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Guide to the New School Development and Public Relations office records, 1926-1967

Collection Overview


New School Institutional Collections

Collection Identifier



New School for Social Research (New York, N.Y. : 1919-1997).


New School Development and Public Relations Office records, 1926-1967, (Bulk, 1946-1960)


6.6 linear ft: 6 boxes, 2 folders

Language of Materials



The collection consists of records originating from the offices of Mary Urban, who coordinated fund raising and public relations efforts at the New School in the 1940s and early 1950s, and that of her successor, Margarete Westmann, director of Development from 1958-1962. Materials include memoranda and correspondence, financial statements, budgets, advertising contracts, donor and prospect records, New School Associates membership records, event planning materials and invitations, fund raising appeals, minutes, reports, promotional materials, and records documenting the work of the Scholarship Committee and the Graduate Faculty Alumni Association. Part of one file is restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for details.

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], New School Development and Public Relations Offices, NS.03.02.02, box __, folder __, The New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

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Historical note

While fund raising and development had always been essential functions performed by the New School president, Board of Trustees and supporters of the institution, the first department within the school administration devoted to fund raising and public relations probably formed around 1942, a time when the New School was operating at a deficit and searching for sustainable solutions. Administrators recognized the need to establish fund raising and public relations strategies. At least two outside firms were contracted during this period to launch public relations campaigns and conduct in-depth surveys about the New School.

A 1943 progress report in this collection indicates that a "meeting was held (cocktail party) in Mrs. Urban's office . . . to open the Fund Raising Campaign and to broaden the base of financial support of the School" (box 2 folder 7). Mary Urban, the second wife and widow of Joseph Urban, designer of the New School’s flagship building at 66 West Twelfth Street, was born Mary Porter Beegle (circa 1880-circa 1966) in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. She graduated from Columbia University, the Chalif School of Dancing, and studied dance with Isadora Duncan in Germany. Before her career at the New School, Urban was active in dance and theater education, including starting and developing a recreation program for the Manhattan Trade School for Girls, teaching dance and physical education at Barnard College, and publishing books and articles on dance, drama, and pageantry. When she assumed the administrative post at the New School, Mrs. Urban had already served on the New School Board of Trustees and was a member of the New School Associates, an important membership organ made up of donors and supporters of the school that had long played an important role in organizing fund raising events, special programs and lectures.

Urban, whose titles included Assistant Treasurer (1939-1941), Director of Promotion (1942), and Director of Public Relations (1943-1958), initially devoted half of her time to planning and directing fund raising activities. In her fund raising capacity, while continuing to work closely with the New School Associates and with the Board of Trustees, Urban managed campaigns and mounted direct appeals, sponsored luncheons and teas, coordinated meetings and maintained records, and managed scholarships, among other duties. Although Urban was engaged in public relations activities, her focus appears increasingly to center upon donor relations and fund raising, especially with the launch of the campaign to expand the Twelfth Street building that began in 1947 (this effort continued throughout the next decade). After she retired in the mid-1950s to devote herself to painting, Urban (who survived the 1956 sinking of the Andrea Doria) remained a member of the New School Associates and exhibited frequently at the school in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Margarete Westmann (1906?-1990?) came to the New School in 1957. She became director of Development in 1959 and served in this capacity through a period of administrative turmoil and organizational change at the school. She left her post in 1962. In 1963, the Development Office came under the leadership of Albert Landa, who had for several years headed the Office of Public Information. His appointment was part of an effort to clarify roles and eliminate redundancy between development, public relations, special events, and publicity offices. In 1968, Landa assumed the title of Vice President for Development and Public Relations, a position he would hold until 1980.


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Scope and Content of Collection

The records in this collection stem predominantly from two offices: that of Mary Urban, who under various titles coordinated fund raising and public relations efforts at the New School from the late 1930s through the 1950s, and that of her successor, Margarete "Grete" Westmann, director of the Development Office from 1958 through 1962. The records of these two offices document development activity at the New School during two decades of significant expansion and change at the institution. Materials found here include memoranda and correspondence, financial statements, budgets, advertising contracts, donor and prospect records, New School Associates membership records, event planning materials and invitations, fund raising appeals, minutes, reports, promotional materials, and records documenting the work of the Scholarship Committee and the Graduate Faculty Alumni Association. Correspondents include Clara Mayer, dean of the School of Philosophy and Liberal Arts and later vice president of the New School, presidents Bryn Hovde and Hans Simons, president emeritus Alvin Johnson, Graduate Faculty dean Hans Staudinger, and Charles Chapler, chairman of the Scholarship Committee.

