Files): Series 1. Early Capital Campaigns; 2. Henry Churchill King Memorial Campaign; 3. Capital Campaigns 1960-83; and 4. Campaign for Oberlin. Within series, records are typically arranged alphabetically or chronologically. Some records series are further subdivided into subseries. The records of the Alumni Association (1887-1986) and the Alumni Information Services (formerly Alumni Records, 1833-1991) are segregated within the archives for classification purposes.
Within the Administrative Files of Subgroup I, the annual reports (1944, 1958-69, 1974, 1980-90) and correspondence (1946-83) offer modest research potential. Annual reports for the period 1906-58, prepared by the Presidential Assistants in charge of fund-raising, are available in the Office of the Secretary (5). Related documentation is housed with the professional papers (Record Group 3) of these officials: William F. Bohn (1878-1947), who spearheaded fund-raising drives from 1913 to 1944 under Presidents Henry Churchill King (1858-1934) and Ernest Hatch Wilkins (1880-1966); Charles Whiting Williams (1878-1975), Harold Sanford Wood (1898-1989); Thomas Edward Harris (1908-90); and Bayley F. Mason (b. 1929). The published annual reports of the presidents of Oberlin College (1876--) contain submissions from the development office, and they are relatively rich in detail.
In this collection, statistics on alumni/ae and friends giving are available in the annual publication of the Development Office, the Oberlin College Gift Report (1956-91) and in statistical charts summarizing giving (1928-55); these records are housed in Series 4, Gift Reports and Summaries. Additional statistics are available in the records of the Alumni Fund in Series 9 and in the Campaign Files of Subgroup II. The papers of President Robert Kenneth Carr contain statistics on giving (1960-71); these are located in Subgroup IV, Series 2, Boxes 21 and 22.
A small but significant body of documentation exists in this collection relating to the establishment of a permanent development program at Oberlin. Reports of the New York firm of Marts and Lundy (1946-58) recommend the creation of a Development Office headed by a Director of Development and reveal Oberlin's public relations concerns and financial needs during the first decade of the Stevenson administration. Cresap, McCormick, and Paget's "Administrative Survey of Oberlin College" (1951), available in the papers of President Stevenson (2/8), contains similar recommendations. The involvement of the Board of Trustees in initiating a formal development program is in part documented by the policy statements (1952) of Walter K. Bailey (b. 1897; A.B. 1919), and by a transcript of a discussion among trustees Arnaud C. Marts (1888-1970), Erwin N. Griswold (b. 1904), and President William E. Stevenson (1900-85) debating methods of fund-raising (1956). Additional Board of Trustees records relating to the implementation of a major capital campaign and development program are filed as "Trustee Committee on Building Fund," in the professional papers of President Stevenson (2/8), Subgroup II, Series 1, Board of Trustees Committees. The records (1892-1973) of the Board of Trustees' Investment Committee (1), include annual reports for the years 1933-36, 1958-70, and minutes and memoranda for the period 1906-53.
In general, the correspondence (1946-83) is thin and of a routine administrative nature. Correspondents include Paul Douglas (b. 1918), Director of Public Relations from 1953-58; C. Robert Keesey (b. 1923), Director of Development 1953-57; Robert Buss (b. 1919) of the Cleveland-based Endowment Advisory Service; counsel for the College, Scribner and King Fauver (1958-78); and David W. Clark (1981-83) in his capacity as Vice President for External Affairs. Subjects treated include campaigns, legal and financial questions relating to donor gifts, and donor prospects. For additional correspondence, consult the presidential papers of Ernest Hatch Wilkins (2/7), William E. Stevenson (2/8), and Robert Kenneth Carr (2/9).
The bulk of Subgroup I, Administrative Files, consists of donor correspondence files (1916-83). These files constitute a sampling of the files originally received by the Archives which were weeded in order to reduce bulk. They include file copies of letters sent to individuals, private foundations, business concerns, government agencies, and other groups acknowledging receipt of current-use gifts from alumni (the Annual Fund), outright gifts of cash or property for current and capital purposes (endowment, plant and equipment, student loans) or designated funds for scholarships, memorials, or other special purposes. Additional records relating to property gifts and foundation support to the college are housed in Series 9, Named Funds and Foundations. Series 8, Estate Appraisal Records, contains extensive documentation of the legal wrangling which led to the settlement of two major estates, the Seabury C. Mastick (1960-77) and Eva Renz Young-Hunter (1951-83) estates. Files include appraisal records of the Mastick's Florida property (1960-72) and the Young-Hunter's Taos, New Mexico property and art collection (1980), as well as correspondence, legal documents, and development proposals. For lists of early donors to Oberlin, consult the donor files (1901-05) of President John Henry Barrows in 2/5. The presidents' annual reports include a section entitled "Donors" which enumerates major donations.
