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Douglas Knight Presidential Papers

Identifier: LU-RG03-008
This collection is composed of the papers of Douglas Knight, President of Lawrence College from 1954 to 1963. The bulk of the collection is correspondence sent and received dating from his tenure as President. Subjects discussed include donations to the college, building projects, and controversy over the National Defense Student Loan Program affadavit. The collection also includes newspaper clippings, speeches, publications, and photographs, as well as materials related to Knight's subsequent presidency at Duke University.


  • 1950-2005
  • 1954-1963


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Lawrence University does not hold the copyright for all materials in this collection. Uses beyond those allowed for fair use under U. S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) require the researcher to secure permission from the copyright holder.


4.95 Linear Feet (7 boxes)

Biographical or Historical Information

Douglas Knight, president of Lawrence College from 1954 to 1963, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1921. He received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Yale University. After receiving his Ph.D., he taught as an assistant professor at Yale until he was appointed to the Lawrence presidency in 1953. Age 32 at the time, he was the youngest president in Lawrence history. As President, Knight was focused on improving Lawrence's national reputation. During his tenure, enrollment increased and the geographical representation of the student body expanded. Knight also prioritized growing Lawrence's endowment and enhancing campus facilities. Colman, Plantz, and Trever Halls, as well as the Music-Drama Center and a major addition to the library were all constructed during Knight's presidency. Knight was appointed as Duke University's fifth president in 1963, serving in this position until controversy over student protests in 1969 forced him to resign. He then became Division Vice President for Educational Development at RCA. In 1976, he became president of Questar, a small manufacturer of optical instruments for industry, medicine, and astronomy. He died on January 23, 2005 in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

Arrangement Note

Materials are arranged alphabetically by format.

Method of Acquisition

The donor and date the collection was transferred to the University Archives are unknown. It was transferred to the University Archives prior to July 2005

Processing Information

Preliminary processing completed prior to 2005, date and processor unknown. Final processing and finding aid completed by Erin Dix, 2011.
Archon Finding Aid Title
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Lawrence University Archives Repository

Seeley G. Mudd Library
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