The Records of the Chancellor: Records of Leon Renfroe Meadows

1927-1944; 1932-1944
University Archives #UA02-02
Physical description
1 Cubic Feet
Preferred Citation
[Item description].  Records of Leon Renfroe Meadows.  UA02-02, Box [number]. University Archives, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.
East Carolina University Archives
Portions of this collection are restricted.  Contact the University Archivist for details.

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.

Biographical/historical information

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.

Scope and arrangement

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.

Administrative information
Copyright notice

This material is made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user assumes full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to taking precautions against infringement of copyright and respecting the publication rights of reproduced materials. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards. Any materials used should be fully credited with their source according to the example given in the Preferred Citation note. Requests for assistance with citations and images of publication quality should be directed to This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state law. The user assumes full responsibility for using such information and is advised that the disclosure of such information about identifiable living individuals without their consent may have legal ramifications.

Related material

This collection is a part of Records of the Chancellor.

Key terms
Personal Names
Meadows, Leon Renfroe, 1884-
Corporate Names
East Carolina Teachers College--Administration
East Carolina Teachers College--History
East Carolina University. Board of Trustees
College presidents--North Carolina--Greenville
Education, Higher--North Carolina--History

Container list
Box 1 Biographical and Human Resources, 1927-1944
Box 1 Clippings - Newpaper and Newsletter Articles by or about Meadows, undated
Box 1 Administrative Records: Correspondence, Memos, Speeches, 1932 May 7 - 1937 December 11
Box 1 Administrative Records: Correspondence, Memos, Speeches, 1938 January 15 - 1939 July 12
Box 1 Administrative Records: Correspondence, Memos, Speeches, 1939 August 28-1940 December 6
Box 1 Administrative Records: Correspondence, Memos, Speeches, 1941 January 17-1942 May 30
Box 1 Administrative Records: Correspondence, Memos, Speeches, 1942 June 1 - 1944 December 14
Box 1 Correspondence, 1938 August 23 - 1944 April 11
Box 1 Photographs, May 1929
Box 1 Publications, Two Books of Poetry written by Meadows, Reveries and Moses, 1949-1950
Box 1 Business Correspondence Regarding Rick's Tours, 1936 May 19 - 1944 February 9
Box 1 Civilian Pilot Training, 1941 February 25 - 1943 February 4
Box 1 Board of Trustees Minutes and Correspondence, 1940 July 10- 1944 March 14
Box 1 Building Committee, 1937-1943
Box 2 Legislature, Permanent Improvements, 1932-1942
Box 2 APECS, Sloan Foundation, 1943
Box 2 Daniels, Josephus, Correspondence, 1936-1942
Box 2 Joyner, J.Y., Correspondence, 1934-1944
Box 2 Faculty Plays, Meadows as Chairman, 1933-1934
Box 2 Flanagan, E.G., Correspondence, 1934-1942
Box 2 Forbes Land, 1938-1939
Box 2 Graham, Frank P., Correspondence, 1934-1939
Box 2 High School Day, 1936-1941
Box 2 House, R.B., Dean of Administration UNC-CH, 1944
Box 2 Wright, Mrs. Robert H., Correspondence, 1942
Box 2 Meadows' Imprisonment and Death, Correspondence, 1946-1953