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Organization and Arrangement

Arranged in two series: I. Fund raising and Public Relations Office, 1928-1950; II. Development Office, 1926-1967.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

New School Institutional Collections - February 3, 2017

66 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY, 10011

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], New School Development and Public Relations Offices, NS.03.02.02, box __, folder __, The New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

Revision Description

 Link to digitized records added. Additional file added, November 21, 2017. March 8, 2019

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use. Please contact archivist@newschool.edu for appointment.

Access Note

Collection is open for research use. Part of one file containing student information is restricted. Files containing student records are restricted for 120 years after person's known or estimated birth. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for details.

Use Note

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives and Special Collections. Please contact: archivist@newschool.edu

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from Fogelman Social Sciences Library to the New School Archives and Special Collections in 2013.

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Related Materials

Many groups of records in the New School Archives relate to the offices, events, people, and subjects represented in this collection. Particularly relevant collections include: New School Associates records (NS.03.02.01), New School Publicity Office records (NS.03.01.02), Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research records (NS.02.02.01), Clara Mayer papers (NS.02.01.02), and the Alvin Johnson papers (NS.01.01.01). There are also several groups of material representing activities of the Development Office in years subsequent to those represented in this collection. Please contact archivist@newschool.edu to learn about additional related materials in unprocessed collections.

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Keywords for Searching Related Subjects

Corporate Name(s)

  • New School for Social Research (New York, N.Y. : 1919-1997). New School Associates.


  • Administrative records.
  • Advertisements.
  • Correspondence.
  • Ephemera.
  • Memorandums.
  • Minutes.
  • Reports.


  • Philanthropists.

Personal Name(s)

  • Beegle, Mary Porter
  • Billikopf, Jacob, 1883-1950
  • Chapler, Charles
  • Johnson, Alvin Saunders, 1874-1971
  • May, A. Wilfred
  • Staudinger, Hans, 1889-1980
  • Westmann, Margarete


  • College administrators -- New York (State) -- New York -- 20th century.
  • Educational fund raising.
  • Fund raising.
  • Publicity.

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Other Finding Aids note

For selected item-level description and images from the New School Development and Public Relations Office records, see The New School Archives Digital Collections at http://digitalarchives.library.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/collections/NS030202.

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Collection Inventory

I. Fund raising and Public Relations Office 1928-1950 

Files in this series reflect the range and evolution of Mary Urban's duties from the early to the mid-1940s, although the records are evidently incomplete and represent only a portion of her output.

Box Folder
General correspondence, 1928-1947 

Includes an array of correspondence with friends, donors and prospects, administrators, board members, and organizations regarding public relations and fund raising matters, including a 1947 letter from Alvin Johnson to a Colonel Oliver in response to an article in which Oliver claimed that New School faculty represent, as paraphrased by Johnson, "a strange assortment of Socialists, Communists and foreign importations."

1 1-2
Advertising: General, 1946-1948 

Print and radio promotion of New School courses.

1 3-4
Advertising: Suggestions refused, 1943, 1946-1948 
1 5
n_9 5
Alvin Johnson Fund 

Established in the year of president emeritus Johnson's 75th birthday in 1949, the Alvin Johnson Fund "is established, apart from the regular budget of the School, with a Committee authorized to solicit contributions, and to submit educational plans for the consideration of the Faculty and Board of the New School." The Committee was made up of Wallace K. Harrison (Chairman), Jacob Billikoff, Lloyd Garrison, Alvin Johnson, and Joseph Halle Schaffner. The first project of the fund was "a new venture in higher adult education, the creation of a revolving panel of distinguished sholars who have reached retirement age in their respective institutions."

General, 1949-1950 
1 6
75th birthday celebration, 1949-1950 
1 7
New School Associates assignments, 1950 
1 8
Sponsor regrets, 1949 
1 9
Washington, D.C. event, 1949-1950 
1 10
Appeal for Support (1944-1947), 1944 

Typescript presenting to potential donors the New School's need for a "modest endowment."

1 11
Billikopf, Jacob, 1943-1949 
1 12
Calendar of Events, 1946-1948 
1 13
Complaints, 1946 
1 14
Dramatic Workshop 

Includes budgets for approval and other matters, documenting a segment of Mary Urban's responsibilities that fell outside of her fund raisng and public relations activities.

Budget and operations, 1946-1947 
1 15
Correspondence, 1946-1947 
1 16
Programs and course announcements, 1946-1947 
1 17
Faculty, 1946-1947 

Includes letters from Mary Urban to female faculty members, including Berenice Abbot and Karen Horney, asking them to attend tea time to "pour tea" for students.

1 18
Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science, 1933-1947 
1 19
Hovde, Bryn, 1945-1948 
1 20
Institute of World Affairs Business Advisory Group, 1946-1947 
1 21
Johnson, Alvin: Begging letters, 1941-1950 
1 22
Lists, 1943-1947 
1 23
New School Associates 
Correspondence, 1944-1948 
1 24
Dinner forums, 1945-1949 

Includes material related to a dinner forum on Subversive Activity.

