A Finding Aid for the Bryon J. Brophy Papers 1938-1952

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Bryon J. Brophy Papers

Creator: Ferris Institute. Office of the President

Dates: 1938-1952

Abstract: Bryon J. Brophy (1895-1962) served as Ferris' eighth president from 1946-1952. During his term, Ferris Institute became a Michigan state college and suffered a devastating fire which destroyed over two-thirds of the campus. His papers include materials relating to the fire, the building of veterans related program, the struggle for financial support and the administration of the school.

Language: English

Quantity: 12 cubic feet; 8 records center boxes

Identification: UA 1.8

Repository: Ferris State University Archives and Records Management Program

Historical Note

Bryon J. Brophy was born on 22 October 1895 to John W. and Lydia (Jewkes) Brophy of Nova Scotia, Canada. At age three, the family moved to the United States. After completing high school, Brophy accepted an engineering position with Morgan Construction Company in Worcester, Massachusetts. He traveled extensively as an engineer visiting both India and Australia.

Brophy returned to the United States to attend Tri-State College, Angola (Ind.) and earn a B.S. degree. From 1924-1929, Brown served as superintendent of schools for Gas City (Ind.) He later moved to Ann Arbor (Mich.) to work toward an M.A degree. In 1931, Brophy traveled to Flandreau (S.D.) to work as the superintendent of education with the Indian Service. During the war, Brophy left South Dakota to work with the National Youth Administration and War Manpower commission units. Brown accepted the presidency of Ferris in July 1946.

As president, Brophy worked hard to find a stable funding source for the Institute. After working with public relations and fundraising firms, Brophy turned to the idea of giving the Institute to the State of Michigan. As part of the provisions of Act 114, Michigan Public Acts of 1949, Ferris Institute became a state college on 1 July 1950. On 22 February 1950, two major buildings, recently renovated, burned to the ground, threatening the Institute again. Classes resumed immediately and Brophy led the drive for new buildings and resources. Brophy also concentrated on innovative programs and improving the quality and quantity of the faculty.

Brophy co-wrote and contributed to publications about American Indians, including the 1946 One America edited by Francis J. Brown.

Bryon Brophy resigned from Ferris Institute in February 1952, because of poor health. He had submitted the resignation one year earlier but the Board had refused to accept it. He died on 18 November 1962, one month after the opening of a dormitory named in his honor.

Brophy married Marie Parsell on 22 December 1920. They had two daughters: Lydia Marie Pederson and Patricia Jeanne Wall.

Scope and Content Note

Bryon J. Brophy, Ferris Institute's 8th president, presided over the greatest change at Ferris Institute since its founding in 1884. During his tenure, Ferris had the extreme highs of being accepted by the state and achieving financial stability and the extraordinary lows of a fire destroying much of the campus.

Brophy's papers provide the earliest full documentation for the administrative aspects of Ferris Institute. All of the administrative records are part of the subject series. The first official set of memorandum and executive orders are located in the subject files. Minutes of the executive committee, faculty and department head/ dean's meetings are also available. In these meetings both problems and new ideas are discussed. Teas for faculty or advice and remarks for the student newspaper shows the grasp and breadth of Brophy's impact on the institution. Each department/college or area such as Dean of Women or alumni secretary, submitted regular reports to Brophy- and he corresponded with them frequently with praise or suggestions. Events such as commencements were productions organized with great precision and planning. Some plans for raising funds, such as hiring the Institute for Financial Relations, were unsuccessful but he continued to try.

Subject files also include the professional and organizational interests of Brophy. Brophy was involved with both the American Council on Education and the Michigan Education Association. He worked with other Michigan colleges and universities to ensure Ferris credits would be accepted and that the curricula would be compatible when fully accepted by the state. He cooperated closely with the state Department of Public Instruction and the Michigan Board of Pharmacy.

The reading files series, while only covering three years and somewhat duplicative, is important in that it shows what Brophy felt was important to circulate to all staff members. This series was the centralized office files for administrators and staff. Student recruitment remains a critical issue, as does activities which involve staff members such as insurance and retirement.

