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Office of the President, Clifton Daggett Gray records

Identifier: CA02.05

Scope and Content Note

The records of President Gray's administration are mostly correspondence on a wide variety of topics, but also contain a report on the death of Bates student Alonzo Brown, a report on the collections for the George M. Chase Memorial Fund, and a copy of a book containing President Chase's citations about Bates honorary degree recipients. The file "Letter to Bates Graduates" contains Gray's letter to alumni about recent activities on campus, and the final file in the collection pertains to the issues and apparent controversy about the alumni memorial gift of the title.

Nearly all of the correspondence herein pertains to academic, fund-raising, and other issues at Bates. Most of the files contain letters to and from the names on each folder, but some also contain material from other individuals about the subject of the file. A few files contains notes made at later dates about the material in each, most notably the "Honorary Degrees" folder, which contains a list of correspondents within. This folder contains letter to and from Bates honorary degree recipients and a few who declined degrees. Notable correspondents include Harry F. Byrd, Bette Davis, Robert Frost, Jan Masaryk, and William L. Shirer. The folders "College Policies" and "Dancing at Bates" are largely to and from administrators at other institutions regarding policies on social events, although there are some brief items about Bates admissions policies. The "A-Z" folder contains general correspondence, usually single letters, arranged alphabetically by correspondent; some notables within this folder include Pearl S. Buck, Calvin Coolidge, Harold Ickes, General John J. Pershing, Charles F. Phillips, and a number of Maine political figures.

The correspondence with George S. Ricker, a member of the first graduating class of Bates in 1867, is notable as it relates to a discussion of the reinstatement of several female non-graduates to 'graduated' status by the College. This correspondence contains some information about the activities of some of the first women to attend Bates, and also about the attitudes of some of their classmates regarding co-eduation. There are also folders of correspondence with Bates notables such as Alfred Williams Anthony, Oliver Barrett Clason, and Emma Clark Rand.


  • 1916 - 1945

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

The collection is the physical property of Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library. Bates College holds literary rights only for material created by College personnel working on official behalf of the College, or for material which was given to the College with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication or other purposes that exceed fair use.

Historical Note

Clifton Daggett Gray became Bates' third president in 1919, serving until 1944. Gray continued his predecessor's expansion of the academic side of Bates, but his tenure also saw significant changes in other aspects of college life. On-campus dancing was officially sanctioned in 1922, hazing was abolished around the same time, and student orientation and socializing rules were more formally established. During World War II, Gray oversaw the establishment of a Navy V-12 program at Bates, helping to guide the College through the tough war years.


1.0 Linear Feet (2 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials


Guide to the Office of the President, Clifton Daggett Gray records, 1916-1945
Edited Full Draft
Pat Webber
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in: English
Edition statement

Repository Details

Part of the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library Repository

70 Campus Avenue
Lewiston Maine 04240 United States of America