Robert J. Havighurst Papers, 1924-1983

Summary Information
Title: Robert J. Havighurst Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1924-1983

  • Havighurst, Robert J., 1900-
Call Number: Mss 724

Quantity: 0.6 c.f. (2 archives boxes)

Archival Locations:
Wisconsin Historical Society (Map)

Papers, mainly 1977-1983, of a scientist and educator concerning his involvement with the Alexander Meiklejohn Experimental College at the University of Wisconsin. Included is correspondence concerning planning for two alumni reunions, the establishment of the Alexander Meiklejohn Experimental College Foundation, and the Integrated Liberal Studies program at the University; a tabulation and report and writings concerning the impact of AMEC on its former students; and by-laws, minutes, memoranda, and financial records of the AMEC Foundation. Also included is a bibliography of Havighurst's writings, examples of unpublished writings, and miscellany.

Language: English

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Prominent scientist and educator Robert J. Havighurst was born in Wisconsin in 1900 and educated at Ohio Wesleyan and Ohio State University, where he received his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1924. Subsequently he held positions at Harvard and Miami University. In 1928 he accepted an appointment to teach physics at the University of Wisconsin Experimental College. Although his association as a teacher with the Meiklejohn Experimental College lasted only four years, it appears to have transformed his early interest in the physical sciences into a broader concern with education. Since that time Havighurst has written numerous books and articles concerning science education, aging, and international studies of education. In addition, he has served as director of numerous educational and gerontological associations.

In 1934 he became associated with the Rockefeller Foundation. In 1941 he became a professor of education and human development at the University of Chicago, remaining there until his retirement in 1965. Other appointments included work with UNESCO and two Fulbright professorships.

Scope and Content Note

The Havighurst Papers held by the Historical Society document only two aspects of his diverse career: his professional writing and his association with the Meiklejohn Experimental College at the University of Wisconsin. In fact, the latter association is documented only for the period 1977-1983.

WRITINGS originally consisted of over one cubic foot of reprints and publications. From this, the Archives has prepared a chronological bibliography. Originals of Havighurst's writings have been retained only for unpublished speeches and writings or for those which appeared in a form which is not readily accessible to the researcher elsewhere. His published dissertation is included here, however.

The remainder of the collection concerns the Meiklejohn Experimental College. Included is correspondence, 1977-1983, relating to the development and organization of two Meiklejohn reunions. For the 1977 reunion Havighurst was involved in the preparation and circulation of a questionnaire concerning the former students' experiences and post-graduate life. A folder of tabulations of the responses to this questionnaire and a final report are included. In addition, concerning the 1982 Meiklejohn Convocation there are agendas, position papers, and writings by college alumni. These writings further document their memories of the college and how AMEC affected their lives. There is also documentation consisting of by-laws, minutes, memoranda, and financial records concerning the Alexander Meiklejohn Experimental College Foundation, which grew out of these reunions and threats to inter-disciplinary education at the University of Wisconsin. This period is further documented in the folder of correspondence concerning the Integrated Liberal Studies program at the University.

In addition, the collection contains names and addresses of AMEC alumni and some miscellaneous clippings.

Administrative/Restriction Information
Acquisition Information

Presented by Robert J. Havighurst, Chicago, Illinois, April 25, 1984. Accession Number: M84-209

Processing Information

Processed by William N. Roark (FGH student, 1986) and Sandra Whitney (Carloyn Mattern), 1987.

Contents List
Box   1
Folder   1
Series: Biographical Sketches
Series: Meiklejohn Experimental College Material
Box   1
Folder   2-4
Correspondence, 1977-1983, n.d.
Box   1
Folder   5
Tabulations and reports on 1977 alumni questionnaire
Box   1
Folder   6
1982 AMECF convocation
Alexander Meiklejohn Experimental College Foundation
Box   1
Folder   7
By-laws, 1982
Box   1
Folder   8
Minutes and memoranda, 1978-1983
Box   1
Folder   9
Financial records, 1982-1983
Integrated Liberal Studies
Box   1
Folder   10
Correspondence, 1979
Box   1
Folder   11
Summer Institute correspondence, 1983
Box   2
Folder   1
Names and addresses of AMEC alumni, 1977-1982
Series: Writings
Box   2
Folder   2
Bibliographies, dissertation, and other writings, 1924-1967
Box   3
Series: Miscellany