Arrangement

The papers are divided into a two series.

Access Information

Conditions of Access

The Bryon J. Brophy Papers are open for research to all users in accordance with University Archives and Records Management access policies. It is available in the reading room of the Ferris State University Archives.

Conditions of Use

Requests for permission to publish material should be directed to the University Archivist. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Copyright interests for this collection have been transferred to Ferris State University. For more information, contact the University Archivist.

Subject Headings

Below are a list of names, organizations and subjects relating to the collection. Names have been taken from Library of Congress Authority headings whenever possible.

Related Materials

None specified.

Administrative Information

Citations

Footnotes and bibliographic references should use the following format:
[Item], Folder, Box. Bryon J. Brophy Papers. Ferris State University Archives. Big Rapids, Michigan.

Provenance (Acquisition Information)

The Bryon J. Brophy Papers were partially located in various parts of the Ferris State University campus

Processing Information

The Bryon J. Brophy Papers were processed to the folder level by Melinda McMartin Isler in January 2004. It was revised in December 2007. A finding aid was prepared in a word processing format and converted to EAD 1.0. A collection level MARC-format record was prepared and placed in the library online public access catalog. Description was based on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2004).

Technical Requirements

This collection consists of paper based materials. No specialized software or equipment is required for viewing

Content Listing

Series 1. Reading Files. 1946-1952.

This series consists of 3.0 linear feet of correspondence/administrative files of the President's Office. Brophy set up this file to serve as copies of important correspondence/ background materials used by all administrators. Many of these items duplicate materials located in the President's or other administrators personal subject files. Typical subjects include admissions prospects, athletics, foundation requests, high school recruitment and retirement plans.

Materials are sorted alphabetically within a school year (i.e. September 1948- August 1949) and chronologically within the folder. Occasionally, background material will predate the school year.

Box Folder Contents
1 1 A. 1948-1949.
1 2 Accreditation. 1948-1949.
1 3 Ba-Bn. 1948-1949.
1 4 Bo-Bz. 1948-1949.
1 5 C-Ch. 1948-1949.
1 6 Central Michigan College. Mt. Pleasant (Mich.) 1948-1949.
1 7 Cl-Cz. 1948-1949.
1 8 D. 1948-1949.
1 9 E-F. 1948-1949.
1 10 G. 1948-1949.
1 11 Ha-Hh. 1948-1949.
1 12 Hi-Hz. 1948-1949.
1 13 Higher education. 1946-1948.
1 14 I-J. 1948-1949.
1 15 Jewish Daily News. 1948-1949.
1 16 K. 1948-1949.
1 17 L. 1948-1949.
1 18 Mc. 1948-1949.
1 18 M. 1948-1949.
1 19 Michigan High School Athletic Association. Bulletin.
1 20 N. 1948-1949.
1 31 National Council of Business Schools. 1946-1948.
1 32 O. 1948-1949.
Box Folder Contents
2 1 P. 1948-1949.
2 2 Q-R. 1948-1949.
2 3 S-Sh. 1948-1949.
2 4 Si-Sz. 1948-1949.
2 5 T. 1948-1949.
2 6 U-V. 1948-1949.
2 7 Wa-Wh. 1948-1949.
2 8 Wi-Wz. 1948-1949.
2 9 X-Z. 1948-1949.
2 10 A. 1949-1950.
2 11 Ba-Bk. 1949-1950.
2 12 Bl-Bz. 1949-1950.
2 13 C. 1949-1950.
2 14 D. 1949-1950.
2 15 E. 1949-1950.
2 16 F. 1949-1950.
2 17 G. 1949-1950.
2 18 H. 1949-1950.
2 19 High schools. 1949-1950.
2 20 I-J. 1949-1950.
2 21 K. 1949-1950.
Box Folder Contents
3 1 L. 1949-1950.
3 2 Library. 1949-1950.
3 3 Mc. 1949-1950.
3 4 Ma-Me. 1949-1950.
3 5 Mf-Mz. 1949-1950.
3 6 N. 1949-1950.
3 7 O. 1949-1950.
3 8 P-Q. 1949-1950.
3 9 Placement. 1949-1950.
3 10 R. 1949-1950.
3 11 S-Sg. 1949-1950.
3 12 Sh-Sp. 1949-1950.
3 13 Sq-Sz. 1949-1950.
3 14 T. 1949-1950.
3 15 U-V. 1949-1950.
3 16 Wa-We. 1949-1950.
3 17 Wf-Wz. 1949-1950.
3 18 X-Z. 1949-1950.
3 19 A-D. 1950-1951.
3 20 Assemblies. 1950-1951.
3 21 Athletics. 1950-1951.
3 22 E-H. 1950-1951.
3 23 Fire. 1950.
3 24 Ford Foundation. 1950-1951.
3 25 Forensics. 1950-1951.
3 26 Homecoming. 1950.
3 27 I-L. 1950-1951.
3 28 Insurance. Committee on Retireemnt. 1950-1951.
3 29 Insurance. Social Security. 1950-1951.
3 30 Loyalty oaths. 1950-1951.
3 31 M-O. 1950-1951.
3 32 Michigan Educational Association. 1950-1951.
3 33 Michigan Public School Employees Plan. 1950-1951.
3 34 National Productivity Authority Boarda. 1950-1951.
3 35 P-S. 1950-1951.
3 36 Selective Services Act. 1950-1951.
3 37 Sloan Foundation. 1950-1951.
3 38 State of Michigan. Department of Public Instruction. 1950-1951.
3 39 Speakers. 1950-1951.
3 40 Student directory. 1950-1951.
3 41 T-Z. 1950-1951.
3 42 United States Office of Education. 1950-1951.
3 43 University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.) 1950-1951.

