Archives and Special Collections
92 Snell Library
360 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 373-2351

Table of Contents

Collection Overview

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note


Printable Finding Aid

Search All Finding Aids

Archival Collections

Manuscript Collections
Archives and Special Collections Finding Aids
Collection
Title: Office of the President (Speare) records
Dates:1896-1951
Call Number:A01

Scope and Content Note

The materials in this collection cover the period that FPS was the Educational Director of the Evening Institute of the Boston YMCA, and President and President Emeritus of Northeastern University. The collection was received in one accession and was separated in December 1994 into personal papers (M1) and professional records (A1). The records consist of correspondence, committee and board reports, fund-raising information, newspaper and magazine clippings, and speeches and writings.

Materials documenting the Evening Institute of the YMCA and its ties to NU can be found in YMCA (Box 4, Folders 55-56, and Box 5, Folder 58). Early efforts to improve the program, open new schools, and offer new courses are documented in YMCA: Board of Directors Reports, 1909-1915 (Box 4, Folder 55). FPS's proposal advocating the establishment of a formal college or university separate from the YMCA can be found in YMCA: Department of Education Reports, 1915-1917 (Box 4, Folder 59a).

Correspondence includes letters between FPS and Arthur S. Johnson, President of the Boston YMCA (1897-1929), regarding the establishment of Northeastern College and the Office of the President (Box 1, Folder 7). Also included is correspondence between FPS and James Loring Richards about fund-raising for Richards Hall (Box 1, Folders 8-9); a copy of a 1940 radio address given by Lt. Governor Horace T. Cahill, a 1918 graduate of the Evening Law School, praising FPS and the NU educational program (Box 1, Folder 10); and correspondence between Carl S. Ell, second president of NU, and FPS regarding NU's intention to name the new science building after FPS (Box 1, Folder 11).

Also included in the collection are three incomplete sets of NU committee minutes: Administrative, 1933-1935 (Box 1, Folder 2); Divisional, 1924-1928 (Box 1, Folder 3); and Regional, 1920-1936 (Box 1, Folders 4-6). The Administrative Committee directed the activities of the entire university and the individual colleges of NU. The minutes, 1933-35, document FPS and the NU administration's efforts to improve the university's programs and adapt to changing trends in education. The Regional Committee was established to oversee the operations of division and branch schools. The Divisional Committee, made up of NU administrators and divisional deans, addressed the issues facing the division schools. Topics covered in all three sets of minutes include admission standards, tuition, formulae for conferring degrees, course offerings, and degree requirements.

Fund-raising materials include a report prepared by the John Price Jones Corporation of New York, entitled "A Survey and Plan of Fund-raising for NU" (Box 2, Folders 15-16). This study was conducted to determine the feasibility of raising a substantial sum of money for new buildings and an endowment ($3,365,000 for immediate needs by December 1, 1933). It includes goals, a formal plan, and methods for raising the money. It also suggested using the slogan "A Practical College Education for the Boy of Moderate Means."

Of special interest is Speare's Professional Will and Codicil (Box 3, Folder 27). FPS prepared the document in 1933 and updated it in 1936. In it, FPS outlined for the Trustees his plan for NU should he die while in office before his successor had been chosen. Evaluations of the deans and university administrations such as Carl S. Ell, Everett A. Churchill, Galen D. Light, Charles H. Sampson, James Wallace Lees, and William C. White are included. FPS recommended that Carl S. Ell be named his successor.

FPS's writings on education, society, and the history of NU are included in the collection (Boxes 3-4, Folders 43-50). FPS's speeches, including commencement addresses and public lectures, can be found in Writings: Speeches, n.d., 1922-47 (Box 4, Folders 51-54). Researchers should note that information on NU's 25th Anniversary celebration can be found in YMCA: Events, 1898-1949; information on NU's 40th Anniversary can be found in Writings: Instruments of Social Progress, 40th Anniversary, 1938 (Box 3, Folder 43).