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Hollis Godfrey administration records


Held at: Drexel University: Archives and Special Collections [Contact Us]W. W. Hagerty Library, 3300 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Drexel University: Archives and Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Hollis Godfrey (1887-1936) served as president of the Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry from 1913 to 1921. Educated as an engineer at Tufts (1895), Harvard (1905-1906), and MIT (1898) where he also taught. He regularly wrote articles on scientific subjects for a number of different publications. He wrote The Man Who Ended War, which was published in 1908. From 1906-1910 he worked as an administrator at the School of Practical Arts in Boston prior to becoming president of Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry in December of 1913.

Godfrey made many changes at Drexel during his Presidency. He reorganized the Institute's independent departments into three schools, discontinued a number of programs, and standardized the schools' curricula into systematized two- to four-year programs of study leading to formal degrees. He also strengthened the entrance requirements for admission to Drexel. The changes he made primarily affected the Day School. The Department of Architecture was closed in 1914 under his tenure. The Library School was also closed during this period. In 1914 the School of Engineering was combined into one department from several different academic disciplines. Drexel stopped offering systematic courses at the secondary level and concentrated on achieving full academic rigor for their college courses.

Godfrey began the cooperative plan during his tenure as President. By the 1919-1920 academic years the Engineering School was offering cooperative training. The Reserve Officers’ Training Core (ROTC) was established at Drexel in 1919. There were numerous engineering societies who established student chapters at Drexel including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Godfrey was heavily involved in outside associations during his time at Drexel. These were all connected to his academic interests including scientific management, management in education, and the role of engineering education in national defense. He led efforts to establish the Council for National Defense and led its Advisory Committee on Engineering and Education during World War I. General Leonard Wood, Howard Coffin, and Elihu Root also established the Council. Godfrey was the Commissioner of the Advisory Committee of the Council of National Defense and based on this experience he spoke before Congress in 1919 on the issue of defense.

Dr. Godfrey left Drexel in 1921 to establish and direct the Council for Management Education. This new organization grew out of a meeting held in 1920 at Drexel looking at technical training and how to improve it for the requirements of industry. He later became president of the Engineering-Economics Foundation, headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. He died on January 17, 1936.


Obituary in Drexel Triangle 01/24/1936

McDonald Edward D. and Edward M. Hinton. Drexel Institute of Technology, 1891-1941, A Memorial History. Philadelphia [Camden, N.J., Printed by the Haddon Craftsmen, Inc.] 1942.

The collection consists of records from Dr. Godfrey's term as president of Drexel and the years immediately following, including his publications and manuscripts, speeches, and correspondence. The majority of the records are dated 1914-1922, except for a small number of newspaper clippings from later in Dr. Godfrey's career.

The correspondence series shows the contacts and daily administration of the Office of the President during this time period. There is a small amount of correspondence from C. L. Eyanson, Director of the Extension Department of Drexel, about administrative matters. These include arranging Godfrey’s schedule and dealing with individuals outside of Drexel who wanted access to Godfrey’s publications. John S. Pearson, Godfrey’s assistant, is also a frequent correspondent included in the collections. The correspondence includes two essays by Godfrey which were sent to interested individuals. The correspondence series contains letters to and from Godfrey during his term as President of the Drexel Institute. These are often interspersed with typewritten addresses written by Godfrey and others.

There is correspondence from Kenneth G. Matheson from 1922 after he had started as the President of the Drexel Institute while Godfrey was working at the Engineering-Economics Foundation. Godfrey’s obituary printed in the Drexel Triangle from 1936 and newspaper articles of his speaking engagements from 1917 are also in this folder. Glen L. Swiggett, was an employee of the United States Board of Education, and frequently corresponded with the Office of the President on conducting research about schools teaching economics. Clarence Wilson Brazer, a prominent architect in the twentieth century, protested the closure of the architectural school at the Drexel Institute in 1914 in a letter he wrote to Godfrey.

There is also a letter from Godfrey to the Honorable Charlemagne Tower, a trustee of Drexel Institute, in which Godfrey requested small changes in Tower’s written address, given at the Founders’ Day convocation in 1917, along with the address Tower gave. Tower was a trustee of the Drexel Institute.

There is also correspondence which may have been copied by Harriet Worrell at a later date and which ranges from 1914-1922.

The second series primarily consists of writings by Godfrey. These include published articles, speeches, statements before Congress and other types of writing. There are pamphlets entitled the “The Drexel Idea” 1919, “Management Education” 1920, and “The Foreman” 1919. Also in this series are published articles taken from commencement addresses he gave and other talks. The subjects of his writings include Drexel and what it has to offer as an educational institution, the best ways for management to be trained to help industry be more productive, and how the foreman in a factory can be used to fully utilize the goals of the company and help workers be more productive.

