Evening College 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
Drexel University was founded by Anthony J. Drexel, a Philadelphia financier and philanthropist, in 1891, as the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry. Among the Institutes initial offerings was a program of evening study for working adults, the Department of Lectures and Evening Classes, which eventually became the Evening College. Drexel himself hoped to address “the needs of a rapidly growing industrial society and the young men and women seeking their place in it.” Considered a “revolutionary notion for his day,” Drexel created “an institute that placed no restrictions on religion, race, gender or social class,” that emphasized practical training in business, laboratory sciences, cooking, art and library science (Rottenberg, p. 157). From its inception in 1892, the Department of Lectures and Evening Classes was a key component in achieving those goals.
In 1896, the Department of Lectures and Evening Classes was renamed the Department of Evening Courses. Classes offered included drawing, decorative painting, modeling, woodcarving, stained glass, mathematics, bookkeeping, stenography and typewriting, chemistry, physics, shop work in wood and iron, cookery, dressmaking, millinery, physical culture, economics, English, and architecture (McDonald, pp. 228-229, 232). Professors Arthur Rowland and Henry V. Gummere were instrumental in the program’s success as well as the introduction of "group courses". By grouping courses within various departments, after two years of study students were eligible for a technical or vocational certificate. Gummere became director in 1914.
During World War I, the college saw the withdrawal of its leading personnel and most of its male students.
After WWI, Director Gummere resigned and was replaced by Willis Spivey in 1919, who took the reins shortly after a 1918 decision to change the name of the Department of Evening Classes to the Evening School. Spivey is credited with reorganizing and revitalizing the Evening School. Under his leadership, the Evening School implemented a diploma program. The curriculum was extended to take between six and eight years of part-time study and "offered practical training at collegiate level, but admittedly with less than college theory" (McDonald, pp. 252). To be more in line with this notable change in curriculum, the school’s name was changed again in 1924 to the Evening Diploma School. Spivey left the Evening Diploma School in 1941 and long-time administrator Laura Campbell became acting director until 1946 when she was appointed the title, director. Campbell’s tenure is noted for her active role in implementing higher entrance requirements and for developing evening honors courses.
Under Spivey's leadership the Evening School gained recognition in Philadelphia for excellence in training, however, there was little recognition outside of the area. This lead alumnus to continually question the possibility of evening courses either counting towards a degree through transferring or becoming a degree program.
To answer this need, in1936, the Evening College Alumni Association appointed Alfred E. Baccini, a recent graduate from the Evening School as Chairman of the Alumni Committee on Recognition of Credits for Evening School courses. Initially, Campbell was apprehensive about the idea of changing the Diploma School to a degree program due to the long length of time that would be required to obtain a degree (an estimated ten years of part-time study) and felt that the degree program and the diploma school would not work well running concurrently.
President James Creese, Academic Dean Robert Disque, George Montgomery, Chairman of the Evening College Faculty and newly appointed Dean Kenneth Riddle worked hard on finding a solution.
In 1947 an agreement was reached about the methods of transferring from an evening student to a day student. In 1950, the Evening College earned accreditation to grant the B.S. degree, and entrance requirements were once again strengthened. Riddle choose Professor William J. Stevens to be his Assistant Dean and Howard W. Benfield became the Head of Industrial and Student Relations. The Evening College functioned as an independent institution, having its own social and academic organizations and activities, including honors, awards, student government and publications, many of which fell under Benfield’s supervision. According to Benfield, the active student life was in part due to Evening students' activities fees differing from those of the Day College students, and although the Evening students were welcome at Day student clubs and activities, they were limited in their ability to participate, mainly in terms of voting, scheduling, as well as reserving space.