1 25
Executive Council of the Associate Membership meetings, 1946-1948 
1 26
May, A. Wilfred, 1946-1947 
1 27
Exhibitions, 1946-1948 
1 28
Lists: General, 1947-1949 
1 29
Lists: Dinner forums, 1944-1952 
1 30
Reports, 1944-1948 
1 31
New School officers' meetings, 1947-1948 
1 32
Other schools, 1945-1947 
1 33
Public relations material, 1945-1947 
2 1
Public Relations News, 1946-1947 
2 2
"The 1944-1945 Fundraising Campaign," 1945 
2 3
"A Report and a Blueprint" booklet development, 1947 
2 4
"An Investment in Progress . . . A report by Bryn J. Hovde, President of the New School," 1946-1947 
2 5
n_9 5
"Annual Report of the President (1946-1947)," 1947 
2 6
Progress report on fund raising campaign, 1943 
2 7
Special events 
25th Anniversary Dinner in Honor of the Founders of the New School, 1944 
2 8
Attended by Mrs. Urban, 1946-1948 
2 9
Independent Citizens' Committee of the Arts, Sciences and Professions, Inc., 1946 
2 10
Invitations, 1946-1948 
2 11
Spring-Summer Campaign 1947 
Assignments and reports, 1946-1947 
2 12
Grossman, Sam, 1947 
2 13
Sample letters and material for prospects, 1947 
2 14
Special Fund-raising Committee, 1947 
2 15
Student groups and meetings, 1940-1947 
2 16
United Nations Hospitality Committee, 1945-1946 
2 17

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II. Development Office 1926-1967 

Consists predominantly of records generated and kept by Margarite (Grete) Westmann in her role as director of Development. Includes correspondence with Hans Staudinger, Henry David, Clara Mayer, and other New School administrators, as well as with Scholarship Committee chairman, Charles Chapler. A number of files here, particularly donor records, include items originated during the tenure of Mary Urban that had been incorporated into the files of later administrators.

Box Folder
Business Scholarship Plan, 1944-1967 

Documents a program that offered corporate sponsors special continuing education courses specifically geared toward the needs of company employees. Includes form letter appeals, prospect lists, and other correspondence, including files of development officers India Edwards and Edna Epstein.

Counseling service reports, 1953-1957 
2 18
Edwards, India, 1955-1956 

Edwards was a development consultant for the New School Board of Trustees.

2 19
Epstein, Edna: Correspondence, 1954-1961 

Epstein was a public relations consultant engaged to undertake a pilot project to enlist support for the Business Scholarship Plan.

2 20
Epstein, Edna: Reports, 1958-1959 
2 21
Meetings, 1952-1957 
2 22
Participating firms, 1953-1956 
2 23
Printed materials, 1952, undated 
2 24
Prospect lists, 1955-1961 
2 25
Refusals, 1957-1961 
2 26-29
Registrar reports, 1955-1967 
2 30-32
Reports, notes and memoranda, 1952-1959 
2 33
Sample appeals, 1952-1957 
2 34
Trade Union Scholarship Plan, 1958 
2 35
Alphabetical, 1944-1962 

2 36-39

1 38

1 39
3 1

3 2

3 3
3 4
3 5
3 6
3 7

3 8
Associated Merchandising Corporation (AMC), 1958-1961 
3 9
Borden Company, 1957-1961 
3 10
Emerson Radio Corporation (Ben Abrams), 1953-1967 
3 11
Kenyon and Eckhardt, 1955-1961 
3 12
McGregor-Doniger Inc., 1951-1961 
3 13
Union Carbide and Carbon, 1953-1959 
3 14
World Wide Auto (YPO?), 1958-1961 
3 15
Donor files: Deceased, A-Z, 1933-1962 

3 16-17

3 18-23

3 24-25
4 1

4 2-3

4 4-5

4 6-7

4 8-11

4 12-16

4 17

4 18

4 19

4 20
Events, 1941-1967 

Arranged alphabetically, files include correspondence, mailing lists, invitations and printed promotional matter. The New School Archives holds audio recordings for some of these events. Contact archivist@newschool.edu for information.

Art as a Political Weapon: Weimar-Nuremberg-Bonn: An Exhibition of German Posters Dinner and Preview, 1963 May 7 
5 1
Artists Choice Concerts: Correspondence, 1958-1961 
4 21
Artists Choice Concerts: Programs, 1959-1963 
4 22-23
Bernstein, Peter L. and Robert Heilbroner luncheon, 1960 Apr 6 
4 24
Brandt, Willy luncheon, 1965 Apr 19 
4 25
Bunker, Ellsworth luncheon, 1956 Nov 27 

Frank C. Nash replaced Bunker as speaker.

