MS 5 Donald Charles Agnew Papers

Donald Charles Agnew Papers
MS 5

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Agnew, Donald Charles
Title: Donald Charles Agnew Papers
Dates: 1945-1976

Abstract: This collection contains papers that relate to the administration of Donald Agnew as President of Oglethorpe University.

Quantity: 6.5 cubic feet

Administrative History

Donald Charles Agnew was President of Oglethorpe University from 1958-1964. These papers were collected in the course of his administration as President and retained by Oglethorpe University.


Donald Charles Agnew, who succeeded Donald Wilson (1956-1957) and the short presidency of James Whitney Bunting (1953-1955), was the nineth president of Oglethorpe University. Agnew was a native of Denver, Colorado. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Park College in 1929, a Master of Arts from Duke University in 1932, and later a doctorate from the same institution in 1936.

Agnew was in correspondence with Philip Weltner a great deal before any formal association with the college would be made. He [Agnew] was previously the president of Coker College located in South Carolina. After departing said institution, he would head the Southern Association (located in Atlanta). This geographic proximity would allow more interaction amongst Oglethorpe University and Agnew.

Philip Weltner utilized Agnew’s expertise in academic affairs during the inception of “The Oglethorpe Plan”. Accreditation was achieved for its first time in 1950. Other aspects of said plan include: the procurement of a $10,000 grant from the General Education Board and an urgent need to raise the school’s endowment to one million dollars. An academic audit concluded that Oglethorpe “turned out the kind of citizens the world needs today”; which is evidenced by students scoring 30 points higher on the Graduate Record Examinations than the national average. Also, an entirely new curriculum would be drafted by Agnew (now a special advisor) in response to Weltner’s correspondence.

Agnew joined the Oglethorpe faculty in the early 1950s. He traveled extensively in North Carolina and Florida in hopes of acquiring humanities scholars. Later, he would “head up a research project in the content of the general education courses in higher education” and then devote further work to the Community Service Division of Oglethorpe University.

During his presidency, Oglethorpe would gain several beneficial attributes. The University would join the Georgia Foundation for Independent Colleges in November of 1956. This allowed financial gain for the institution via soliciting gifts towards the common fund. The faculty more than doubled and the number holding a doctorate during Agnew’s years grew to 25 (more than any predecessor). Successes such as re-accreditation in 1963, enrollment at an all-time high, the introduction of the evening school program, and a thriving basketball team led Oglethorpe to future prosperity. Donald C. Agnew would resign his presidency on January 11, 1964. He accepted a position to help disadvantaged youth and would act as a “builder” for Southern education.


The collection is arranged by record type.



Subject Headings

Agnew, Donald Charles

Oglethorpe University (Atlanta, GA) — Presidents.

Folder List

Box 1

Folder 1. Invitations from Universities, 1958

Folder 2. Invitations from Universities, 1959
Folder 3. Correspondences, 1955-1958
Folder 4. Correspondence, 1958-1959
Folder 5. Correspondences, 1960-1963
Folder 6. Notes from the President’s Office, 1958-1961
Folder 7. Public Relations, 1962-1964
Folder 8. Public Relations, 1957-1962

Box 2

Folder 1. The University Center in GA, 1958-1962

Folder 2. Faculty Documents

Folder 3. Biographical Data/Forms
Folder 4. Handwritten Notes
Folder 5. Memoranda 1958, 1959, 1961
Folder 6. Memoranda 1962, 1963

Folder 7. Miscellanea: Faculty, Administration, Regulations, Academia

Folder 8. Clippings, 1956-1974

Box 3

Folder 1. University Congratulatory Letters Regarding Presidency, 1958

Folder 2. Congratulatory Letters/Responses, 1957-2958

Folder 3. Awards Given to Agnew, 1958-1960

Folder 4. Newspaper Clippings

Folder 5. Newspaper Clippings Xeroxed

Folder 6. Miscellanea Xeroxed, 1954-1959

Folder 7. Trustee Documents/Miscellanea Faculty Documents

Folder 8. Humanic Foundation, 1954-1962

Folder 9. Athletics

Folder 10. Alumni Documents, 1959-1962

Box 4

Folder 1. Extension Work: Fort McPherson Invoices, 1959-1961

Folder 2. Extension Work: Fort McPherson Correspondences, 1959-1961

Folder 3. Extension Work: Fort McPherson Class Lists, 1960

Folder 4. Extension Work: Fort Benning, 1960

Folder 5. Extension Work: Fort Gordon, 1960

Folder 6. The Atlanta Experiment (1 of 2)

Folder 7. The Atlanta Experiment (2 of 2)

Folder 8. Oglethorpe Administrative Council, 1961-1963

Folder 9. Calendars, Schedules, Events 1952-1976

Folder 10. “Rat Cellar” Student Government Proposal

Folder 11. Debate/Libertarian Society Student Government (SGA) 1960-1961

Folder 12. Oglethorpe Day 1958

Folder 13. Oglethorpe Day 1959, 1961, 1963

Box 5

Folder 1. National Science Foundation Proposal 1958

Folder 2. Application for Woodruff Foundation Grant 1959

Folder 3. Certified Public Accountant Review Course 1961

Folder 4. Basic Issues of Man Class Description (Liberal Studies) 1963

Folder 5. Pink Sheet Memos 1959-1962

Folder 6. Pink Sheet Memos 1963-1964

Folder 7. Report to SACS 1961-1962

Folder 8. Speeches – Agnew, 1957-1960

Folder 9. Bunting Era Documents 1953-1955

Folder 10. Faculty/Staff Memos 1945-1959

Folder 11. OU Self-Study Report 1959

Folder 12. Printed Items

Folder 13. Miscellanea Graphics

Box 6

Folder 1. Admin Correspondence + Misc. 1959

Folder 2. Admin Correspondence + Misc. 1960

Folder 3. Admin Correspondence + Misc. 1961

Folder 4. Admin Correspondence + Misc. 1962

Folder 5. Admin Correspondence + Misc. 1963

Folder 6. Miscellanea Correspondence 1951-1962

Folder 7. Commencement Speech, Program, Correspondence 1957

Folder 8. Commencement Speech, Program, Correspondence 1958

Folder 9. Commencement Speech, Program, Correspondence 1959

Folder 10. Commencement Speech, Program, Correspondence 1960-1961

Folder 11. Commencement Speech, Program, Correspondence 1962

Folder 12. Commencement Speech, Program, Correspondence 1963

Folder 13. Honors Day Invitation, Program 1959

Folder 14. Opening of College & Senior Capping Checklist/Speech 1958

OVZ. Box 7

AV articles moved to accession folder 2003.332

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation:
Please cite Donald Charles Agnew Papers, MS 5, Archives, Philip Weltner Library, Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, Georgia. Permission to publish from this collection must be approved in writing by the Director of the Library, Oglethorpe University.