Series 2. Subject Files. 1938-1952.

This series consists of 5.0 linear foot of correspondence and research materials for President Bryon J. Brophy and acting President Karl G. Merrill (1951-1952). These include the administrative records of the college including executive orders and memoranda, reports from departments and personnel, minutes of faculty/ staff meetings and reports to the governing board. There are also subject files on other Michigan universities and governing agencies such as the U.S. Office of Education. A series of old campus insurance appraisals dating back to 1938 were used after the 1950 fire are also a part of this series. A nearprint file provides biographical background on Brophy.

Files are arranged alphabetically by name/subject and chronologically within folders.

Box Folder Contents
4 1 A.
4 2 Activities; sport schedules. 1946-1951.
4 3 Addresses; speeches; writings. 1946-1951.
4 4 Alma College. Alma (Mich.) 1947-1951.
4 5 Alumni circulars. 1947-1949.
4 6 Alumni Secretary. Newton, Roy. Reports; correspondence. 1948-1952.
4 7 American Council on Education. 1946-1952.
4 8 American Council on Education. Higher Education and National Affairs. 1946-1951.
4 9 American Council on Education. Pharmaceutical survey. 1947-1948.
4 10 Annual reports. Drafts; notes. 1948-1950.
4 11 Appraisal. 1938.
4 12 Appraisal. 1946.
4 13 Appraisal. 1948.
4 14 Appraisal. 1950.
4 15 Appraisal, looseleaf with photographs. Undated.
4 16 Architects. 1949-1950.
4 17 Armstrong, C.K. 1946.
4 18 Assembly program committee. Correspondence. 1947-1951.
4 19 Assembly program committee. Presidential announcements. 1950-1952.
4 20 Athletics. Correspondence. 1950-1952.
4 21 Athletics. Sherman, R.G. Reports; correspondence. 1946.
4 22 Audit reports. Ernst and Ernst. 1947; 1950.
4 23 Authorization re: fiscal stability. 1948.
4 24 Auto mechanics course. 1951-1952.
4 25 Aviation. 1947-1949.
4 26 B.
4 27 Big Rapids Commercial Gas Committee. 1948.
4 28 Big Rapids Public Schools. 1947-1952.
4 29 Big Rapids Pioneer.
4 30 Board of Control. Correspondence. 1946-1948.
4 31 Board of Control. [Annual] report. 1946-1947.
4 32 Board of Control annual report. 1947-1948.
4 33 Board of Control annual report. 1948-1949.
4 34 Board of Control annual report. 1949-1950.
4 35 Board of Control annual report. 1950-1951.
4 36 Board of Control quarterly reports. 1950-1951.
4 37 Board of Control quarterly reports. 1951-1952.
4 38 Book lists. Undated.
4 39 Bookstore/Housing. Lundberg, Johon. Reports; correspondence. 1948-1952.
4 40 Borst, Russell. Mecosta County Board of Education. 1948-1952.
4 41 Bowman, Isiah. 1947-1952.
4 42 Brake, Elwood M. Rural Education Workshop. 1948-1951.
Box Folder Contents
5 1 Building survey. 1947-1949.
5 2 Business Manager. DeMoss, Lowell. Correspondence; repots. 1946-1949.
5 3 Business Manager. DeMoss, Lowell. Correspondence; report. August 1949-June 1950.
