Department of Communication Studies.  Collection of the Department of Communication Studies, 1898-Ongoing.

GACA Collection 207



Department of Communication Studies.  Collection of the Department of Communication Studies, 1898-Ongoing. GACA Collection 207.  1 ½ Hollinger boxes.


ABSTRACT:
The Department of Communication Studies collection contains correspondence and debates from the late 1890s to the mid 1920s.  Debate folders consist of transcripts of given debates along with related correspondence.  There are also copies of speeches given by Gustavus students, a number are complete, authors are unknown for a few, and some speeches are incomplete.  The collection also holds correspondence related to hosting and attending debates, finding judges, etc.  Most of the information is in English, along with some in Swedish.


HISTORICAL NOTE:
There is a long history of debate and speech at Gustavus Adolphus College.  There were many literary clubs for men and women that participated in both inter-mural and extra-mural debate competitions.  Besides these clubs, oratory was a required part of the English curriculum.

The first oratory class was under the English Department, classified as an Expressions class.  Expressions became its own department in 1909 and added a second class, Argumentation and Debate in 1915.  In 1919, Expressions became the Department of Public Speaking, and students were required to participate in inter-collegiate debates.  It became the Speech Department in 1930, then the Speech and Theatre Department in 1969, then back to the Speech Department in 1984, and Speech and Communication Studies in 1985.  The current title of Communication Studies began in 1998.

  • Information gleaned from the Gustavus Adolphus College Catalogs

“Great student interest in oratory and debate resulted in the faculty securing membership in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Oratorical Association in 1901. A loose association of Augustana church colleges also sponsored English and Swedish oratorical contests, and Gustavus students participated in temperance contests as well. On April 4, 1902, a chartered train carried about 250 Gustavus student enthusiasts to Northfield for the first state oratorical contest. Gustavus’s entrant, Harry Hedberg, finished fourth among the representatives of five competing schools, but the event had a greater significance: the College’s colors of black and gold stem from the bunting used on the train coaches, and some of the cheers and songs heard on the trip became traditions in succeeding years.

Declamation and debate remained popular among students during the Johnson era, so much so that the College determined to improve upon the amateur coaching and instruction in that area that had nevertheless produced prizes in forensic and oratory contests regularly. Professor J. Stanley Gray was appointed to the speech department in 1921. In 1923, the College was one of four schools in the state to organize chapters of Pi Kappa Delta, the national forensic honor society. In 1924, Evan Anderson succeeded Gray and began a 39-year tenure that would bring the College national recognition in debate and oratory. Gustavus teams won national debate championships in 1930 and 1934, and the College carried off first prizes in the state and divisional oratorical and the state and national peace oratorical contests in 1931–32, and in the men’s and women’s state oratorical contests in 1941–42. Anderson influenced generations: Hap LeVander, the son of 1932 state oratorical champion Harold LeVander, won the contest in 1962!”

  • Taken from “Songs of Thy Triumph: A Short History of Gustavus Adolphus College” by Steve Waldhauser


RESTRICTIONS:

There are no restrictions on use of this collection for research purposes. The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Researchers must use collection in accordance with the policies of the College Archives, the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library, and Gustavus Adolphus College.


COLLECTION CITATION:
Department of Communication Studies.  Collection of the Department of Communication Studies, 1898-Ongoing.  GACA Collection 207. Gustavus Adolphus College Archives, St. Peter, Minnesota.


PROCESSED BY:
Adrianna Darden processed this collection and developed the finding aid during February 2010.


SUBJECT HEADINGS:
Gustavus Adolphus College.  Department of English.
Gustavus Adolphus College.  Department of Expressions.
Gustavus Adolphus College.  Department of Public Speaking.
Gustavus Adolphus College.  Department of Speech.
Gustavus Adolphus College.  Department of Speech and Theatre.
Gustavus Adolphus College.  Department of Speech and Communication Studies.
Gustavus Adolphus College.  Department of Communication Studies.



GACA Collection 207

Box

Folder

Debate Correspondence, 1911-19

1

1

Correspondence Concerning Oratorical Contests with Bethany College, 1912-18

1

2

Inter-Collegiate Oratorical Association of Minnesota, Constitution and By-Laws, 1917-18

1

10

High School Oratorical Contest Under Gustavus Auspices, 1923

1

3

Open Shop Debate, 1922

2

1

Debate on Independence of the Philippines, ca. 1922

1

4

Men’s Debate on League of Nations, 1923

1

5

Women’s Debate on Towner-Sterling Bill, 1923

1

6

Men’s Debate on Unemployment, 1924

1

7

Women’s Debate on Immigration, 1924

1

8

Debate on Government Ownership of Railroads, ca. 1925

2

2

Speeches, 1898-1912 (Incomplete)

1

9

Speeches, 1898-1912 (authors unknown)

2

3

Speeches, 1898-1912

2

4