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Benjamin Fletcher Wright papers, 1949-1969
11.25 linear feet (28 containers)
Collection number: CA.MS.00014

Abstract:
Benjamin Fletcher Wright was the fifth president of Smith College, and a professor of Government. The collection contains official records of the Office of the President, correspondence, speeches, legal documents, press releases, minutes, memoranda, reports, and newspaper articles.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

Materials in the Smith College Archives are open for use, with the following exceptions: "Office Files," files of records created for the use of the administrative unit that created them, are closed to research for a period of 10 years following their creation.

Faculty tenure and promotion files, as well as inactive faculty files are closed permanently. Board of Trustees' records are closed permanently. Minutes of the Faculty Council are closed to all except current Smith College Faculty for a period of 75 years following their creation. Student academic records, student disciplinary records, and all records containing FERPA-covered student information are closed during the lifetime of the student. Student records created 100 years or more ago are assumed to be about deceased students. In all cases, the College Archives will continue to provide public access to materials that were intended to be public at the time of their creation (press releases, publications, etc

Materials regarding the Board of Counselors (Box 8) are permanently closed. Permission to view those materials can be granted only by the President of Smith College.

Restrictions on use:

Smith College retains copyright of materials created as part of its business operations; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Smith College, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Smith College Archives

Biographical / Historical

Benjamin Fletcher Wright, president of Smith College 1949-1959, was born February 8, 1900, in Austin, Texas, the son of Benjamin F. and Mary Blanford Wright. His lifelong interest in political science, especially government, became evident early in life with his fascination for Thomas Jefferson in grammar school. He followed that passion through the University of Texas, where he earned his BA and MA degrees in 1921 and to Harvard, where, in 1925, he earned his Ph.D.

He was a member of the University of Texas faculty from 1922 to 1926. In 1926, he married Alexa Rhea and they had two children: David and Janet. Wright taught at Harvard from 1926 until coming to Smith in 1949. While at Harvard, he served as chairman of the Government Department and served on the Harvard Committee on General Education. He was one of the authors of the renowned report published by that committee titled, "General Education in a Free Society" (1945).

During his decade as the fifth president of Smith College, Wright made notable contributions to the honors program and the interdepartmental majors program. He consistently fought for the value of intellectual and educational freedom in the face of McCarthyism and widespread anti-Communist propaganda. Under his administration, the college's endowment was substantially increased, faculty salaries raised and college plant and facilities enlarged. In 1961, Wright Hall was dedicated in his honor.

After leaving Smith, Wright spent a year as a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Science, at Stanford University in California. The following year he returned to the University of Texas as a professor of government where he taught until the year before his death on November 28, 1976.

Wright held honorary degrees from Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, American International College and Pittsburgh University. The following are a selection of his published titles: The Merit System in the American States (1923), Source Book of the American Political Theory (1928), American Interpretations of Natural Law (1942), General Education in a Free Society (with others 1945), Consensus and Continuity 1777-1787 (1958), editor: The Federalist (1961).

Scope and Contents

The Office of the President: Benjamin Wright Papers consist of 11.25 linear feet and are primarily related to his official duty as President of Smith College from 1949-1959. Types of material include correspondence, speeches, legal documents, press releases, minutes, memoranda, reports, and newspaper articles. The papers are arranged in alphabetical order by subject.

Major subjects found in these papers include issues of Communism and Intellectual Freedom (Committee for Discrimination in Giving, Massachusetts Commission on Communism and U.S. House of Representatives, Un-American Activities Committee); The Four College Cooperation; The Seven College Conferences and Junior Year Abroad.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

Materials in the Smith College Archives are open for use, with the following exceptions: "Office Files," files of records created for the use of the administrative unit that created them, are closed to research for a period of 10 years following their creation.