Evening College Student Government consisted of the Student Council as the upper body and Class Congress as the lower body. Student organizations included social fraternities such as Lambda Delta Sigma, Alpha Phi Omega, Alpha Sigma Lambda and the Social Fraternity of Evening Students. Students also formed professional societies such as the Accounting Society, Administrative Management Society (AMS), Architectural Society, Engineers Club, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE). The Cross Keys was an honor society created to award students for outstanding service in student affairs. In the 1950s the Drexel Wives Club was developed by Myra McDaniel, the wife of a student leader Reuben McDaniel. She was the first president of the group, which continued with success through the 1980s. The groups purpose was to be acquainted with their husbands educational interests and broaden their own lives both intellectually and culturally. Student publications include the Drexel Evening Dragon and for a limited time the Evening College yearbook, The Spartan, the last publication of which was the class of 1956. Thereafter, the Day College and Evening College worked jointly on creating a yearbook, The Lexerd. The above listing of activities is not comprehensive, but rather a selection of activities represented within the collection.
The diploma program was discontinued for lack of interest in 1971. The Evening College's name was changed to University College in 1987, and it was briefly discontinued in 1993, when its programs were transferred to the College of Arts and Sciences. The Evening College was re-established in 1997 as the College of Evening and Professional Studies. Since 2001, the Evening College has been part of the Goodwin College of Professional Studies.
Directors of the Evening School and Deans of the Evening College include Henry V. Gummere, 1914-1918; Willis T. Spivey, 1919-1946; Laura S. Campbell, 1946-1947; George Montgomery (interim director), 1947; Kenneth W. Riddle, Director of the Evening Diploma School, 1948-1963 and Dean of the Drexel Evening College, 1952-1963; Stanley J. Gwiazda (Dean), 1963-1987; and Ewaugh Finney Fields (Dean), 1988-1993.
McDonald, Edward D. and Edward M. Hinton. Drexel Institute of Technology, 1891-1941: A Memorial History. Philadelphia: Printed by the Haddon Craftsmen, Inc., 1942.
Montgomery, George. Establishing Drexel's Evening College: A Tribute to Kenneth W. Riddle. 1963.
Rottenberg, Dan. The Man Who Made Wall Street: Anthony J. Drexel and the Rise of Modern Finance. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001.
This collection houses the institutional records of the Evening College at Drexel University, documenting the school's administrative, academic and social activities from 1921 to 1993. The bulk of the records were created between 1935 and 1988, and there are no records from the institution's founding years. Administrative activities are evidenced by the records of various administrators as well as by documents created by faculty and student organizations in the form of meeting minutes, official correspondence, annual reports, and accreditation reports. Evening College activities are also documented through internally produced press publications and other material such as newsletters, program brochures and catalogs, from the institution's advertising and marketing departments. Student and Faculty Council meeting minutes provide evidence of the institution's non-administrative activities.
This collection consists of seven series: Administration; Reports; Curriculum material; Faculty records; Newsletters, press and publicity; Student records; and Evening College events.
A particular strength of the collection is the detailed information available on the school's growth and development throughout the twentieth century, from a general school of evening study to a vocational training center to a fully accredited college. This information can be found in the "Reports," "Curriculum material," and "Faculty records" series.
Researchers should note that although student academic life is well documented in the "Student records" series, this same series does not provide a broad view of student social life, rather, it is seen through the narrow view of a few specific student activities committees and organizations.
Please refer to individual series descriptions for more information.
Transferred to archives by Kathy Woodford, Associate Director of Operations for Goodwin College.
The processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources’ “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” Project.
This collection was minimally processed in 2009-2011, as part of an experimental project conducted under the auspices of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries to help eliminate processing backlog in Philadelphia repositories. A minimally processed collection is one processed at a less intensive rate than traditionally thought necessary to make a collection ready for use by researchers. When citing sources from this collection, researchers are advised to defer to folder titles provided in the finding aid rather than those provided on the physical folder.
Employing processing strategies outlined in Mark Greene's and Dennis Meissner's 2005 article, More Product, Less Process: Revamping Traditional Processing Approaches to Deal With Late 20th-Century Collections, the project team tested the limits of minimal processing on collections of all types and ages, in 23 Philadelphia area repositories. A primary goal of the project, the team processed at an average rate of 2-3 hours per linear foot of records, a fraction of the time ordinarily reserved for the arrangement and description of collections. Among other time saving strategies, the project team did not extensively review the content of the collections, replace acidic folders or complete any preservation work.
- Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry. Evening College.
- Drexel Institute of Technology. Evening College.
- Drexel University. Evening College.
- Adult education
- Alumnae and alumni
- Fraternal organizations
- Professional education
- Student activities
- Student government
- Drexel University: Archives and Special Collections
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Laurie Rizzo and Eric Rosenzweig
- Finding Aid Date
- The processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources’ “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” Project. This collection is minimally processed to the subseries level.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the Archives with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.
This series is arranged into thirteen subseries, which when taken together demonstrate a broad range of administrative endeavors between the years 1935 and 1988. Each of the subseries contains records related to a specific facet of the organization as a whole, and provide evidence of each of these facets working to accomplish the goals and mission of the organization. The bulk of these materials are the papers of Director Campbell, and Deans Riddle, Gwiazda and Fields. The series is arranged alphabetically by subseries, and each subseries is arranged chronologically.
The subseries are arranged as follows:
Academic Council records:
The Academic Council was a forum in which Drexel deans would collectively discuss and determine institutional operational strategies. This subseries includes the minutes from the meetings of the Council between 1961 and 1965.
This subseries includes reports assembled by the institution to the regional and professional accrediting agencies. These reports contain descriptions of the activities and programs of the various departments that were in existence between 1953 and 1991. The agencies that provided accreditation to the Evening College were: the Middle States Association (MSA); the Engineers' Council for Professional Development (ECPD); and the National Architectural Accrediting Board.
The Administration subseries documents the activity of the institutional administration between 1936 and 1993. Included are the papers of Director Laura S. Campbell, Deans Riddle, Gwiazda and Fields, and President Hagerty. One particularly interesting document, written by Howard W. Benfield, the head of student activities, covers his career and the Evening College’s history from 1950 to 1970. These papers shed light on significant events in the institution's history, such as the announcement of the official Drexel colors (1937) and a search for a new university president in 1988. In addition to providing information on institutional special events and programs, the subseries also provides insight into the day-to-day operations of the organization.
This subseries contains the records of the Evening College Admissions department between the years 1954 and 1981. It includes "transfer guides" which are internal documents that dictate transfer protocol, accommodation letters from various corporations regarding graduate employment; communications for the Office of the Director of University Office Admissions; statistical information about undergraduate admissions; Admissions Advisory Information and Marketing Committee (AIM) meeting minutes and memos; and policies regarding admissions procedures.
This subseries includes materials and information exchanged between the Evening College and publishers and advertisers between the years 1948 and 1989. This subseries includes brochure and program proofs; press conference material; papers of the Open House Committee and brochures for various departments within the Evening College. Additionally, there are Reports from advertising firms to Dean Riddle of the Evening College; advertising expenditure reports; development publications; proofs of catalogs for various departments, which includes summaries of departments, course offerings and course descriptions; and a document titled, “Marketing plan for Evening and Part-Time Day Students Division of the University College,” June 29, 1989.
Alumni Association records:
This subseries contains material from 1943 to 1984, and includes communications between advisors and alumni regarding students' possible career paths; Constitution and By-laws of the Drexel Evening School Alumni Association (undated); Alumni newsletters and surveys; and Drexel Evening College Alumni Association meeting minutes.
Academic Associations records:
This subseries includes materials that document the institution's relationship with three associations from 1947 to 1986: the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), the Association of University Evening Colleges (AUEC), and the Association for Continuing Higher Education (ACHE). The materials include meeting minutes, membership directories, membership receipts, and correspondence between university and association administrators.