Additional administrative files include office procedures for handling gifts (1958-70); personnel records (1958-68), and public relations files (1887-1987), which contain a complete chronological run of Development Office publications. Series 13, Funded Educational Projects, includes files relating to fundraising for such entities as the Allen Memorial Art Museum, the Jesse Philips Physical Education Center, and the Mudd Learning Center, as well as for curricular programs like Women's Studies, the Special Educational Opportunities Program, and foreign language study abroad programs. Series 14, Subject Files, includes files relating to student life which were retained by the Development Office as a source of ready reference. Files include memoranda sent to the office by various college offices, departments, and programs.
Valuable materials chronicle the history of fund-raising at Oberlin from 1900 to the present. Subgroup II, Campaign Files (1900‑91), documents early fund drives (1900-14), the institution of the Living Endowment Union (1900), the first capital campaign of 1923, the Henry Churchill King Memorial Campaign (1954-66), and several recent campaigns, including the Campaign for Oberlin (1987-91). Best documented of the campaigns is the King Memorial Campaign. All phases of the campaign are recorded: the kick-off in 1953; statistics on giving (1953-58); nationwide soliciting from Akron to San Francisco (1954-57); the planning and design of the King Building (1957); and the building's groundbreaking (1959) and dedication (1966) ceremonies. Photographs (1960‑62) depict various activities associated with the campaign, including successive phases in the King building construction. Additional files on campaigns are located in the records of the Office of the Secretary (5). For the subscription books (1839) of the Rev. John Keep and William Dawes kept during their fund-raising mission to England, consult the Oberlin File (21), section VI.
The records are arranged as follows:
Subgroup I. Administrative Files
Series 1. Annual Reports
Series 2. Board of Trustees, Reports to
Series 3. Budgetary Reports
Series 4. Gift Reports and Summaries
Series 5. Consultants’ Reports on Fundraising
Series 6. Miscellaneous Correspondence
Series 7. Donor Correspondence Files
Subseries 1. Early Donor Correspondence
Subseries 2. General Donor Correspondence
Subseries 3. Individual Donor Correspondence
Subseries 4. Correspondence of Alumni Secretary, Leslie Fishel
Subseries 5. Corporate Donor Correspondence
Series 8. Estate Appraisal Records
Subseries 1. Seabury and Agnes W. Mastick Estate
Subseries 2. Eva Renz Young-Hunter Estate
Subseries 3. Estate and Records (General), A-Z
Series 9. Named Funds and Foundations
Series 10. Office Procedures for Handling Gifts
Series 11. Personnel Files
Series 12. Public Relations Files
Series 13. Funded Educational Project Files
Series 14. Suject Files
Series 15. Reunion Giving Program Files
Subgroup II. Campaign Files
Series 1. Early Capital Campaigns
Series 2. Henry Churchill King Memorial Campaign
Series 3. Capital Campaigns
Series 4. Campaign for Oberlin
Series 5. New Oberlin Century Campaign
Series 6. Oberlin Illuminate Campaign
Subgroup I. Administrative Files, 1857-1885, 1916-2000 (26 l.f.)
Subgroup I consists of records created and received by the Office of Development in the course of carrying out the following administrative functions: handling and reporting financial gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations; researching techniques of fund-raising; and maintaining good public relations with constituents. Records are divided into thirteen records series, each reflective of a distinct administrative function.
Series 1. Annual Reports, 1944, 1958-69, 1974, 1980-90 (0.1 l.f.)
Includes file copies of the Development Office's annual statement which was submitted to the Office of the President for inclusion in the President's annual report; original drafts of the office's "Report to the President'; and a series of annual reports from the Vice President for External Affairs, David W. Clark, 1980-83. Reports are chronologically arranged.
Series 2. Board of Trustees, Reports to, 1952-83, 2005 (0.2 l.f.)
Consists of Development Office reports commissioned by the Board of Trustees to investigate methods of fund-raising and recommend long-range strategies for meeting Oberlin's needs. Early development policy statements (1952-58) include the first formal proposal by trustee Walter K. Bailey (A.B. 1919) for a structured development program at Oberlin (1952). Reports are chronologically arranged. Also included is the Bosworth Report on fundraising, 2005 (Restricted).
Series 3. Budgetary Reports, 1956-60, 1985-87, 1994-95 (0.3 l.f.)
Includes two "budget and Programs" reports for the years 1985/86 and 1986/87 submitted to staff by Richard Dunn, Vice President for Development and Alumni Affairs (1984-90). Also includes loose papers relating to Development Office general expenses (1956-60),and account statements, 1994/95, for expense by divisional responsibility, summary of operations and unrestricted funds. [2001/121] Records are chronologically arranged.
Series 4. Gift Reports and Summaries, 1928-91 (0.4 l.f.)