4 26
Clague, Ewan luncheon, 1960 May 11 
4 27
Crooks, Robert M. cocktail party, 1957 Jan 28 
4 28
Emancipation Centennial Lectures, 1962 
4 29
Flemming, Arthur S. dinner, 1959 Dec 17 
4 30
"Germany, Today and Tomorrow," Max Brauer luncheon, 1961 Mar 1 
4 31
The Goals of Higher Education conference, 1959 Dec 17-19 
5 2
Human Values in Management course, Alfred J. Marrow, 1959-1961 
5 3
Humphrey, Hubert H. address on adult education, 1959 Dec 7 
5 4
Inauguration of Dr. Henry David, 1961 Oct 23 
5 5
"Investment Opportunities and Problems of the 1960's," Benjamin Graham, 1961 Mar 23 
5 6
Mehta, Asoka luncheon lecture, 1959 May 28 

The New School Archives holds an audio recording of this event. Contact archivist@newschool.edu for information.

5 7
"The Middle East, the West, and the Peace of the World," Dr. Nahum Goldmann, Edward R. Murrow, James Reston (1959 Jan 13), 1958-1959 
5 8
Negro Writer's Vision of America conference, 1965 Apr 23-25 
5 9
"New Developments in Existentialist Philosophy: Sartre's Critiques of Dialectic Reason," Edouard Morot-Sir lecture, 1960 Nov 30 
5 10
Permanent charter celebration dinner, 1941 Apr 24 
5 11
Piscator, Erwin tribute, 1967 Jun 4 
5 12
Sandburg, Carl and Edward Steichen evening, 1959 Oct 8 
5 13
"Salute to the Arts," circa 1963 
5 14
Sevareid, Eric luncheon, 1958 Nov 12 
5 15-16
"Some Social Implications of Art," Sir Herbert Read, 1958 Oct 16 
5 17
"Testamentary Bequests Committee," Solomon Huber luncheon, 1952 May 27 
5 18
Theodor Heuss Chair reception, 1965 Feb 16 
5 19
"Thirty Years of Art at The New School" cocktail party, 1960 Apr 7 
5 20
"Thousand Dollar Group" dinner, 1953 Jan 13 
5 21
"What is Good Design and Planning in New York?" 1960 Jan 15 

A panel discussion with Pietro Belluschi, Peter Blake, Thomas H. Creighton, Victor Gruen, Walter Gropius, Richard Roth, Erwin S. Wolfson and Paul Zuker.

5 22
"Woodrow Wilson's Conception of the League of Nations," Quincy Wright, 1956 Dec 8-12 

Horace M. Kallen Lecture for 1956.

5 23
Foundations, 1926-1964 

Arranged alphabetically by foundation or contact name, includes correspondence, reports, mailing lists, and other documents compiled or created by Westmann, Clara Mayer, Alvin Johnson and other administrators.

General, 1944-1960 
Clippings, 1948-1960 
5 24
Inactive, 1944-1956 
5 25
Memoranda and reports, 1939-1957 
5 26
Alphabetical, 1926-1964 
5 27

5 28
5 29

5 30-31

5 32

5 33

5 34-35

5 36

6 1

6 2

6 3

6 4

6 5

6 6-7
6 8
Fund raising appeals and campaigns, 1951-1966 
General, 1951-1962 
6 9
Graduate Faculty alumni, 1955-1966 
6 10
Hans Fund, 1960 
6 11
Lawyers Committee, 1950 
6 12
New School Building Campaign 
Architectural Forum article, 1960 
6 13
Development plan for building expansion, 1950s 
6 14
"A Statement concerning The New School for Social Research" prepared by the Board of Trustees, circa 1954 

Spiral bound printed booklet.

n_6 3
Grant proposals, 1953-1958 
6 15
Sponsor appeals, 1953-1954 
6 16
Sponsor lists, 1954 
6 17
Sponsorship declined, 1954 
6 18
Year-end appeals, 1955-1962 
6 19-23
Scholarships 1954-1965 
Foreign students 
Applications: General, 1956-1965 

Part of this file is restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for further information.

6 24
nr_1 9
Applications: Israel, 1956-1962 
6 25
Reports and enrollment statistics, 1954-1960 
6 26
Scholarship Committee 
6 27-29
General, 1957-1962 
6 27-28
Chapler, Charles, Chairman, 1958-1960 
6 29
Financial statements, 1957-1963 
6 30
Minutes, 1957-1960 
6 31

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Collection Guide Last Updated: 05/04/2020

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