Building and Expansion Projects records:
This subseries contains material dated from 1954 to 1974, and includes construction documents, papers of the planning committee, building committee reports, case studies, fundraising materials, budget materials, and news clippings about Drexel’s expansion in the 1950’s. It also includes a program for the groundbreaking ceremony for the Basic Sciences Laboratory Center (March 1, 1951), and materials related to the planning of the Drexel Activities Building, (now the Creese Student Center).
This subseries contains material from 1960 to 1989, and includes master copies of forms that have been used for the day-to-day activities of university personnel, as well as institutional procedure manuals.
Scholarship and award papers:
This subseries contains material from 1951 to 1986, and includes scholarship committee reports; Dean's lists (which contain grades and student information), student information that was used by department officials to determine the awards; lists of recipients of various awards such as the George W. Childs Drexel scholarship; award receipt notification letters; paperwork from the comptroller regarding award money; and certificate samples.
State aid papers:
This subseries consists of reports to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from various institutional departments requesting financial assistance from 1958 to 1964. These reports include budgets, and official correspondence between the Commonwealth and the university administrators.
This subseries contains material from 1952 to 1992, and includes statistics about annual graduates, and unabridged comments written by graduates on their degree candidacy graduation forms collected by the school administration and given to the Dean.
Office of Student Affairs records:
This subseries contains material from 1938 to 1984, and includes materials that describe the official relationship between the Student Council and institutional faculty and administration. This relationship is documented primarily through the Student Relations Duty Reports and the reports of the Vice President of Academic Affairs. This Office also governed institutional disciplinary procedures, and this subseries contains documents that reflect that responsibility, such as the “Standard Procedure for Transcribing the New Permanent Record Card.”Physical Description
6.0 Linear feet
This series contains annual reports that were written by the Dean and distributed to the Evening College faculty and the President. These reports include information regarding enrollment, academic progress, faculty needs, administrative needs, as well as departmental reports and divisional reports. There are four types of reports in this series:
Annual reports from the Evening College from 1950 to 1989. These reports were compiled by the Dean and distributed to the University President and faculty.
Administrative reports from 1951 to 1992 which are introspective reports of the Evening College administration that provide information about graduate placement; mid-range and long range planning; records and registration; scholarships; awards and loans; and financial support from alumni.
There are applications for membership in the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business from 1963 and 1966. The membership application describes the organization and administration of the Institute and provides data-sheets for full-time and part-time faculty.
Included in this series are departmental annual reports from the following colleges: College of Engineering and Science from 1963 to 1967; College of Engineering from 1959 to 1970; College of Science from 1968 and 1969; and the College of Business Administration from 1960 to 1961.Physical Description
4.0 Linear feet
This series is divided into five subseries which contain the following:
Course outline materials, dating between 1943 and 1971 are arranged by either course number or alphabetically by course title.
The Course Descriptions subseries includes course announcements, catalogs and curriculum proposals for various courses throughout the years 1948 and 1991.
Course material from 1960, 1970 and 1971 includes the "China Town Redevelopment Study" which was conducted by sociology students for a “Social Problems” course and “represents a focus of concern on specific problems rather than generalities,” and the “Manual of Style Punctuation Rules and Patterns for the Office of Drexel Evening College,” By Murray C. Miller of the English Department (1960).
Program development contains material from 1949 to 1986, and includes: conversion histories, which demonstrate the conversion of Evening College credits to Drexel day school credits; Professional engineers association degree certificate materials; Curriculum Committee meeting minutes from 1967 to 1972; Report of Committee on Advanced study from 1954; M.C. Miller files of Special Courses Development which includes correspondence with NASA and the Panama Canal Company, Canal Zone; Comparison of Evening College Business Administration Curriculum: requirements and policies from 1971; and required curriculum descriptions and correspondence, for the Contractors Association for Eastern Pennsylvania (CAEP), and the General Building Contractors Association (GBCA).
The Honors Program subseries contains material from 1956 to 1972, and includes: Program and course descriptions; course planning; program planning; and subject outlines.Physical Description
3.0 Linear feet
This series is divided into seven subseries which contain the following:
Department Heads meeting minutes from 1950 to 1970.
