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Wayne State University University Services and Development Vice President William E. Stirton Records

 Collection
Identifier: WSR000576
The papers include not only Stirton's files when he was Vice President hut also his files as Assistant to the President and Director of the Division of Community Relations. Also included are some files of John Richards who was Stirton's predecessor as Assistant to the President.

The papers of the Vice President for University Services and Development reflect Stirton's, and to a lesser degree Richards', activities in developing a good relationship with the community, business and industry. The files often illustrate both the University's inadequate funding and search for funds, frequently successful; offer considerable information on scholarships, research and building proposals and programs; and detail Wayne's involvement in civic affairs such as Detroit's millage campaigns of 1949 and 1953. In addition to public relations, fund raising and community "involvement, the papers provide perhaps the best documentation on the University's ROTC program through 1956. The files, originally maintained by Richards, trace Wayne's attempt to get a program in the 1930s and 1940s, the inception and activities of ROTC units from 1947 through 1956 and the Air Force's initial decision to disestablish its unit in 1955.

Series Description: Series 1: University Files, 1940-1943, 1946-1956 Records relating to colleges, departments, programs and committees and including subjects such as adult education, research and scholarships. Personnel files, box 22, are closed.

Series 2: Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Files, 1936-1956 Files documenting Wayne's attempts to establish a ROTC program at the University in the 1930s and 1940s, the inception and activities of ROTC units from 1947 through 1956 and the Air Force's initial decision to disestablish its unit in 1955.

Series 3: Non-University Files, 1944, 1947-1956 Mainly correspondence with the community, business and industry, foundations, professional organizations and other universities. The files frequently reflect fund raising efforts for research projects and scholarships as well as documenting the University's involvement in the Detroit millage campaigns of 1949 and 1953.

Box 21: Oversize Material

Dates

  • 1935 - 1956
  • Majority of material found within 1952 - 1955

Creator

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information that might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.

Extent

10.25 Linear Feet (22 MB)

Abstract

These papers include Mr. Stirton’s files as Vice President, his files as Assistant to the President and Director of the Division of Community Relations. Some of the files of John Richards, Stirton’s predecessor as Assistant to the President are included in the collection.

Mr. Stirton began as a member of Cass Technical High School faculty in 1925. He accepted the position of principal at Cass Tech in 1946. William Stirton held a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in physics and mathematics. Initially, when William Stirton began at Wayne, he served President David Henry as his assistant. He then was promoted to one of the University’s four vice presidential positions in 1953. He left Wayne in 1956.

This collection reflects the efforts of both Stirton and Richards to develop a good relationship with the community, business and industry. The university’s inadequate funding and search for funds are documented, as is information regarding scholarships, research, building proposals and programs. The involvement of Wayne with two Detroit Mileage campaigns: 1949 and 1953 is included in the collection. The best documentation of the University’s ROTC program is contained in this collection, tracing Wayne’s interest in beginning a program in the 1930’s and 1940’s, and ROTC unit activities from 1947-1956.

History

William E. Stirton came to Wayne University in 1951 as assistant to President David D. Henry, became one of the University's four vice presidents in 1953 and served in that capacity until he left Wayne in 1956. Prior to coming to Wayne, he was a member of the Cass Technical High School faculty beginning in 1925 and served as its principal from 1946. During World War II Stirton was director of war training activities for the Detroit Board of Education and was secretary and general manager of the Labor-Management Council. He was also the general manager of Detroit's Automotive Golden Jubilee, secretary of the Victory Council and a member of the board of directors of Detroit's 250th Birthday Festival. Stirton earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a master's degree in physics and mathematics from the University of Michigan.

Stirton began his tenure at Wayne in September of 1951. As Assistant to the President, he served as a liaison between the University and the community and was involved, in particular, with proposed civic projects. He also assumed some of the duties previously assigned to the President's Executive Assistant, Dr. John Richards, who left Wayne in 1951 to serve as Special Assistant for Education on the Secretary of the Army's staff. One of these duties was the liaison with the military for the University's Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program. In addition to carrying out special assignments for the President, Stirton was named Director, Division of Community Relation, in July of 1952.

The office of vice president was created at Wayne in August of 1953. The first four vice presidents were: Arthur Neef (Vice President and Provost), Winfred A. Harbison (Vice President for Academic Administration), Olin E. Thomas (Vice President for Business and Finance) and William E. Stirton (Vice President for University Services and Development.) While at Wayne, Stirton was appointed by the United States Foreign Operations Administration in 1955 as chief of an Indonesian educational survey team and spent two months in Indonesia. In 1956 he traveled to Bangkok, Thailand, to work on the development and direction of a technical institute to he affiliated with Wayne.

During the spring of 1956 Stirton was a leading candidate within the Detroit Public School System to succeed Arthur Dondineau as superintendent but removed himself from consideration. On July 1, 1956 he left Wayne to become a vice president at the University of Michigan at Dearborn. To a great degree his new responsibilities corresponded roughly to those at Wayne, namely university services and development. At the end of the year he was named director of the Dearborn campus and remained so until his retirement in 1968. Stirton died at age 79 in 1983. Upon his death U of M spokesman Richard Reynolds said, "...under his vision and direction the university annex became a reality. You could almost call him the founding father of U-M Dearborn."

Arrangement

Arranged into 3 series - Series 1 (Boxes 1-11, 22), Series 2 (Boxes 12-15), Series 3 (Boxes 16-20), and 1 oversize box. Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Acquisition

The papers of the Vice President for University Services and Development, William E. Stirton, were placed in the University Archives in July of 1958 and June of 1960.

Transfers

The following photographs were placed in the Archives Audio Visual Collections: 8 used for the 1950 College of Nursing Building proposal; 5 for the 1956 proposal; 27 Naval Arsenal; 1 proposed Olympic Stadium showing minimum site adjacent to Lodge-Ford Freeway interchange and Wayne University, August 1948; 1 Army Transportation Corps ROTC Awards, c. 1951; 1 Michigan delegation of the Air Force ROTC at Maxwell Field meeting, fall 1952; and 1 photographic report of the Founders Committee, Wayne University Natural Science Collection.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Title
Wayne State University University Services and Development Vice President William E. Stirton Records
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA