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Freshman Studies Collection


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

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Freshman Studies Collection, 1945-2018 | Lawrence University Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: Freshman Studies Collection, 1945-2018View associated digital content.

ID: LU-RG04/029

Primary Creator: Lawrence University

Extent: 1.45 Linear Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: This collection is arranged alphabetically by subject/format of materials.

Subjects: College freshmen, Education, Higher -- Curricula

Forms of Material: correspondence, syllabi

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The collection consists of materials documenting the history and development of Freshman Studies, a required course for freshmen at Lawrence introduced by President Nathan Pusey in the fall of 1945. Correspondence, schedules and reading lists, committee and grant documentation, and other curricular materials make up the bulk of the collection. Documentation on variations of the freshman core program offered during the 1970s is also included.

Collection Historical Note

The Freshman Studies program was first introduced in 1945 by President Nathan Pusey. Inspired by a similar program he had helped create at Wesleyan University, Pusey envisioned a course that would awaken beginning students’ intellectual curiosity with reading, writing, and discussion in the liberal arts. The course was initially taught as a two-semester course, with groups of fifteen or fewer students in each class and a shift in instructors each semester. Works studied most often in the program’s first ten years included works by Plato, Shakespeare, Marx and Engels, and Darwin, as well as works of art, music, and film. The course was initially popular among both students and faculty, though some faculty held concerns about the additional teaching load.

A shift in educational priorities in the 1960s further strained existing tensions between the general education nature of the course and faculty specializations. In 1969, one term of Freshman Studies was replaced with disciplinary “Topics of Inquiry.” The program was restructured several times during subsequent years until it was essentially abandoned in 1975.

After a few years of replacement freshman core programs, many faculty began to feel that these programs had failed to produce desired results in improving student writing and other objectives. One term of the traditional Freshman Studies program was reinstated in 1978, with additional support from a newly appointed director of the program, J. Michael Hittle. In response to growing sentiment in favor of returning to the original program, the faculty voted to reinstate the two-term program in 1986.

Since that time, the program has maintained its two-term structure. The course has also largely maintained its focus on encouraging intellectual curiosity in the liberal arts, though building skills in critical thinking and writing remain additional objectives.

Subject/Index Terms

College freshmen
Education, Higher -- Curricula

Administrative Information

Repository: Lawrence University Archives

Accruals: Materials on Freshman Studies will continue to be collected and added to this collection by the University Archivist.

Alternate Extent Statement: 2 boxes and 2 MB

Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: Property rights reside with Lawrence University.  For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the University Archivist.

Acquisition Method: Bulk of materials acquired prior to 2005. The source, date, and method of acquisition are unknown.

Preferred Citation: Freshman Studies Collection.  LU-RG04-029. Lawrence University Archives, Seeley G. Mudd Library, Appleton, Wisconsin.

Processing Information: Preliminary processing completed prior to 2005. Further processing and finding aid completed by Erin Dix, 2011.

Finding Aid Revision History: Curricular materials created/collected by Peter Fritzell removed from the collection to be cataloged and housed with other Peter Fritzell Papers, 2015-03-09.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],

Box 1
Folder 1: Annual Reports, 1946-1964
Sub-Series 1: Articles and written histories
Folder 2: Doeringer, F.M.,, 1985
Folder 3: Doeringer, F.M., collection of key documents, undated
Folder 4: Dreher, John,, 1995
Folder 5: Hulbert, Marshall, 1959, 1962
Folder 6: Jones, Anne Prioleau,, 1954
Folder 7: Lawrentian articles, 1972-1987View associated digital content.
Folder 8: Miscellaneous articles, 1945-1955
Folder 9: Schumann, Marguerite, assorted articles, 1949, 1959
Folder 10: Waples, Dorothy, 1946View associated digital content.
Folder 11: Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies, 1968
Folder 12: Committee on the Freshman Year, 1972
Folder 13: Committee for the Evaluation of Freshman Studies, 1992-1993
Folder 14: Freshman Studies Review Committee, 1996-1997
Folder 15: External correspondence, 1945-1979
Folder 16: Faculty correspondence, 1945-1960
Folder 17: Faculty correspondence, 1965View associated digital content.
Folder 18: Examinations, 1945-1996
Folder 19: Faculty lists, 1945-1960
Folder 20: Founder's Club, 2002
Folder 21: General files (memoranda, correspondence, notes on works), 1969-1992
Extent: 2 folders
Folder 23: Grant materials, Rockefeller Foundation Grant, 1945-1946
Folder 24: Grant materials, National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant, 1986-2005
Folder 25: Handbook for instructors, 1998-1999
Folder 26: Student handbooks, 1947-1998
Folder 27: Program descriptions, 1945-1952View associated digital content.
Folder 28: Schedules, 1945-2018
1945-2011 in paper format. 2014-2018 in digital format.
Extent: 11 folders
Folder 39: Seminars, 1975-1983
Folder 40: Seminars: Cultures in Collision, 1983
Folder 41: Topics of Inquiry, 1972-1973
Folder 42: Topics of Interest, 1934-1974
Sub-Series 2: Works
Folder 43: Bibliography of critical works, 1979
Folder 44: Bibliography of works from Sabin Alliance, 1986
Folder 45: List of works, 1945-2018
1945-1990 in paper format. 1990-2018 in digital format.
Folder 46: List of works, 1986-1987
Folder 47: Petitions to add works, 1995-1996
Folder 48: Suggestions, 1967-1994

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