Executive Committee meeting minutes from 1953 to 1980.
Faculty Council meeting minutes from 1949 to 1989.
Faculty directories from 1948 and 1986, which demonstrate faculty promotions and new appointments.
Faculty guides published from 1952 to 1987, to keep faculty apprised of required administrative duties and procedures at Drexel Evening College and Diploma School.
Faculty Endeavors includes faculty reports on various topics from 1958 to 1959; faculty liaison meeting agendas from 1991 to 1992; Faculty Club member lists, communications, and agendas from 1970 to 1974; a collection of master copies of course evaluations by students for faculty known as "Faculty Polls" from 1964 to 1973; Director's meeting agendas from 1991 to 1992; a grant proposal from 1984; highly technical published papers of Evening College faculty Henry Chenon regarding physical science topics from 1953 and 1954; an all inclusive set of faculty resumes from 1969 to 1970, arranged alphabetically; Institute Faculty meeting minutes from 1958; and Faculty Planning Committee meeting minutes from 1962 to 1963.
Qualification exams and test results from 1950 to 1959. Access to this subseries is restricted.Physical Description
4.0 Linear feet
This series is divided into three subseries; Newsletters, Brochures, and News Releases.
The newsletter subseries houses examples of some publications, associated production materials and correspondence for the following newsletters: "Drexel Evening Dragon," from 1955 to 1993; "Three-Quarter Century Fund," 1966; "Drexel Ledger," 1955, 1957 and 1969; "Drexel University Digest," from 1977 to 1981; "Emergence of a University," Spring 1970; "Evening Views," from 1956 to 1957 and 1960 (incomplete); "Fastopics" from 1972 to 1975 (incomplete); "Great Court Courier," from 1990 to 1991 (incomplete); "Nite News," 1970 and 1972; Report to Drexel Friends from 1969 to 1970; "A University Looks into the Future," 1977; and "University College Newsletter," 1988 (incomplete).
The Brochures subseries contains Office of Continuing Professional Education brochures; Brochures for different degree programs; and University Brochures. The majority of these brochures are undated, although some dates have been identified as 1968, and from 1988 to 1989.
News releases from 1945 to 1988 includes two folders of news clippings about Evening College students who served in WWII. These clippings provide the following information about the soldiers: honors, commissions, missing in action status, and obituaries. This subseries also contains reports of a memorial service that was held in 1945; and photocopies of news articles and press releases of student and faculty achievements from 1955, 1976-1978, and 1982-1983.Physical Description
1.0 Linear feet
This series is divided into 13 subseries which contain the following:
Basketball Team records:
This subseries contains material from 1968 to 1978, and includes correspondence; minutes, newspapers; sports committee reports; budgets; player stats; team members list; and game schedules.
Class Congress records:
The Class Congress was a division of the student government that acted as an intermediary between the student body and the faculty and department heads. This subseries contains records from 1953 to 1987. They are arranged by class year, and include both senior and junior class congresses. The bulk of this subseries is correspondence from the Congress members to the students, and meeting minutes.
Cross Keys records:
This subseries contains material from 1958 to 1987. Cross Keys was an honorary society for Evening College students which began in 1952 under the direction of Howard W. Benfield (Associate Director of Student Services) and Kenneth W. Riddle (Dean). Honors were awarded to students for outstanding service in student affairs. The members wanted Cross Keys to become a service fraternity, and therefore, LaSalle Evening College joined Drexel as a Beta Chapter. Later, a national organization was formed.
The subseries includes: saving account information; Comptroller forms; Cross key scholarship information; billing letters (bulk financial information); committee reports; ritual ceremony descriptions; constitution and by-laws; data about the national organization; member lists; meeting minutes, many of which are annotated; and address lists.
Drexel Wives' Club materials:
This collection contains material from 1956 to 1980. The Drexel Wives' Club was an organization created by Evening College student’s wives in order to become familiar with the education and interests of their husbands and to broaden their own intellectual lives. The papers include event planning; correspondence regarding events and other activities grouped by president; organizational papers; activities planning, activities and event programs, Putting Him Through (PHT) awards, order books, and certificates and pins.