5 4 Business Manager. DeMoss, Lowell. Correspondence; report. July 19500-June 1951.
5 5 Business Manager. DeMoss, Lowell. Correspondence; report. July 1951-June 1952.
5 6 Business Manager. DeMoss, Lowell. Projects. 1946-1949.
5 7 Business Manager. DeMoss, Lowell. Projects. 1950-1953.
5 8 C.
5 9 Calenda, Frederick. Dental technology program. 1950-1952.
5 10 Campus development plan. 1947.
5 11 Carothers, George. University of Michigan. Ann Arbor (Mich.) 1946-1949.
5 12 Catalog requests. 1946.
5 13 Central Association of College and University Business Officers. 1946-1950.
5 14 Central Michigan College. Mt. Pleasant (Mich.) 1948-1952.
5 15 Central Michigan Fair. 1949.
5 16 Central-Northern Michigan Association of Agreement of Colleges and Schools. 1950.
5 17 Christmas cards. 1949; 1951.
5 18 College of Pharmacy. Correspondence. 1947-1950.
5 19 College of Pharmacy. Wilson, R.M. Reports; correspondence. 1946-1950.
5 20 College Preparatory Department. Puterbaugh, Allen. Reports; correspondence. 1947-1952.
5 21 Commencement. 1947.
5 22 Commencement. Newsclippings. 1947.
5 23 Commencement. 1948.
5 24 Commencement. 1949.
5 25 Commencement. Newsclippings. 1949.
5 26 Commencement. 1950.
5 27 Commencement. 1951.
5 28 Commencement. 1952.
5 29 Commerce Department. Merrill, Karl. Reports; correspondence. 1946-1952.
5 30 Company "E." 1948.
5 31 Conference on Foreign Students and Exchange Teachers. 1948.
5 32 Consumers Power Company. Big Rapids (Mich.) 1948-1950.
5 33 Cook, Robert. 1947-1950.
5 34 Cornerstone ceremony. 31 September 1951.
5 35 Crow, Alan B. Economics Club of Detroit (Mich.) 1947-1951.
5 36 D.
5 37 Darling, Roy. 1947-1948.
5 38 Dean of Men. Rankin, Donald. Reports; correspondence. 1947-1951.
5 39 Dean of Women. Ward, Mary. 1951-1952.
5 40 Department head meetings (deans). Minutes. 1946-1947.
5 41 Department head meetings. Minutes. 1948-1952.
5 42 Discipline committee. 1947-1951.
5 43 E.
5 44 Enrollment. 1946-1947.
5 45 Executive orders. 1946-1952.
5 46 F.
5 47 Faculty committees. 1947-1949; 1952.
5 48 Faculty memos. 1946-1951.
5 49 Federal Public Housing Authority. Contracts. 1947.
Box Folder Contents
6 1 Federal Public Housing Authority. Correspondence. 1946-1948.
6 2 Federal Works Agency. 1946-1947.
6 3 Federal Works Agency. 1948-1949.
6 4 Ferris, Carleton G. 1948-1949.
6 5 Ferris, Mary Ethel. 1948-1949.
6 6 Ferris Institute. History. 1950-1952.
6 7 Ferris Playhouse. 1947-1951.
6 8 Ferris Torch. 1946-1952.
6 9 Ferriscope. 1950-1952.
6 10 Financial reports. Windquist, Helen. 1948-June 1949.
6 11 Financial reports. Windquist, Helen. July 1949-June 1950.
6 12 Financial reports. Windquist, Helehn. July 1950-June 1951.
6 13 Financial reports. Windquist, Helen. July 1951-June 1952.
6 14 Forensics, speech and debate. 1948; 1951-1952.
6 15 Fundraising. 1948-1950.
6 16 G.