Faculty tenure and promotion files, as well as inactive faculty files are closed permanently. Board of Trustees' records are closed permanently. Minutes of the Faculty Council are closed to all except current Smith College Faculty for a period of 75 years following their creation. Student academic records, student disciplinary records, and all records containing FERPA-covered student information are closed during the lifetime of the student. Student records created 100 years or more ago are assumed to be about deceased students. In all cases, the College Archives will continue to provide public access to materials that were intended to be public at the time of their creation (press releases, publications, etc

Materials regarding the Board of Counselors (Box 8) are permanently closed. Permission to view those materials can be granted only by the President of Smith College.

Restrictions on use:

Smith College retains copyright of materials created as part of its business operations; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Smith College, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Preferred Citation

Benjamin Fletcher Wright papers, College Archives, CA-MS-00014, Smith College Special Collections, Northampton, Massachusetts.

History of the Collection

These papers were transferred to the College Archives from the Office of the President after Wright left the College in 1959.

Processing Information

Processed by Mariah Leavitt.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Contents List
A
1949-59

Box 468: folder 1
Academic Departments, General
1949-59

Box 468: folder 2
Academic Departments: Art
1950-59

Box 468: folder 3
Academic Departments: History
undated

Box 468: folder 4
Academic Departments: Music: General
1949-55

Box 468: folder 5
Academic Depts: Music: Chamber Singers
1951-58

Box 468: folder 6
Academic Departments: Music: Glee Club (see also Alumnae Clubs)
1949-58

Box 468: folder 7
Academic Depts: Physical Education
ca.1947-52

Box 468: folder 8
Academic Departments: Physics
(solar energy)1949

Box 468: folder 9
Academic Depts: Sciences (visiting ad hoc committee on sciences)
1958-59 undated

Box 468: folder 10
Academic Departments: Theater
1950-54

Box 468: folder 11
Academic Departments: Zoology
1950-59

Box 468: folder 12
Alumnae Association
1949-59

Box 468: folder 13
Alumnae Clubs
1954-59 undated

Box 468: folder 14
Alumnae Association: Cleveland SC Clubs Lecture Series
1949-58

Box 468: folder 15
Alumnae Council
1950-58

Box 468: folder 16
Alumnae Fund
1949-59

Box 468: folder 17
General

see also, Development

Alumnae Biographical File (proposed)
1954-56

Box 468: folder 18
American Asso. of University Professors
1950-56 undated

Box 469: folder 1
American Asso. of University Women
1951-59

Box 469: folder 2
Ames, Blanche Ames
1956-57

Box 469: folder 3
Amherst College
1950-59

Box 469: folder 4
Anniversary 1950 (75th) and Inauguration:Congratulatory Messages
1950

Box 469: folder 5
Anniversary (75th) and Inauguration: Fund
1949-57 undated

Box 469: folder 6
Anniversary (75th) and Inauguration: Observance Committee
1948-50

Box 469: folder 7
Archives and Sophia Smith Collection
1949-54 undated

Box 469: folder 8
Assemblies
1949-59 undated

Box 469: folder 9
B
1950-56

Box 469: folder 10
Beard, Mary Ritter
1950-54

Box 469: folder 11
Bennington College
1950

Box 469: folder 12
Blakeslee, Albert F.
1950-54

Box 469: folder 13
General

see also Genetics Experiment Station

Buildings and Grounds: General
1947-57

Box 469: folder 14
Buildings and Grounds: Carlile Carillon
1949-54

Box 470: folder 1
Buildings and Grounds: Cutter and Ziskind, General
1955

Box 470: folder 2
Buildings and Grounds: Cutter and Ziskind, General
1956-59 undated

Box 470: folder 3
Buildings and Grounds: Cutter and Ziskind: Ziskind Charitable Trust
1954-57

Box 470: folder 4
Buildings and Grounds: Cutter and Ziskind: Correspondence Pro-Style
1955-56

Box 470: folder 5
Buildings and Grounds: Cutter and Ziskind: Correspondence Anti-Style
1955-56

Box 470: folder 6
Buildings and Grounds: Dormitories (proposed)
1949-54

Box 470: folder 7
Buildings and Grounds: Helen Hills Hills Chapel
1951-59 undated