International Association of Evening Student Councils records:
This subseries contains material from 1963 to 1980. Drexel belonged to the Mid-Atlantic States Region (MASR) of the organization. The subseries contains conference proceedings (bulk); member lists; officer lists; and by-laws.
Fraternal societies records:
This subseries contains the records of the following fraternities: Blue Key (undated); Alpha Phi Omega (1957-1958); Alpha Sigma Lambda (1954-1979); and Lambda Delta Sigma (1927, 1939-1952). This subseries contains constitutions, histories, communications between officers of the Fraternity and members as well as Drexel faculty, ritual descriptions; member lists; meeting minutes; financial papers; and some fraternal pins.
Personal student files:
This subseries contains files from the following years: 1950-1959, 1968, 1977-1979, and 1982. The types of files include candidacy forms, transcripts and degree graduating class. Access to this series is restricted.
Societies and Clubs records:
The subseries contains records from 1953 to 1988. The records are arranged alphabetically as follows: Accounting Society, Administrative Management Society (AMS), Architectural Society, Engineers Club, Glee Club, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE), Men’s Student Council, and Society of Advancement of Management (SAM).
Student Activities records:
This subseries contains records from 1955 to 1965, and from 1972 to 1985. Types of records included in this subseries are: events calendar; address lists; programs, announcements; planning; correspondence; personnel address lists; "Night Cap" newsletter; and Howard W. Benfield’s files on student activities. Benfield's files make up approximately one third of this subseries. The files house financial material, information about Drexel Wives, Student Council, Class Congress and Cross Keys. Much of this information is duplicated in each respective subseries, however, Benfield’s copies were maintained as a group of materials.
Student Council records:
This subseries contains records from 1954 to 1982. The Student Council was the upper body of the Student Government; Class Congress was the lower body. Student Council governed undergraduate activities and was a liaison between the students and the Evening College administration. The Student Council regulated and controlled Class Congress activities. The subseries includes meeting minutes; Student Government manuals from 1970, 1979, and 1981 that were produced by the Student Council for student government members; Student Council constitution and by-laws; and Information Seminar material on the topic of student leadership for the students presented by Drexel Student Council or student relations advisors between 1978 and 1982.
Student employment records:
This subseries contains material from 1955 to 1971. It contains Annual Employment Reports which are lists of companies and the number of students employed by those companies.
This subseries contains Student Guides published between 1950 and 1988. The Student Guides contain information that was considered by the institution to be essential to students regarding the rules and regulations for which students were responsible during their time at Drexel. In addition to the rules of student conduct, the guides also include building layouts, extra curricular activities and societies, information about student life, and services offered by the University.
This material dates from 1949 to 1956, and 1989. The subseries includes a "Spartan" yearbook from 1949; "Spartan" planning material; communications between yearbook editors and writers, and students and administration; a Drexel administration organizational chart; and a "Lexerd" yearbook from 1989.Physical Description
8.0 Linear feet
This series is divided into five subseries which contain the following:
Honors Night Convocation includes programs, planning materials and award letters from 1954 to 1999.
Commencement and convocations includes programs and correspondence about the events from 1921 to 1968.
University Events includes materials about faculty and administration service recognition in 1941, and from 1963 to 1992.
The Student socials subseries includes event planning material, programs, and correspondence by various student organizations in 1931 and from 1955 to 1989.
Conferences and seminars includes conference packets, agendas, outlines and programs for the following conferences: Leadership Conference for University Adult Educators (1957); Howard Johnson Management Development Seminar (1963); and Seaview Conference on Drexel Research (undated).Physical Description
2.0 Linear feet
1.0 Linear feet
The photographs series primarily houses photographs of faculty and student clubs from circa 1950 to 1970. There are likely a few images that pre and postdate these dates, however.