6 17 Gee, E.A. Commerce Department report. 1949.
6 18 Giebe, John J. 1948.
6 19 Gitne, Carol. 1950.
6 20 Guidance and Testing. Reports; correspondence. 1950-1952.
6 21 H-I.
6 22 Higher education. 1949-1950.
6 23 Holdridge, Herbert (Heitke, Herbert). 1946.
6 24 Homecoming. 1947-1948.
6 25 Homecoming. 1949.
6 26 Homecoming. 1951.
6 27 House, Philanda D. 1947.
6 28 Housing. Dormitory reports. 1949.
6 29 Housing property controls. 1948.
6 30 Hull, Lewis H. 1947-1952.
6 31 Humphries College. Stockton (Calif.) 1950.
6 32 Institute of Financial Relations. 1946-June 1948.
6 33 Institute of Financial Relations. July 1948-10 February 1949.
6 34 Institute of Financial Relations. 11 February 1949-September 1949.
6 35 Institute of Financial Relations. Weekly reports. September 1948-January 1949.
6 36 Insurance. 1946-1950.
6 37 J.
6 38 K.
6 39 Kiebler, Richard. 1950.
6 40 Kresge Foundation. 1952.
6 41 L.
6 42 Library gift fund. 1950.
6 43 Library requisitions. 1950-1952.
6 44 Library. Nott, Goldie. Reports; correspondence. 1946-1952.
6 45 M.
6 46 Mair-Malloy (public relations). Grand Rapids (Mich.) 1947-1948.
6 47 Mark, Esther. 1949.
Box Folder Contents
7 1 Memos. 1946-15 January 1947.
7 2 Memos. 26 January 1947-15 June 1947.
7 3 Memos. July 1947-August 1948.
7 4 Memos. September 1948-March 1949.
7 5 Memos. March 1949-June 1950.
7 6 Memos. July 1950-25 May 1951.
7 7 Memos. 25 May 1951-October 1951.
7 8 Memos. November 1951-August 1952.
7 9 Meyers Drug Company. 1947.
7 10 Michigan Association of Junior Colleges. 1948-1952.
7 11 Michigan Board of Pharmacy. 1941; 1947-1952.
7 12 Michigan Business Schools Association. 1948-1949.
7 13 Michigan College Association. 1949-1951.
7 14 Michigan College of Mining and Technology. Houghton (Mich.) 1949-1950.
7 15 Michigan Education Association. Public relations clinic. 1951.
7 16 Michigan Education Directory. 1947-1951.
7 17 Michigan Secondary School- College Agreement Committee. 1948-1949.
7 18 Michigan State College. East Lansing (Mich.) 1946-1952.
7 19 Michigan State Federation of Women's Clubs. 1947-1948.
7 20 Michigan Unemployment Commission. 1947.
7 21 Miller, Charles. Mecosta County Health Department. 1948-1949.
7 22 Muir's Cut Rate Drugs. Grand Rapids (Mich.) 1951.
7 23 Music Department. Sabia, N. Reports; correspondence. 1949-1952.
7 24 N.
7 25 National Association of Private Schools. 1948.
7 26 National Education Association. 1949-1950.
7 27 Nearprint. 1931-1962; undated.
7 28 Newton, Roy. 1946-1950.
7 29 Nisbet, Steve. 1949-1950.
7 30 O.
7 31 Organization charts. 1946-1950.
7 32 P-Q.
7 33 Pace accounting course. 1948-1949.
7 34 Patel, Chandulai. 1948-1949.
7 35 Paton, W.A. University of Michigan. Ann Arbor (Mich.) 1949.
7 36 Pattulo, Ralph E. Registrar. 1951.
7 37 Phi Sigma Chi. Basketball tournament. 1947.
7 38 Phillips, John O. 1948-1951.
7 39 Pino, J. Arthur and Pino, Ralph. 1948-1951.