Box 470: folder 8
Buildings and Grounds: Lamont House
1952-53

Box 470: folder 9
Buildings and Grounds: Lamont House
1954-55

Box 470: folder 10
Buildings and Grounds: Little Chapel Dismantling
1955-1956

Box 470: folder 11
Buildings and Grounds: Riding Ring
1953-56

Box 470: folder 12
Buildings and Grounds: Wright Hall
1957-1959

Box 470: folder 13
C
1949-56

Box 470: folder 14
Calendar
1953-54

Box 470: folder 15
Carnegie Corporation of New York
1950-59

Box 470: folder 16
Carnegie Endowment for Int'l Peace
1950-52

Box 471
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
1952-59


Chaplain, Office of
1949-58


Charter, Amendment to
1958


Civil Liberties Union of MA
1950-53 1959


Class of 1949-59
1949-59


Coeducation
1952


C.E.E.B. Social Studies
1952-55


Commencements
1950


Commencements
1951


Commencements
1952


Commencements
1953


Commencements
1954


Commencements
1955


Commencements
1956


Commencements
1957


Commencements
1958


Commencements
1959


Committees, College: Board of Admission
1949-58

Box 472: folder 1
Committee on Classroom Equipment
1955-57

Box 472: folder 2
Committee on Committees
1950-1958

Box 472: folder 3
Committee, Conference
1952-57 undated

Box 472: folder 4
Committee (Faculty-Trustee), Conference
1950-57

Box 472: folder 5
Committee on College Education ofFaculty Children
1947-58 undated

Box 472: folder 6
Committee on Educational Policy
1954-56

Box 472: folder 7
Committee on Faculty Offices
1952-59

Box 472: folder 8
Committee on Foreign Students
1950-57 undated

Box 472: folder 9
Committee on Graduate Study
1950-59 undated

Box 472: folder 10
Committee on Lectures
1949-50

Box 472: folder 11
Committee (Central) Planning
1951-57

Box 472: folder 12
Committee (Central) Planning
1958-59 undated

Box 472: folder 13
Committee (Faculty) Planning
1956-57

Box 472.1: folder 1
Committee (Faculty) Planning
1958-59 undated

Box 472.1: folder 2
Committee on Special Assistance in Written English
1949-54 undated

Box 472.1: folder 3
Committee on Teacher Training (ad hoc)
1956

Box 472.1: folder 4
Committee for Discrimination in Giving:Chronology and Literature
1954

Box 472.1: folder 5
General

see also Mass. Commission on Communism

Committee for Discrimination in Giving:Writings by Aloise Buckley Heath
1954

Box 472.1: folder 6
Committee for Discrimination in Giving:Clippings
1954

Box 472.1: folder 7
Committee for Discrimination in Giving:Corr. With Aloise Buckley Heath
1954

Box 472.1: folder 8
Committee for Discrimination in Giving:Correspondence re. Committee
Feb 1954

Box 472.1: folder 9
Committee for Discrimination in Giving:Correspondence re. Committee
1-9 Mar 1954

Box 472.1: folder 10
Committee for Discrimination in Giving:Correspondence re. Committee
10-31 Mar 1954

Box 472.1: folder 11
Committee for Discrimination in Giving:Correspondence re. Committee
Apr 1954

Box 472.1: folder 12
Committee for Discrimination in Giving:Correspondence re. Committee
May 1-June 17 1954

Box 472.1: folder 13
Committee for Discrimination in Giving:Correspondence re. Committee
18-30 Jun 1954

Box 473: folder 1
Committee for Discrimination in Giving:Correspondence re. Committee
Jul 1954

Box 473: folder 2
Committee for Discrimination in Giving:Correspondence re. Committee
ca.Aug-Dec 1954 undated

Box 473: folder 3
Committee for Discrimination in Giving:Investigation into charges, Correspondence and background on named faculty
1954

Box 473: folder 4
Committee for Discrimination in Giving:Investigation into Charges, Corr.with Attorney General, Govt.Documents
1954

