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A Finding Aid for the Century of Opportunity Records 1981-1982

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Century of Opportunity Records

Creator: Deupree, Joseph.

Dates: 1981-1982

Abstract: In preparation for Ferris State College's 1984 centennial celebrations, retired public relations employee Joseph Deupree wrote the centennial institutional history. The book was a mixture of legends and facts, with numerous illustrations. This collection contains drafts of chapters that both made it into the final print, other manuscript materials and graphics and layout patterns.

Language: English

Quantity: 1.5 cubic feet; 1 records center box

Identification: UA 0.10

Repository: Ferris State University Archives and Records Management Program

Historical Note

In 1956, Jack Deupree (Joseph Deupree) had been working at Ferris Institute for less than a month when President Victor Spathelf brought him sample centennial publications and noted that Ferris would be celebrating its centennial soon. It was not, however, until after Deupree's retirement in 1976 that he took on the assignment of writing the centennial history. It was subsequently published in 1982.

As an employee in the Office of Institutional Relations (public relations), Deupree wrote articles concerning the current events of the school and coordinated photography. After his retirement, he used the available resources in the Timme Library Historical Room (in most cases the published sources) to research the pre-1956 history. In order to make the book more appealing, numerous photographs and illustrations were used from the collection. The book was written and published in time for the 1984 centennial celebrations.

Scope and Content Note

Century of Opportunity served as a centennial project to commemorate the first hundred years of Ferris Institute which later became Ferris State University. Written by a former public relations officer, great emphasis was placed on readability and style rather than a detailed documentation of facts and events. Many things were cut from the final draft and this collection provides the full manuscript which includes additional topics that may be of interest such as faculty member Alfred Witten or organizations such as the Alumni Association. The book reflects in large part the published sources available to the author such as newsletters, yearbooks and newspapers.

There are numerous photographs/illustrations in the book which were taken from University Archives. Original photographs remain part of the university archives photograph collection and will not be found here. Within the photo collection, they are not separated by location in the book, but rather by the subject matter that they contain. Research notes or copied documents used in writing the book are also not a part of the collection. What is included in the collection are printers negatives for approximately 75% of the illustrations of the book. They are filed in chronological order. There is also a layout draft of the book as set up with blocks for potential illustrations.


The papers are divided into a single series.

Access Information

Conditions of Access

The Century of Opportunity Records 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


Footnotes and bibliographic references should use the following format:
[Item], Folder, Box. Century of Opportunity Records. Ferris State University Archives. Big Rapids, Michigan.

Provenance (Acquisition Information)

The Century of Opportunity Records were donated by Virginia Deupree of Venice, Florida in 1992 following Joseph Deupree's death.

Processing Information

The Century of Opportunity Records were processed to the folder level by Melinda McMartin Isler in April 2004. A revised finding aid was prepared in a word processing format and converted to EAD 2.0 in November 2007. 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 loose papers, generally of the 8.5 x 11 inch paper size. No specialized software or hardware is required for viewing.

Content Listing

Series 1. Manuscript Files. 1981-1982.

This series consists of approximately 1.5 cubic feet of paper records. It includes the original book draft, individual chapters (some of which may not be in the published book), layouts and graphical material. The text for the final published book is approximately half of the original manuscript.

The paper based materials are organized alphabetically by function, title and topic.

Box Folder Contents
1 1 Academic Programs Develop.
1 2 Alumni Association.
1 3 Correspondence. 1981.
1 4 Counterfeiting 101, Embezzlement 102, Skullduggery 103: The Alfred Witten Caper.
1 5 Draft. Pp. 1-148.
1 6 Draft. Pp. 149-216.
1 7 Original draft. Part 1.
1 8 Original draft. Part 2.
1 9 Original draft. Part 3.
1 10 Faculty Councils (retitled Faculty Concerns).
1 11 Ferris Auxiliaries.
1 12 Graphical material. Pp 1-50.
1 13 Graphical material. Pp. 51-100.
1 14 Graphical material. Pp. 101-150.
1 15 Graphical material. Pp. 151-212.
1 16 Index.
1 17 Layout. Pp 1-80.
1 18 Layout. Pp. 81-160.
1 19 Layout. Pp. 161-221.
1 20 Music, Drama and Art.
1 21 Muskegon Venture.
1 22 Notes. Undated.
1 23 Printers proofs. Pp. 1-121.
1 24 Printers proofs. Pp. 123-221.
1 25 Sample page negative sheet.
1 26 Student Activities.
1 27 Student Press.
1 28 Tish, Tish. Dirty Pool.