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Office of Community Affairs 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.

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The Office of Community Affairs was founded in 1970 in order to coordinate revitalization efforts and establish cooperation between Drexel and community organizations in the West Philadelphia communities of Mantua, Powelton Village, and Belmont. Shortly after it was established, it took on responsibility for government relations as well and became the Office of Community Affairs and Government Relations. The two functions were handled by different staff members and jointly overseen by vice president J. K. Lee Smith; community affairs operations were led by Frances Davis. Community Affairs was involved in planning and coordinating community service activities such as educational programs and scholarships, employment and youth corps, community health care, summer camps, and recreational activities. Later, the office represented Drexel in the West Philadelphia Corporation, a coalition of local colleges and universities interested in community and industrial development for West Philadelphia. In 1985, community affairs functions were moved to the Office of University Relations, where it remained more or less as a distinct unit under Mrs. Davis's leadership until 1993.

This collection consists primarily of subject files related to neighborhood redevelopment organizations, community groups, and institutions with which the Office of Community Affairs was involved. Also included are files on the various projects and activities sponsored or supported by Drexel through the Office of Community Affairs, administrative files collected from other Drexel offices and departments, and subject files related to prominent West Philadelphia community leaders such as Herman Wrice and Chakah Fattah. Included are office reports, newspaper clippings, brochures, police reports, catalogues, photographs, press releases, fliers, correspondence, and the notes of Frances Davis.

Drexel University: Archives and Special Collections
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Finding aid prepared by David Kruidenier, Rob Sieczkiewicz
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