Box 473: folder 5
Committee for Discrimination in Giving:Investigation into charges, Corr.with College Attorney, John H. Finn
1954

Box 473: folder 6
Committee for Discrimination in Giving:Investigation into charges, Trustee-Faculty Committee
1954

Box 473: folder 7
Committee for Discrimination in Giving:Official response, Alumnae Asso.
ca.Jun-Dec 1954

Box 473: folder 8
Committee for Discrimination in Giving:Official response, Chapel Speech By B.F. Wright
4 Mar 1954

Box 473: folder 9
Committee for Discrimination in Giving:Official response, Quarterly article
Spring 1954

Box 473: folder 10
Committee for Discrimination in Giving:Official response, press releases and form letters
1954

Box 473: folder 11
Communism in Colleges
1953-54

Box 473: folder 12
Conference (proposed) on Redefinition of Values
1951-52

Box 473: folder 13
Counselors, Board of


Box 473: folder 13
General

See Restricted Material

D
1949-58 undated

Box 474: folder 1
Day School/Nursery School: General
1950-59

Box 474: folder 2
Day School/Nursery School: Visiting Committee
1953-55

Box 474: folder 3
Dean, class
1954-56

Box 474: folder 4
Development: General
1949-57

Box 474: folder 5
Development: General
1958-59

Box 474: folder 6
Development: Kersting, Brown & Co. Report
1958

Box 474: folder 7
Development: Kersting, Brown & Co. Report
1958-59

Box 474: folder 8
E
1952-56

Box 475: folder 1
Eastman, Eva Hills
1950-57 undated

Box 475: folder 2
General

see also Student Counselor

Employment Office
1950-58

Box 475: folder 3
F
1950-59 undated

Box 475: folder 4
Faculty, General
1950-57

Box 475: folder 5
Faculty Club
1952-57

Box 475: folder 6
Faculty, Emeriti
1953-57

Box 475: folder 7
Faculty Housing
1953-59 undated

Box 475: folder 8
Faculty Salaries: Correspondence
1955-58

Box 475: folder 9
Faculty Salaries: Scales
1946-59

Box 475: folder 10
Faculty, Secretary of
1953

Box 475: folder 11
Form Letters to Alumnae, Parents, etc.
1950-52

Box 475: folder 12
Four College Cooperation: General
1949-59

Box 475: folder 13
Four College Cooperation: Astronomy Department
1953-59 undated

Box 475: folder 14
Four College Cooperation: Committee for New College (Hampshire)
1958-59

Box 475: folder 15
Four College Cooperation: Committee on
1955-57 undated

Box 475: folder 16
Four College Cooperation: Cresap- McCormick & Paget Exploratory Survey
1954

Box 475: folder 17
Four College Cooperation: Non-Western Studies Committee
1957-59

Box 476: folder 1
Four College Cooperation: Radio
1950-59

Box 476: folder 2
G
1949-55

Box 476: folder 3
Genetics Experiment Station
1949-55 undated

Box 476: folder 4
General

see also Blakeslee, Albert F.

