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Earle Swank Papers

 Collection
Identifier: 1987.01

Scope and Content Note

The Earle Swank Papers are housed in eight archival boxes and arranged into seven series. Series have been designated for correspondence, subject files, Disciplinary Committee, other committees, publications, reports, and miscellaneous. Generally, these papers include business correspondence, minutes, reports, and newspaper clippings. The majority of the collection comes from Swank's correspondence as Dean of Student Affairs and case files of the Disciplinary Committee from 1919 to 1980. The collection contains little information about Swank's personal life, aside from three folders of personal correspondence. In addition, some items in this collection predate Swank's employment at Carnegie Mellon and may have come from other staff or faculty members who worked as or for the Dean of Student Life in earlier days.

Dates

  • 1908-1984

Restrictions

Files dealing with individual student records are restricted indefinitely. Access will be considered on a case by case basis by the University Archivist and cannot be guaranteed. Restricted files are found in Series I: Correspondence, Series II: Subject files, and Series III: Disciplinary case files.

Biographical Sketch

Earle Swank worked at Carnegie Mellon University for 40 years, starting as an English professor and retiring after serving 20 years as Dean of Student Affairs. He was well liked by the students and was able to use his influence to see the University through the socially turbulent 60s and 70s. Dean Erwin Steinberg said that Swank, "gave his life to Carnegie Mellon" and was "totally consumed with helping students and helping the University grow." In 2006 a room in Baker Hall was named in his honor.

Swank was first hired at Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1948 as an instructor in the English Department. He taught courses in composition and literature. In 1950, he was promoted to Assistant Professor and won the Carnegie Teaching Award in 1953. In 1956 he continued to teach some English classes as he moved into Administration and became Chairman of Financial Aid and Foreign Student Advisor. He became Dean of Men in 1959 and began his 20 years of service as Dean of Student Affairs in 1967. As Dean of Student Affairs, Swank oversaw University sports, clubs, fraternities, transfer students, housing, veterans' services, registration, and student discipline and safety. He also managed Skibo (the student union) and was the Chairman of the Discipline Committee.

When Swank retired in 1987 at the age of 66, Braden L. Walter took over the Deanship.

Extent

7.5 Linear feet (8 boxes)

Language

English

Overview

Earle Swank worked at Carnegie Mellon University for 40 years, starting as an English professor and retiring after serving 20 years as Dean of Student Affairs. As Dean of Student Affairs, he saw the University through the socially turbulent 60s and 70s. The collection includes correspondence, subject files, Disciplinary Committee files,publications, and reports.

Physical Location

Shelves 134-135

Provenance

These materials were transferred from Dean Swank's office to the University Archives at the time of his retirement (c1987).

Separations

The book Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Bituminous Coal (November 16-21, 1931, Vol. II) has been removed from the collection. Copies of this and other volumes of the same title are available at both the Carnegie Mellon University Archives and The Mellon Institute Library. Also, one box of Mellon Institute research contracts and a note card catalog system of research fellowships have been separated and placed with the Mellon Institute Collection.

Physical Description

Eight boxes (Boxes 1-8); 7.5 linear feet

Processor

Cassandra Nespor
Title
Earle Swank Papers 1908-1984 1987.01
Date
July 11, 2007
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Carnegie Mellon University Archives Repository

Contact:
4909 Frew St
Pittsburgh PA 15213
(412) 268-5021