The collection of files of Lawrence University president Henry Merritt Wriston, president from 1925-1937, is now processed and a finding aid is available online!
Selected materials from the collection have been digitized and can be viewed at the site
Check the site as items will continue to be added.
Henry Wriston is known for being a revolutionary both in the world of education and in his tenure at Lawrence. Some notable highlights of his presidency include:
— He was a supporter of the Conservatory of Music and worked to keep it open despite the Board of Trustees wanting to close it.
— He was very pro-active in building the art collection at Lawrence and bringing traveling exhibits to campus. His goal was to build a center for the arts, but due to the Great Depressions occurring at the time, this goal was not realized during his presidency.
— Wriston was the first Lawrence president who was not a Methodist minister, and severed the ties the Methodist church had with Lawrence by removing the Board of Visitors, a group of Methodists, from the Board of Trustees. He allowed social activities on campus that had been frowned upon by the Methodists and even attended the first dances held on campus.
— Wriston founded and became the first director of the Institute of Paper Chemistry, an institution of research and graduate study supported by the paper industry.
News consists chiefly of bad news from a newspaper man’s point of view. From the college point of view that is the kind we do not want to have circulated.
Wriston on college publicity in a letter to Lucia Briggs, president of Milwaukee-Downer College, November 21, 1933.
The goal of Lawrence for the future must be growth intellectually. For the students the growth must be self-discovery, learning to do what you really want to do, not what you came to do because obviously you come with rather unformed ambitions.
Wriston in a speech given at Lawrence University’s 125th anniversary celebration on January 15, 1972.
Interested in learning more about Henry Wriston and viewing his collection? Contact the Archives or stop by.