The writings on Drexel include his ideas on the mission of Drexel, how the school was organized, the budget, and the changing requirements of being a technical school in a major city. This included the role of both faculty and students in the school.

This series includes a written version of Godfrey’s comments before Congress on War Expenditures in 1919 in which he discussed the First World War and his insight into the world situation. This address included an analysis of Godfrey’s own academic work on finances and management and spending during the war. There are also certificates of copyright for two of Godfrey’s publications from 1932.

Series 3, Research and Correspondence contains a Bibliography of Writings by Hollis Godfrey revised in March of 1959 by Frances Wright, a librarian. There is also correspondence from Julius J. Mussuto on research he was conducting on Godfrey. This series includes correspondence between Frances Wright and librarians from Boston on newspaper articles in the Boston newspapers on Godfrey.

The fourth series is a small series consisting of a chart with the administration of Drexel outlined on it.

This collection contains correspondence, charts, pamphlets, bibliographies, addresses, and transcriptions.

  1. Correspondence
  2. Speeches and Writings
  3. Research and Correspondence on Godfrey, 1961
  4. Drexel Administration

Biographical notes from the collection. Hollis Godfrey Administrative Records.

McDonald, Edward D., and Edward M. Hinton. Drexel Institute of Technology 1891-1941: A Memorial History. Philadelphia: Haddon Craftsmen, Inc., 1942.

Date and circumstances of transfer to the archives unknown.

This collection was refoldered in 2005. A finding aid was written in 2008 by Robin Elliot.

Drexel University: Archives and Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Robin Elliot
Finding Aid Date

Collection Inventory

Scope and contents note

This series includes letters with alumni, Founders Day Speakers, and perspective candidates to become President of the Drexel Institute on the retiring of Godfrey.

Brazer, Clarence W., (Clarence Wilson), 1880-1956 . Correspondence, Letter to Dr. Godfrey, 1914-Clarence Wilson Brazer, October 28, 1914.
Box 1 Folder 1
Scope and contents note

correspondence on closure of architectural school at Drexel

Correspondence, 1915-1917, 1915-1917.
Box 1 Folder 2
Correspondence-Founders Day, Correspondence and speech by Honorable Charlemagne Tower, October 18, 1917.
Box 1 Folder 3
Scope and contents note

correspondence, address of Charlemagne Tower, a Trustee of Drexel

Correspondence, 1920-1922.
Box 1 Folder 4
Scope and contents note


Correspondence, 1919-1922.
Box 1 Folder 5
Correspondence and Papers, search for replacement of Godfrey included, 1921.
Box 1 Folder 6
Scope and contents note

correspondence, reports, resumes

Scope and contents note

This series contains speeches and writings by Godfrey on academic subjects.

Cooperative Courses-Reg for Activity (?), 1919-1922.
Box 1 Folder 8
Scope and contents note

reports, correspondence, essays including "Student and Faculty Activities in a City Technical School" and "Engineering" by Hollis Godfrey

The Drexel Idea: A Report Based on Facts by Dr. Hollis Godfrey, 1919.
Box 1 Folder 9
Foreman, 1919.
Box 1 Folder 10
The Institutional Budget by Dr. Hollis Godfrey, April 19, 1916.
Box 1 Folder 11
Pamphlets, 1915-1921.
Box 1 Folder 12
Scope and contents note

pamphlets including "The Service of the College to the State" by Hollis Godfrey, et al.; "Management Education" by Hollis Godfrey, 1920; "A Practical Guide for Educating Management Men" by Hollis Godfrey; "The Foreman" by Hollis Godfrey, 1919; "Application of Engineering Methods to the Problems of the Executive, Director and the Trustee" by Hollis Godfrey, 1915.

Pamphlets, writings by Godfrey, 1919.
Box 1 Folder 13
Scope and contents note


Records, correspondence, speeches, obituary, newspaper clippings, 1917-1936.
Box 1 Folder 14
Scope and contents note

records, correspondence, speeches, obituary, newspaper clippings

Speeches, 1914-1920.
Box 1 Folder 15
Typewritten MSS, n.d.
Box 1 Folder 16
Scope and contents note

typewritten copies of pamphlets

University Training for Public Service, 1916.
Box 1 Folder 17
War Expenditures, statement of Dr. Hollis Godfrey, October 20, 1919.
Box 1 Folder 18
Scope and contents note

statement by Dr. Godfrey in front of Congress

Certificate of Copyright Registration, 1932. 12 folders.
Box 1 Folder 19
Physical Description

12.0 folders

Physical Description

1.0 folders

Research and Correspondence on Godfrey, 1961.
Box 1 Folder 20
Series IV. Functionalization Chart, 1917. 1 folders.
Scope and contents note

This series contains a functionalization chart of the administration of Drexel, circa 1917.

Physical Description

1.0 folders

Print, Suggest