Albion Interactive History / Library / The Albion College Sesquicentennial History: 1835-1985 (1985)

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / Research Documents

The Albion College Sesquicentennial History: 1835-1985, 1985

1. A Vision in the Wilderness, p1
2. The Search for a Site, p27
3. Shaping the Seminary, p57
4. Campus Life at Mid-Century, p87
5. The Pursuit of Identity, p109
6. The Economics of Survival, p131
7. The Advent of the College, p151
8. The Symptoms of Growth, p167
9. The College on Trial, p185
10. The Age of Recovery, p203
11. The Bonds of Conservatism, p231
12. The Erosion of Tradition, p249
13. The Breaking of New Grounds, p279
14. The Invasion of the Greeks, p307
15. The Inroads of Dissent, p339
16. The Coming of Age, p375
17. At Peace and At War, p409
18. A Time of Transition, p433
19. The Blight of Suspicion, p461
20. The Years of Achievement, p487
21. The Quest for Status, p513
22. The Return to Normalcy, p549
23. The Confident Years, p575
24. The Dynamics of Excellence, p603
25. Revolt on the Campus, p631
26. The Construct of Compromise, p667
27. The Vision Renewed, p693

The Albion College Sesquicentennial History recounts the evolution of a denominational academic enterprise from its early days of struggle on the edge of a raw wilderness to its present status as an estimable college amid an industrialized society. Throughout it seeks to retell an old story in terms of recent investigations and fresh insights. Though a few pleasant myths have been destroyed, what emerges is a fully dimensional account of an institution well worth patient scrutiny.

Within the scope of one generous volume, the author carries the liberal arts tradition from the academies of New England to the seminaries of the Midwest. It was a migration fraught with dangers still active in a society allured by the material over the mind. How Albion College has sought to exercise creative compromise in its drive for survival is a persistent theme throughout this study.

Whereas the annalist has striven to place his subject within the framework of significant issues, the chronicle is neither ponderous nor dull. A strong narrative sweep carries the reader across the years, frequent touches of humor lighten the pages, even an element of suspense enhances occasional episodes. In particular, lavish use of personal reports, relevant illustrations, and primary documentation engenders a strong sense of presence. For general readers and alumni alike, this history offers a fascinating journey through academy across the past one hundred and fifty years.

The author of The Albion College Sesquicentennial History is Dr. Keith J. Fennimore, professor-emeritus of English. An alumnus of the class of 1939 and a faculty member from 1946 to 1983, Dr. Fennimore has accumulated half a century of associations with the institution since his enrollment as a freshman in 1935.

Upon his retirement, Dr. Fennimore was appointed college historian and archivist, a dual role which gave him wide access to the historical resources of the college and the motivation for undertaking the present study. Since he sought to carry the work beyond the Albion campus, however, he has incorporated frequent references to relevant developments within the broader fields of academic and social history.

Dr. Fennimore brings to this study four decades of experience as a teacher of expository writing. In previous years he has published a critical analysis of Booth Tarkington: Man and Novelist (Twayne) and The Heritage of Bay View (Eerdmans). Currently in preparation is The Fiction of Our Forefathers: The Short Story in Eighteenth Century America.

The author received his M.A. from the University of Michigan in 1940 and his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1956. A member of the Michigan Archival Association and the Historical Society of Michigan, he envisions further studies in the story of his alma mater and the history of his native state.