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Records of Leon Renfroe Meadows' Tenure and Administration, 1927-1944

University Archives #UA02-02

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Records of Leon Renfroe Meadows' Tenure and Administration
Repository: East Carolina University Archives
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers and publications produced or related to the administration of Leon Renfroe Meadows. Materials include memos, letters, human resources documents, and 2 published volumes of verse.
Extent: 0.75 Linear feet, 1 record carton, 1 small record carton.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Access Restrictions

Portions of this collection are restricted. Contact the University Archivist for details.

Publication and Reproduction Rights

Property rights reside with University Archives, East Carolina University. Copyright resides with the creators of the material or their heirs. For permission to reproduce or to publish, please contact the University Archivist. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

[Item description and date.] Records of Leon Renfroe Meadows' Tenure and Administration. UA02-02. University Archives, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.

Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

In the summer of 1910, Leon Renfroe Meadows joined the faculty, where he remained for thirty-four years, except for occasional leaves for military duty during World War I and doctoral studies during the twenties. Born in Alabama and reared in Louisiana, he studied at Peabody College in Tennessee, and Baylor University, in Texas, before journeying eastward to earn bachelor's and master's degrees at Yale in the field of English literature. He also earned a Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Until 1919 when he married Lida Hill, a colleague on the music faculty, he enjoyed the distinction of being the only eligible bachelor among a faculty and student body of more than three hundred eligible females. The couple had three children, Leon, Jr., Elizabeth and Mae. Mrs. Meadows died in 1925. In 1927, Meadows married Frances Louise Goggin, a member of the East Carolina education faculty and critic teacher.

Beginning in 1922, Robert Wright named Leon Meadows, director of the English Department, as summer school director; Meadows also inherited Claude Wilson's duties as secretary of the faculty and secretary of the board of trustees.

Upon the death of Robert Wright in 1934, the Board of Trustees convened to approve the emergency action of the Executive Committee, they passed the following resolution:

Resolved, pending further action by the Board of Trustees, Dr. L.R. Meadows be authorized to perform all administrative and executive duties heretofore performed by the President of the College.

On October 5, 1934, the fifty-one-year-old Meadows was chosen as president to succeed Robert H. Wright on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the opening of classes. Meadows' system of administration differed significantly from that of his predecessor. Wright had delegated authority to a number of his faculty, who were all answerable directly to him in carrying out specific responsibilities. Meadows, however, preferred to rely more heavily on the committee system, where the channel of authority was diffused.

During Leon Meadows' administration many of Robert Wright's long term goals were reached. Because of the improving New Deal economy, the state was able to gradually increase East Carolina's budget. This permitted the college to initiate the departments of Commerce, Industrial Arts, and Library Science as well as to reorganize and expand the departments of Home Economics, Music and Physical Education. The steady growth in enrollment from a depression era low of 970 in 1933 to 1,340 in 1941 provided an increase of twenty faculty positions, from sixty to eighty.

Meadows was forced to retire in 1944 after a three year investigation into the mishandling of student loan funds which led to the dismissal of several teachers.

Dr. Meadows died March 6, 1953 at his home in Gallipolis, Ohio.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The Records of Leon Renfore Meadows include official Human Resource forms, professional and personal correspondence, copies of his books, and biographical information. The records begin in 1910 when Dr. Meadows joined the faculty and continue through his death.

Subject Headings Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Container List Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Misc. - Biographical and Clippings
  • Box 1, Biographical and Human Resources, 1927-1944
  • Box 1, Clippings - Newpaper and Newsletter Articles by or about Meadows, unknown
Administrative Records
  • Box 1, Administrative Records: Correspondence, Memos, Speeches, May 7, 1932 - December 11, 1937
  • Box 1, Administrative Records: Correspondence, Memos, Speeches, January 15, 1938 - July 12, 1939
  • Box 1, Administrative Records: Correspondence, Memos, Speeches, August 28, 1939 - December 6, 1940
  • Box 1, Administrative Records: Correspondence, Memos, Speeches, January 17, 1941 - May 30, 1942
  • Box 1, Administrative Records: Correspondence, Memos, Speeches, June 1, 1942 - December 14, 1944
Personal Correspondence
  • Box 1, Personal Correspondence, August 23, 1938 - April 11, 1944
Series 04
  • Box 1, Publications, Two Books of Poetry written by Meadows, Reveries and Moses, 1949-1950
Series 05
Business Correspondence
  • Box 1, Business Correspondence Regarding Rick's Tours, May 19, 1936 - February 9, 1944
Series 06
  • Box 1, Civilian Pilot Training, February 25, 1941 - February 4, 1943
Series 07
Board of Trustees
  • Box 1, Board of Trustees Minutes and Correspondence, July 10, 1940 - March 14, 1944
Series 08
  • Box 1, Building Committee, 1937-1943
Series 09
  • Box 2, Legislature, Permanent Improvements, 1932, 1935, 1938-1938, 1942
Series 10
APECS, Sloan Foundation
  • Box 2, APECS, Sloan Foundation, 1943
Series 11
Daniels and Joyner Correspondence
  • Box 2, Daniels, Josephus, Correspondence, 1936-1937, 1940-1942
  • Box 2, Joyner, J.Y., Correspondence, 1934-1936, 1940, 1944
Series 12
Faculty Plays
  • Box 2, Faculty Plays, Meadows as Chairman, 1933-1934
Series 13
Flanagan Correspondence
  • Box 2, Flanagan, E.G., Correspondence, 1934, 1937-1939, 1941-1942
Series 14
Forbes Land
  • Box 2, Forbes Land, 1938-1939
Series 15
Graham Correspondence
  • Box 2, Graham, Frank P., Correspondence, 1934-1935, 1939
Series 16
High School Day
  • Box 2, High School Day, 1936-1941
Series 17
House Administration
  • Box 2, House, R.B., Dean of Administration UNC-CH, 1944
Series 18
Mrs. Robert H. Wright Correspondence
  • Box 2, Wright, Mrs. Robert H., Correspondence, 1942
Series 19
Imprisonment, Death
  • Box 2, Meadows' Imprisonment and Death, Correspondence, 1946, 1953
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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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