Ginling College
1947-55

Box 476: folder 5
H
1951-56

Box 476: folder 6
Harvard University
1950-59

Box 476: folder 7
Honorary Degrees
1950-54

Box 476: folder 8
Honorary Degrees
1955-56

Box 476: folder 9
Honorary Degrees
1957-59 undated

Box 476: folder 10
Honors Program
1950-59

Box 476: folder 11
Houses
1953-56 undated

Box 476: folder 12
I
1950

Box 476: folder 13
Infirmary
1950-1959

Box 476: folder 14
Institute of International Education
1949-59

Box 476: folder 15
J
1949-55

Box 476: folder 16
Junior Year Abroad: General
1950-56

Box 476: folder 17
Junior Year Abroad: England
1952-54

Box 476: folder 18
Junior Year Abroad: France
1949-58 undated

Box 476: folder 19
Junior Year Abroad: Geneva
1949-50

Box 477: folder 1
Junior Year Abroad: Geneva
1951-59

Box 477: folder 2
Junior Year Abroad: Germany
1950-55

Box 477: folder 3
Junior Year Abroad: Italy
1949-59

Box 477: folder 4
Junior Year Abroad: Mexico
1951-53

Box 477: folder 5
Junior Year Abroad: Spain
1950-57

Box 477: folder 6
Junior Year Abroad: Toronto
1952-55

Box 477: folder 7
Juniper Lodge
1951-59 undated

Box 477: folder 8
K
1950-57

Box 477: folder 9
L
1950-56

Box 477: folder 10
Laundry
1955

Box 477: folder 11
Library
1950-59

Box 477: folder 12
Library, Friends of the
1950-52

Box 477: folder 13
M
1949-59

Box 477: folder 14
Massachusetts Commission on Communism
1954-56 undated

Box 477: folder 15
General

see also Committee for Discrimination in Giving

Massachusetts House of Representatives
1950-52

Box 477: folder 16
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1951

Box 477: folder 17
Massachusetts, University of
1955-58

Box 477: folder 18
McCarthy, Sen. Joseph: Visit to Smith
1952

Box 478: folder 1
Mount Holyoke College
1950-58

Box 478: folder 2
Mountain Day
1955 undated

Box 478: folder 3
Museum of Art: General
1949-53

Box 478: folder 4
Museum of Art
1954-59

Box 478: folder 5
Museum of Art: Poussin "Venus and Adonis," authenticity
1954-57

Box 478: folder 6
N
1949-57

Box 478: folder 7
Neilson of Smith (Margaret Farrand Thorp)
1951-56

Box 478: folder 8
New England Association of Colleges And Secondary Schools
1949-57

Box 478: folder 9
New England Colleges Fund
1955-57

Box 478: folder 10
News Office
1951-58

Box 478: folder 11
Northampton: General
1949-59

Box 478: folder 12
Northampton: Academy of Music
1949-58

Box 478: folder 13
Northampton: Arcadia
1949 undated

Box 478: folder 14
Northampton: Civil Defense Organization
1950-58

Box 478: folder 15
Northampton: Clarke School for the Deaf
1947-57

Box 478: folder 16
Northampton: Fire Truck
1951-58

Box 478: folder 17
Northampton: Industrial Realty Development Corporation
1950

Box 478: folder 18
Northampton: St. John's Church
1935-55

Box 478: folder 19
Northampton: Tercentenary
1950-54

Box 478: folder 20
O-P
1949-58

Box 478: folder 21
Public Relations
1947-57

Box 478: folder 22
Purchasing Office
1951-56

Box 478: folder 23
R
1949-57 undated

Box 479: folder 1
Radcliffe College
1950-59

Box 479: folder 2
Rally Day
1949-54

Box 479: folder 3
Rally Day
1955-59

Box 479: folder 4
Reader's Digest
1953-54

Box 479: folder 5
Registrar
1950-55

Box 479: folder 6
S
1949-59

Box 479: folder 7
Scholarships and Student Aid: General
1950-55

Box 479: folder 8
Scholarships and Student Aid: Chester Bowles Asian Scholarship
1956-58

Box 479: folder 9
Scholarships and Student Aid: General Motors Scholarship Plan
1955

Box 479: folder 10
Scholarships and Student Aid: Northampton-Hatfield Scholarships
1951-58

Box 479: folder 11
Scholarships and Student Aid: Proctor and Gamble Scholarship
1955-57

Box 479: folder 12
Scholarships and Student Aid: Scott Paper Co. Foundation Award
1955-56