7 40 Ponitz, Henry. Department of Public Instruction. 1948.
7 41 Printing Department. Leach, Water. 1949-1950.
7 42 Property, moveable. 1948.
7 43 Property, received post-fire. 1950.
7 44 Publicity and Public Relations. Newton, Roy. Reports; correspondence. 1946-1949.
7 45 Publicity and Public Relations. Newton, Roy. Reports; correspondence. 1950-1952.
7 46 Publicity- Camera/Hall of Fame. Newton, Roy. Reports; correspondence. 1950-1952.
7 47 Publicity- Catalogs. Newton, Roy. Reports; correspondence. 1950-1952.
7 48 Publicity. Correspondence; copy. 1947-1951.
7 49 R.
7 50 Requisitions. 1947.
7 51 Retirement plans. 1947.
7 52 Rural Education Workshop requests. 1951-1952.
7 53 Rutgers University. Brunswick (New Jersey). 1949.
7 54 S.
7 55 Scholarships. 1946-1949.
7 56 Scripter, Howard. 1949-1951.
7 57 Shapero, Nate. Cunningham Drug Stores. 1948.
7 58 Sigma Alpha Delta fraternity. 1948-1952.
7 59 Speakers list. 1946.
7 60 Staff/Executive committee. Minutes. 1951-1952.
7 61 Starr, Raymond V. 1947-1948.
7 62 State of Michigan Department of Public Instruction. 1946-1947.
7 63 State of Michigan Department of Public Instruction. 1948-1952.
7 64 State of Michigan Department of Public Instruction. News of the Week. 1945-1948.
7 65 State of Michigan. Office of Veteran Affairs. 1946-1948.
7 66 State of Michigan. Vocational Rehabilitation Office. 1946-1948.
Box Folder Contents
8 1 Student council. 1948-1951.
8 2 Student directoreis. 1949-1952.
8 3 Student handbook. 1951.
8 4 Student organizations. 1946-1952.
8 5 Suggestion box. 1947.
8 6 Surplus property committee. 1947-1950.
8 7 T-V.
8 8 Teachers agencies. 1948.
8 9 Telegrams. 1947-1948.
8 10 Trades and Industry building. 1947-1948.
8 11 Trades and Industry building. Correspondence. 1946-1948..
8 12 Trades and Industry Department. Curriculua. 1946-1947.
8 13 Trades and Industry Department. Puterbaugh, Allen. Reports; correspondence. 1946-1951.
8 14 Trades and Industry Department. Fairman, Ben. Reports; correspondence. 1951-1952.
8 15 United States Office of Education (Federal Security Agency). 1946-1948.
8 16 United States Office of Education (Federal Security Agency). 1949-1952.
8 17 United States Office of Education. Higher Education. 1946-1948.
8 18 United States Department of Justice. 1948.
8 19 University of Michigan. Ann Arbor (Mich.) 1946-1948.
8 20 University of Michigan. Ann Arbor (Mich.) 1949-1952.
8 21 Varsity Club. 1948.
8 22 Veterans Administration. 1946-1949.
8 23 Veterans GI Bill. 1946-1949.
8 24 W.
8 25 War Assets Adminsitration. 1946-1947.
8 26 Watchmakers. 1947.
8 27 Watch and Clock Department. 1946.
8 28 Wayne University. Detroit (Mich.) 1950.
8 29 Western Michigan College. Kalamazoo (Mich.) 1947-1948.
8 30 Whittimore, V.I. Big Rapids Public Schools. Big Rapids (Mich.) 1950.
8 31 Wolosow, Gregorai. 1950.
8 32 Worcester, Donald H. 1947-1951.
8 33 X-Z.