Melinda Isler, Archivist
1010 Campus Drive
Big Rapids MI 49307
Collection Title: General Education Convocation Council Records
Creator: Ferris State College. General Education Convocation Council.
Abstract: The General Education Convocation Council (GECC) utilized college funds to bring in speakers, acts and films to educate students. It was the predecessor of the Arts and Lectures committee. The collection consists of administrative records, schedules and programs from the various events.
Quantity: 1.9 cubic feet; 2 half records center boxes
Identification: UA 31.4.9
Repository: Ferris State University Archives and Records Management Program
During the 1940s, the booking of speakers and educational program was handled directly by the president's office. As the college grew, and expanded its staff, there was a need for more input into the process. Therefore the GEAC was created (General Education Assembly Committee). The first known annual report of the GEAC was from 1958-1959. This committee, chaired by Dacho Dachoff commented on the "concentrated effort to put down in writing the purpose and work" of the committee. It also noted that attendance at events were greatly increased from previous years, perhaps because of the coordination with the 75th anniversary celebrations. It is uncertain exactly when during the 1950s that the committee was created.
The committee generally had 10-12 members, including staff, faculty and student representatives. Responsibilities of the committee were: identifying and scheduling programs, handling budgets, working on promotions, working the facilities and staging of events, serving as staff liaisons and the evaluation of completed programs. It was an extreme challenge for the committee to find sources of funding to bring in nationally recognized speakers and groups. Lack of funding made scheduling more than a year in advance almost an impossibility. Outside funding continued to be an ongoing issue for the group. Unlike other committees, this committee had a fairly stable membership because of the level of expertise required.
Beginning in 1956, a subcommittee of the GEAC organized a film festival. In 1958-1959, the festival showed 30 movies, with an average attendance of 200. By 1963, the number of films shown had dropped to 14. In 1985, the festival showed 3 films per quarter. Admission to the films were without charge.
In 1971, the Lecture Grant Series was initiated. This was a faculty driven proposal, where faculty were able to apply for grants to have campus-wide speakers who may have a relevance to a particular class or program within the university. Examples of such speakers included Dr. Leland Jacobs, a children's literature expert and Dr. Thomas O'Toole, a social scientist who spoke on cross cultural awareness.
Other programs included musical groups, journalists, dance groups, dramatic performances and other cultural activities. During the 1950s and early 1960s convocations were mandatory for students. Until the mid 1970s, an effort was made to avoid popular entertainment. Those types of events were generally sponsored by fraternities. In 1965, the committee reorganized under the name General Education Convocation Council. There was a decrease in the number of convocations, in order to conserve funding for better quality speakers. An effort was also made to bring in groups that related to colleges outside of the General Education area. After the creation of the new Academic Senate, this group became the Arts and Lectures Committee.
In the early years of Ferris Institute, General Assemblies were required during the morning hours. Later, these assemblies were moved to later in the evening to accommodate the increase in the number of classes. In order to add to the educational value of such assemblies, outside speakers/groups were brought in. They were then called convocations. As the campus grew, and the need grew for activities outside of the usual daily class hours, the GEAC/GECC was formed to bring in educational activities. It was not meant to be entertainment.
The administrative records contain the typical records of such committees- agendas, correspondence, minutes and reports. Reports of particular interest are the Linebaugh class report which recommended making such assemblies optional, and the changing of the name of the organization. There are also materials about special offshoot projects such as the film festivals and lecture grant series. These include original proposals for the programs, and the development of policies and procedures. The financial reports include not only the amount paid for by the college, but funding from outside sources.
The program files provide a sample of the types of groups brought in- news reporters, Ralph Nader, the Indianapolis Symphony and films such as the Diary of Anne Frank. It includes actual programs, fliers, news articles, publicity photos and material about the groups generally. It is arranged by academic year in which the groups appeared.
The papers are divided into a two series: Administrative Records and Program Records.
The General Education Convocation Council 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.
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.
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.
Representative Faculty Advisory Council Records. (UA 31.1.1)
Footnotes and bibliographic references should use the following format:
[Item], Folder, Box. General Education Convocation Council Records. Ferris State University Archives. Big Rapids, Michigan.
These records were transferred to the University Archives through a series of donations including one by Dacho Dachoff in 1984, one by Glendon Hynes in 1987, one by Richard Santer in 2006 and by other unknown sources prior to 2002.
The General Education Convocation Council Records were processed to the folder level by Melinda McMartin Isler in May 2008. A finding aid was prepared in a word processing format and converted to EAD 2.0. A collection level MARC-21 record was prepared and placed in the library online public access catalog. Description based on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2004).
There were no other materials placed in other collections.
This collection consists of paper based material. No specialized software or hardware is required for viewing.
This series consists of approximately 0.50 cubic feet of records. They include the records of the chair including agendas, correspondences, minutes, policies and reports. Special projects including a proposal to charge fees, the film festival and the creation of the lecture grant series has separate folders.
The series is arranged alphabetically by subject and/or function.
|1||2||Annual reports. 1959-1963.|
|1||15||Event planner. 1971.|
|1||16||Fees subcommittee. 1982.|
|1||17||Film festival. 1958-1975.|
|1||18||Financial report. 1958-1979.|
|1||19||Lecture grant awards. 1971-1975; 1983.|
|1||20||Lecture grant awards. Proposal. 1970-1971.|
|1||21||Linebaugh class report about student attendance at GECC events. 1972.|
|1||22||Membership lists. 1958-1972.|
|1||25||Name change. 1969.|
|1||26||Organizational structure. 1985.|
|1||27||"Proposal to strengthen and improve the General Education Assembly Committee activities and the total cultural program of Ferris State College." Report. 1966.|
|1||28||Policies and procedures. Undated.|
|1||30||Representative Faculty Advisory Council survey. 1985.|
|2||1||Speaker policy. 1971.|
This series consists of approximately 0.5 cubic feet of records. These records are arranged chronologically by year and includes schedules, programs and publicity relating to the programs.
The folders are arranged chronologically by academic year.