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SIC logo Remembering Delyte W. Morris (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)

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About this collection:

Delyte Morris

Remembering Delyte W. Morris is a collection of interviews documenting the Southern Illinois University presidential tenure of Delyte W. Morris from 1948-1970. They were recorded by Betty Mitchell as research for her 1988 book Delyte Morris of SIU, and are a part of the Betty Mitchell Collection in University Archives. Mitchell interviewed prominent SIU Board of Trustee members, administrators, faculty, and President’s Office staff who worked closely with Morris during his presidency. They include but are not limited to: Dorothy Morris, Robert W. MacVicar, James W. Neckers, Robert "Rip" Stokes, John Page Wham, Ralph E. McCoy, Clarence "Doc" Dougherty, Willard Klimstra, Lois Nelson, Ben Gelman, and Robert G. Layer.

The interviews document Delyte Morris's leadership during the 1950s and 1960s when Southern Illinois University grew rapidly and transformed from a teacher’s college into a research university. The interviewees discuss his leadership strengths and weaknesses; impact on the growth of SIU and the southern Illinois region; his relationships with students, faculty, and the Board of Trustees; and the nature by which he worked as university President. Many talk about Morris's working and personal relationships with John S. Rendleman, Charles D. Tenney, and Robert W. MacVicar. They also discuss Morris's downfall in the late 1960s as a result of several factors including the onset of Alzheimer's disease, the student-led Vietnam War protests, and the University House (Stone Center) controversy.

In addition to Delyte Morris, the interviewees often discuss their tenure at SIU which provides additional historical insight into the development of the university's academic programs, Morris Library, Daily Egyptian student newspaper, Vocational Technical Institute, Breckenridge Job Corps Training Center, and the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville campus.

Please use headphones for the best listening experience as some of the interviews were originally recorded at a low volume. The original transcripts were not included in this collection due to numerous inaccuracies.

About Betty Mitchell:

Betty Mitchell

Betty Mitchell's 51-year association with Southern Illinois University Carbondale began when she enrolled as a freshman in 1945. She earned a Bachelor’s and Master's degree in English in 1949 and 1950, respectively. She began teaching in the English Department in 1949 as a graduate assistant and then as a faculty member. As an English professor she helped create the Writing Across the Curriculum program and developed the English 290 and 391 courses. She also published 4 books: Delyte Morris of SIU (1988), Southern Illinois University: a Pictorial History (1993), 100 Years: the Women's Club of Carbondale, and Carbondale: a Pictorial History (1991). She died in 2000.

Mitchell was actively involved in Greek life at SIUC, joining the Alpha Gamma Delta Fraternity in 1945. She served as its advisor from 1952-1998, as secretary for the alumnae chapter from 1959-1997, and edited "Inside Southern," the group's alumnae newsletter, from 1963-1996. She served the SIU and Carbondale community in numerous other roles including Girl Scout leader, the Carbondale Public Library Board and YMCA Board, President's Council Committee of the SIU Foundation, Carbondale City Panhellenic, the Magic Mentor program, the American Heart Association, faculty representative to the NCAA committee, and the Carbondale Arts Festival.

Mitchell received numerous awards from both the University and the community. She received the SIUC Distinguished Service Award, the Lindell W. Sturgis Memorial Public Service Award (1984), the COLA Outstanding Teacher Award, the Outstanding Greek Advisor Award, the Student Affairs Service Award, the Inter-Greek Council award, the Carbondale Panhellenic Woman of the Year Award, the city of Carbondale's Citizen of the Year Award, and the Arc of Epsilon Pi with Diamonds for service to Alpha Gamma Delta.

Questions about this collection? Contact: 1-618-453-2516 or Email the library

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