Consists of the annual Development Office publication, Oberlin College Gift Reports (1956-), together with summaries of giving from 1928 to 1955. Records are chronologically arranged. End of year report for 1998/99 filed in Series 3, box 2/ [2001/121]
Series 5. Consultants' Reports on Fund-Raising, 1946-82 (0.4 l.f.)
Includes reports of various public relations and financial services firms retained by Oberlin to assess the college's financial needs and its abilities to raise funds. Marts and Lundy files contain the earliest such reports (1946-58). Files for the Hill and Knowlton public relations firm (1981-82) and the John Price Jones Company (1946-61) include correspondence. Reports are alphabetically arranged by consultant.
Series 6. Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1946-83 (0.4 l.f.)
Includes correspondence files of several individuals associated with the Development Office since 1946, including the first Director of Development Charles Robert Keesey (1948-58), Paul Douglas, Director of Public Relations (1953-57), David W. Clark, Vice President for External Affairs (1981-83), and college counsel, Fauver & Fauver of Elyria, Ohio (1958-78). Correspondence is of a routine administrative nature; it is alphabetically arranged and thereunder chronologically.
Series 7. Donor Correspondence Files, 1916-83 (12.8 l.f.)
Donor correspondence files are divided into five subseries. Subseries 1 through 4 consist of correspondence with individual donors; Subseries 5 consists of correspondence with corporate donors.See also Series 8, subseries 3. Estate and Donor Recoreds (General).
Subseries 1. Early Donor Correspondence, 1916-74
Files are maintained in the order in which they were received. These donors are members of the classes of the 1920s and 1930s who began giving during the 1950s. Files are alphabetically arranged.
Subseries 2. General Donor Correspondence, 1961-75
These files include three distinct runs of correspondence: A-C, 1961-67; A-Z, 1964-74; and Correspondence, 1975, filed by month. Each separate run, consisting of file copies of gift acknowledgments, constitutes but a sampling of the voluminous
correspondence files received in 1986. The paucity of correspondence for each donor made it unnecessary to create a separate file for each donor, as was done for the correspondence in Subseries 3 below.
Subseries 3. Individual Donor Correspondence, 1961-81
Individual donor files include file copies and incoming correspondence. Outgoing correspondence is signed by various directors and associate directors of development, including Charles French Isackes (served 1958-67), Robert Deane Jenkins (1967-), Richard Fenn Seaman (1967-71), and David W. Clark (1972-81). Letters typically thank the donor for contributed funds, including current-use gifts to the Annual Fund, funds to establish scholarships or memorials, or major capital (non-annual) gifts.
Subseries 4. Correspondence of Alumni Secretary, Leslie Fishel, 1950-57 (2.5 l.f.)
Carbon copies of letters (in brittle condition) sent to donors by Alumni Association Secretaries Leslie H. Fishel (1955-57) and Thomas E. Harris (1953-55) acknowledging receipt of contributions to the Alumni Fund. Correspondence is alphabetically arranged.
Subseries 5. Corporate Donor Correspondence, 1931-70 (1.25 l.f.)
Correspondence between development officials and major corporations, such as General Electric and U.S. Steel, relating to corporate giving in the form of named scholarships or capital gifts. Files are arranged alphabetically by corporation.
Series 8. Estate Appraisal Records, 1857-85, 1884, 1929-95 (20.2 l.f.)
Records relate to the protracted settlement of two major estates which bequeathed property in New Mexico and Florida to Oberlin College.
Subseries 1. Seabury and Agnes W. Mastick Estate, 1939, 1942, 1969-77
Records include correspondence and legal documents relating to the Agnes Warner Mastick Trust, the Seabury Mastick Estate, and the Seabury C. and Agnes Warner Mastick Estate (1960-74); appraisal of the Mastick's Sarasota, Florida property (1960-72); and developers' plans for development of the property (1972-77).
Subseries 2. Eva Renz Young-Hunter Estate, 1857-85, 1929-83
Files include records of the appraisal of the Young-Hunter estate with its art collection; wills of John and Eva R. Schroeer Young-Hunter (A.B. 1915); correspondence; and miscellaneous files relating to settlement negotiations between Oberlin College counsel and Albuquerque National Bank (1968-83) and the Wayland Baptist College of Plainview, Texas (1979-80).
Subseries 3. Estate and Records (General), A-Z, 1952-95
Consists of documtntation related to estate files of deceased individuals. The settlements included bequests to Oberlin College. [Accessions 1998/72 and 1993/22]
Series 9. Named Funds and Foundations, 1941-87 (2.4 l.f.)
Includes administrative files relating to the establishment of and soliciting for several designated finds, gifts, or projects, together with the files of foundations offering financial support to the college, such as the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges. Files are alphabetically arranged by fund and by foundation. Consult Series 13, Funded Educational Projects, for records of projects frequently funded by foundation support.
