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A Finding Aid for the Ferris Heritage Lecture Collection 1979-1994

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Ferris Heritage Lecture Collection

Creator: Ferris State College. Historical/Archival Advisory Committee.

Dates: 1979-1994

Abstract: Between 1979-1994, the University Archives and the Archival Advisory Committee sponsored the Heritage Lecture series in which talks about the history of Ferris State University and Mecosta County were given. The collection includes audio recordings and transcripts.

Language: English

Quantity: 1.5 cubic feet; 1 records center box

Identification: UA 16.9.500

Repository: Ferris State University Archives and Records Management Program

Historical Note

In 1977, the Historical/Archival Advisory Committee was formed. One of their planned projects involved the collecting of oral histories. However, because of the changing membership of the committee and lack of staffing they felt they could not do a true oral history program including the extensive background research as preparation. Instead they set up a monthly lecture series with general historical topics relating to Ferris State University and the surrounding community.

Lectures were funded through the Heritage Fund. This paid only for the taping of the lecture. Lunches with the speaker were paid for by the committee members, and expenses by the speakers themselves.

All lectures were taped. Lectures were held on varying days and times. Attendance was never large. The largest audience was 32, for the lecture by Robert P. Gerholz. Often the only audience members were members of the committee. For the Glendon Hynes lecture in 1987, a dinner was held. However, with the small audience this was not generally a feasible option.

Monthly lectures became less frequent because of bad weather in January and February and later because of poor attendance. The lecture series was cancelled in 1994 and the committee was combined with the Library Advisory Committee.

Scope and Content Note

The Ferris Heritage Lecture series was a sponsored project by the Historical/Archival Advisory Committee as a way to collect oral histories. Lectures were open to the public and recorded onto reel tapes (and sometimes a cassette tape as a use copy). Lectures were either about Ferris or the surrounding community. It was seen as an alternative to the traditional oral history in that it alleviated the need to do primary research.

Within the collection are the products of the digital conversion of the cassette tapes to a cd format. Some lectures had missing tapes or materials only available in a reel format that was unable to be converted. Folders include the digital file, and an accompanying transcript. Also within the collection are the original cassette tapes, in no particular order. These lectures did not include releases and copyright was retained by the individual.


The papers are included in a single series.

Access Information

Conditions of Access

The Ferris Heritage Lecture Collection is 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 not 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. Ferris Heritage Lecture Collection. Ferris State University Archives. Big Rapids, Michigan.

Provenance (Acquisition Information)

These records were created by the University Archives who recorded the original speeches. Digital recordings were created by Media Production in 2007 and transcribed by library staff. There are no releases signed by original speakers.

Processing Information

The Ferris Heritage Lecture Collection were processed to the folder level by Melinda McMartin Isler in March 2008. A finding aid was prepared in a word processing format and converted to EAD 2.0. 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).

Separated Materials

During processing, duplicate materials were discarded. There were no other materials placed in other collections.

Technical Requirements

This collection consists of transcripts on 8.5 x 11 inch paper. Some recordings are available on a cassette tape format. Some are still on original reels. Many have been transferred to a digital recording on a cd in a .wav format.

Content Listing

Series 1. Ferris Heritage Lectures. 1979-1994.

The collection contains a mixture of audio recordings and transcripts of participants in the Ferris Heritage Lecture Series.

The first folder is a listing of the lecture schedule and what is available. That is followed by folders containing lectures which were able to be transferred to a digital format with an accompanying transcript. They are followed by cassette tape versions of recordings as listed in the first folder. The records span the dates 1979-1992.

Box Folder Contents
1 1 History; schedule of lectures. 1979-1994.
1 2 Newsclippings; publicity. 1979-1985.
1 3 Santer, Richard A. "Historical Geography of Mecosta County." 28 September 1979.
1 4 Lewis, Jack. "Mecosta County History." 26 October 1979.
1 5 Deupree, Joseph E. "Ferris Institute as a Private College." 9 November 1979.
1 6 Wright, Lillian Masselink. "A Look at the Ferris and Masselink Families." 25 January 1980.
1 7 Worcester, Donald. "A.A. Worcester as President of Ferris in the 1980s." 15 February 1980.
1 8 Martin, Neva C. "A Look at the College under Presidents Brophy and Merrill." 28 March 1980.
1 9 Gerholz, Robert P. "Ferris Institute in 1916." 11 April 1980.
1 10 Spathelf, Victor F. "Ferris' First Years as a State College." 9 May 1980.
1 11 Farrell, James V. "The History and Development of the School of General Education." 26 September 1980.
1 12 Huxol, Robert L. "The Development of Technical Programs at Ferris." 31 October 1980.
1 13 Karas, Frank. "The History and Philosophy of Athletics at Ferris." 12 December 1980.
1 14 Cramer, Alfred. "Ferris under the Board of Incorporators." 12 December 1980.
1 15 Smith, John R. "The Development of Business Operations." 24 April 1981.
1 16 Turner, James B. "The Development of the Pharmacy Program." 8 May 1981.
1 17 Miller, Mildred Ahlgren and Ahlgren, Harold. "Uppertown and Ferris." 25 September 1981.
1 18 Prakken, Lawrence W. "The Formation of Ferris as a State School." 23 October 1981.
1 19 Carr, June C. "From the Old High School Completion Program to the Specialized Education Program." Transcript only. 13 November 1981.
1 20 Erickson, Rev. Burton. "Religion, Ferris and Big Rapids." 12 March 1982.
1 21 Fredrickson, Esther. "Ferris Development 1957-1981, Personal Recollections and Anecdotes." 23 April 1982.
1 22 Dachoff, Dacho. "The History of Music at Ferris." 24 September 1982.
1 24 Young, Shirley. "The Excellence of Teaching. " 21 January 1983.
1 25 Horn, Robert Sr. "Three Generations of Auto Sales and Service in Big Rapids." 11 February 1983.
1 26 Tacia, David G. "The History of Libraries in Mecosta County." 18 March 1983.
1 27 Fairman, John. "The Fairman Family and Ferris." 26 April 1983.
1 28 Kelly, Jean. "The History of Public Education in Big Rapids." 14 October 1983.
1 29 McElwain, William T. "Sports at Ferris in the Thirties." 11 November 1983.
1 30 Zimmerman, Garnet and Zimmerman, Margaret. "Student Life in the 1940s and the development of Technical Programs at Ferris." 9 December 1983.
1 31 Ferguson, Robert. "The Importance of Local History." 16 March 1984.
1 32 Vartan, Estelle and French, Suzanne (for Helen Ferris Vartan). "The Ferris Family and Recollections of Big Rapids." 4 May 1984.
1 33 Spathelf, Victor and Delbert Long. "W.C. Top Taggart and His Contributions to Big Rapids and Its People." 21 September 1984.
1 34 Misner, Dorothy. "President Ward's Administration." 19 October 1984.
1 35 Wallensteadt, Theodore. "Memories of Ferris and Big Rapids." 9 November 1984.
1 36 Peticolas, Sam C. "Memories of Ferris." 14 December 1984.
1 37 Cooper, Max. "History of Public Affairs at Ferris." 25 January 1985.
1 38 Sofoulis, Maxine. "Life in the Old Jail in the 1940s." 29 March 1985.
1 39 Denison, Marjorie. "Insights on Community Development by an Educational Leader." 19 April 1985.
1 40 McCann, Suzanne. "The History of the Dental Assisting Program." 21 February 1986.
1 41 Wink, Jim. "Winning Bulldog Basketball." 4 April 1986.
1 42 Hynes, Glendon. "The Evolution of Faculty Governance at Ferris." 22 January 1987.
1 43 Jewell, Robert. "The History of Muskegon Business College." 14 December 1987.
1 44 Voorhees, Steven. "Candid Memories of Ferris." 7 February 1992.
1 45 Large, Robert. "The Development and Placement of the Career Planning Office." 25 March 1994.
1 Unfoldered Other cassette tapes of lectures as listed in folder 1.