Box 479: folder 13
School for Social Work
1949-59

Box 479: folder 14
Seven College Conference
1949-50

Box 479: folder 15
Seven College Conference
1951-54

Box 480: folder 1
Seven College Conference
1954-56

Box 480: folder 2
Seven College Conference
1957-59

Box 480: folder 3
Shaffer, Mary Mills
1952-53

Box 480: folder 4
Sophia Smith Collection
1952-53

Box 480: folder 4
General

See Archives

Student Counselor
1956-59

Box 480: folder 5
General

see also Eastman, Eva Hills

Students
1953-59

Box 480: folder 6
Student Government Association: General
1950-59 undated

Box 480: folder 7
Student Government Association: Curriculum Committee
1950-57

Box 480: folder 8
Students, Male
1952-59

Box 480: folder 9
Student Organizations
1949-56 undated

Box 480: folder 10
Student Publications
1952-59

Box 480: folder 11
Students, Dean of
1954-58

Box 480: folder 12
Studies
1949-59 undated

Box 480: folder 13
Symposium: The American Novel at Mid-Century
1955

Box 481: folder 1
Symposium: Art and Morals
1952-60

Box 481: folder 2
T
1956

Box 481: folder 3
Tuition increases
1946-58

Box 481: folder 4
U-V
1950-56

Box 481: folder 5
U.S.: General
1957-58 undated

Box 481: folder 6
U.S. House of Representatives Un-American Activities Committee, Correspondence With
1949

Box 481: folder 7
U.S. House of Representatives UAC,Background Materials
1952-3

Box 481: folder 8
U.S. House of Representatives UAC,Trustee-Faculty Committee
1953

Box 481: folder 9
U.S. House of Representatives UAC,Corresp. Re. Investigation And Testimony
1952-Apr 53

Box 481: folder 10
U.S. House of Representatives UAC, Corresp. Re. Investigation And Testimony
ca.May-Dec 53

Box 481: folder 11
U.S. House of Representatives UAC, Press Releases and Clippings
1953

Box 481: folder 12
U.S. House of Representatives UAC, Publications re. Education
1953

Box 481: folder 13
U.S. Navy
1951

Box 481: folder 14
U.S. Office of Education: Federal Security Agency Questionnaires
1951-52

Box 481: folder 15
Vassar College
1950-58

Box 482: folder 1
Vocational Office
1949-58

Box 482: folder 2
W
1951-57

Box 482: folder 3
Wellesley College
1949-59

Box 482: folder 4
Women's College Board
1951-59

Box 482: folder 5
Women's Placement Bureau, Inc.
1949-51

Box 482: folder 6
Woodrow Wilson Foundation
1952-59

Box 482: folder 7
World University Service
1949-59

Box 482: folder 8
Y-Z
1950-57

Box 482: folder 9
Yale University
1950-54

Box 482: folder 10
RESTRICTED MATERIAL



Counselors, Board of: General
1949-51

Box 482.1: folder 1
Counselors, Board of: General
1955-56

Box 482.1: folder 2
Counselors, Board of: General
1957

Box 482.1: folder 3
Counselors, Board of: General
1958-59 undated

Box 482.1: folder 4
Counselors, Board of: Chapel Committee
1958

Box 482.1: folder 5
Counselors, Board of: Davis Ctr. Cttee
1957-58

Box 482.1: folder 6
Counselors, Board of: Health and Infirmary Committee
1953-58

Box 482.1: folder 7
Counselors, Board of: Music Committee
1951-58

Box 482.1: folder 8
Counselors, Board of: Museum Comm.
1955-59

Box 482.1: folder 9
Counselors, Board of: Public Relations C.
1958-59

Box 482.1: folder 10
Counselors, Board of: Theater Committee
1957-59

Box 482.1: folder 11
Counselors, Board of: Vocational Cttee.
1957-58

Box 482.1: folder 12
Personal


Box 483
Personal


Box 484
Inaugural invitations and programs from other colleges
1949-1954

Box 485
Innaugural invitations and programs from other colleges
1955-1959

Box 486
Engagements and official calendars
1949-59

Box 487
Photographs and portrait


Box 488.1
Reports A-M


Box 488.2
Reports N-Z


Box 488.3
Speeches
1949-1953

Box 488.4
Speeches
1954-1958

Box 488.5

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Smith College -- presidents
  • Smith College--Presidents.
  • Smith College. Office of President.
  • Wright, Benjamin Fletcher, 1900-


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