Series 10. Office Procedures for Handling Gifts, 1958-70 (0.4 l.f.)
Files include Development Office memoranda, circulated to several college offices, outlining procedures for the handling, transmitting, acknowledging, and billing of gifts and pledges to the College; files describing techniques of planned giving, such as annuity plans or retained life income plans; and examples of newly revised office forms. Files are arranged alphabetically by type of material.
Series 11. Personnel Files, 1958-68, 1974 (0.2 l.f.)
Includes largely transactional memoranda documenting the employment of individuals on the Development Office staff and candidate files for searches undertaken in 1974 for Assistant Director and Associate Director of Development. Only the files of successful candidates have been retained. Access to these files is restricted and requires permission of the Archivist.
Series 12. Public Relations Files, 1887-2007 (2.1 l.f.)
Records are divided into four subseries. Subseries 1, Development Office Publications, includes a complete chronological run of Development Office publications (1887-1996), which include general informational brochures, samples of invitations and holiday cards, special publications describing specific gifts or funded projects, membership listings for the John Frederick Oberlin Society, and publications associated with the capital campaigns. Subseries 2 contains general studies on philanthropy received by Oberlin College from educational publishers (1961-79). Subseries 3 includes scripts and publicity for several promotional films (1960-70); and Subseries 4 includes publicity photographs (1960-62) relating to various campaign activities. For additional publicity relating to capital campaigns, consult the files of specific campaigns, Subgroup II, Campaign Files.
Series 13. Funded Educational Project Files, 1963-85 (4.35 l.f.)
Includes files relating to proposed and completed funding for various campus building and curricular projects. Buildings include the Allen Memorial Art Museum, the Jesse Philips Physical Education Center, and Mudd Learning Center. Funded curricular projects include the Special Educational Opportunities Program, Women's Studies, foreign language study abroad programs, and such student-run organizations as WOBC radio and the Oberlin College Sailing Club. Files are arranged alphabetically by subject.
Series 14. Subject Files, 1946-83 (0.65 l.f.)
Consists of reference or working files relating to all aspects of student life at Oberlin, which were received from various College departments, programs, and offices and maintained by the Office of Development. Files typically contain memoranda, correspondence, and printed materials. Subjects include grading procedures, the establishment of coed dorms, and "Parents' Weekend." Files are alphabetically arranged by subject.
Series 15. Reunion Giving Program Files, 1973-93 (0.2 l.f.)
Consists of records of reunion giving, 1973-93, and lists of reunion committee members, 1987-93.
Subgroup II. Campaign Files, 1900-present (6.45 l.f.)
Subgroup II contains records created and received in the course of conducting early fund drives and major capital campaigns. Records span over a century. Files are divided into six series.
Series 1. Early Capital Campaigns, 1900-23 (0.2 l.f.)
Includes the records of several early fund drives and the first capital campaign, the 1923 Campaign for the Endowment and Building Fund. Records are chronologically arranged by campaign.
Series 2. Henry Churchill King Memorial Campaign, 1954-66 (4 l.f.)
Series 2 is divided into the following subseries: 1. General Files; 2. Area Campaign Files; and 3. King Building Files. General Files include preliminary reports on the campaign, statistics on giving, and lists of prospective donors. Area Campaign files, arranged alphabetically by geographic area, consist of lists of donors nationwide annotated by area campaign solicitors. The King Building Files document the planning, groundbreaking, and dedication phases of the King Building project. Subseries are arranged to reflect the progress of the campaign, from its inception to the King Building opening.
Series 3. Capital Campaigns, 1960-83 (0.6 l.f.)
Includes publicity for several recent campaigns, including the Science and Music Building Fund Campaign (1960-61); the Action Program (1964) to raise matching funds for the Ford Foundation gift; Outlook for the Seventies (1970-74); and the 19/83 Campaign (1979-83).
Series 4. Campaign for Oberlin, 1986-91 (0.2 l.f.)
Includes lists of donors and volunteers and printed materials prepared for donors, including the campaign newsletter Topics (1989-91) and various campaign prospecti. Records are chronologically arranged.
Series 5. New Oberlin Century Campaign, 1999-2004 (0.8 l.f.)
Printed matter, brochures, newsletters, files on the new Science Center and the book In Their Shadow in Their Light, as well as luncheon and symposium events.
Series 6. Oberlin Illuminate Campaign, 2012-
Comprised of 219 born-digital photographs of the campaign kick-off weekend, 22-23 September 2012, taken by Dale Preston. Each image is 314 ppi RGB, for a total of 1027.1 MB. Additional materials will be added as received.
Inventories are available for several accessions that have not yet been interfiled. See the Archivist for information.