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Lawrence College and Milwaukee-Downer College Consolidation Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: LU-RG01-015
The collection contains records documenting the 1964 consolidation of Milwaukee-Downer College with Lawrence College to form Lawrence University. Official and legal documents, correspondence between the two institutions regarding the logistics of transferring people and materials, financial records, and publications describing the consolidation, including newspaper articles, are included. The bulk of the records date from 1963 to 1965, but materials discussing the future of Milwaukee-Downer that pre-date the consolidation, as well as materials documenting anniversaries of the consolidation, are also included.


  • 1960-2019
  • 1963-1964


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Student files in Box 4 are restricted until 2042, and faculty files in Box 4 are restricted until 2039.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights and copyright reside with Lawrence University. For uses beyond those allowed for fair use under U. S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.), please contact the University Archivist.


1.20 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Biographical or Historical Information

Milwaukee-Downer College, founded in 1895 with the consolidation of Milwaukee Female College and Downer College, was a prominent women's college in Milwaukee during the first half of the 20th century. By 1950, enrollment at Milwaukee-Downer was declining, and by 1962-1963, the trustees were forced to consider other arrangements. The decision to consolidate with then Lawrence College was announced jointly in Milwaukee and Appleton on October 22, 1963. The consolidation became official on July 1, 1964, and the institution adopted the name Lawrence University. In the fall of 1964, 21 Downer faculty members and 49 students transferred to Lawrence. The 43-acre Milwaukee campus was sold to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Arrangement Note

Materials are arranged alphabetically by subject or format.

Method of Acquisition

Materials have been acquired over time.

Processing Information

Preliminarily processed prior to 2005. Final processing and finding aid completed by Erin Dix, 2013.


Archon Finding Aid Title
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Lawrence University Archives Repository

Seeley G. Mudd Library
113 South Lawe Street
Appleton WI 54911 US
(920) 832-6753