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Guide to the Parsons School of Design Office of the President records, 1908-1970 (bulk 1951-1970)

Collection Overview


Parsons Institutional Collections

Collection Identifier



Callisen, Sterling A., 1899-1988


Parsons School of Design. Office of the President.


Ruzicka, Francis A., 1924-2003


Parsons School of Design Office of the President records, 1908-1970 (bulk 1951-1970), (Bulk, 1951-1970)


12.1 linear ft: 11 boxes, 8 folders

Language of Materials

English; French.


This collection consists of records created and received by Parsons School of Design Presidents Sterling A. Callisen (president 1959-1963) and Francis A. Ruzicka (president 1963-1969) as well as the records of the Parsons Academic Dean's Office and Business Manager from the 1950s-1960s. The collection contains correspondence, financial records, committe meeting minutes, reports, and curriculum proposals. Some files are restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for details.

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], Parsons School of Design Office of the President records, PC.01.01.02, box __, folder __, The New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

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Historical note

Prior to Parsons School of Design's affiliation with the New School for Social Research, the school was governed by a president and a powerful board of trustees. Frank Alvah Parsons served as president from 1908 to 1930 and was succeeded by William M. Odom in 1930 following Parsons' death. Odom served until his death in 1940, at which time Van Day Truex assumed the school's presidency. Both Odom and Truex were Parsons School of Design alumni. Truex resigned in 1952 and was succeeded by Pierre Bedard, who was not a Parsons alumni and had previously been director of The French Institute in the United States.

Dr. Sterling Adolph Callisen served as the president of Parsons from 1959 until his resignation in 1963. Prior to becoming head of the school, Callisen served on the Board of Trustees and was Dean of Education at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He received a doctorate in Art History from Harvard University in 1936. He taught art, archaeology, and history at Harvard University, the University of Rochester, and Wesleyan University, where he was a dean, before joining the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1949. Dr. Callisen was a World War I Navy veteran and served in the Office of Strategic Services, the predeccesor of the Central Intelligence Agency, during World War II.

When Callisen became president of Parsons, he inherited an insitution in financial straits, primarily as a result of decreased enrollment during the 1950s. He responded by tightening budgets, administrative procedures, and departmental programs. According to David C. Levy, who would become dean in 1970, among Callisen's highest priorities and biggest accomplishments was the reorganization of admissions procedures: "Callisen viewed the Admissions Office as the key to institutional growth and placed great emphasis on its effective and professional operation. A broad-based, far-reaching and highly effective recruitment program was developed in the early 1960s…” [1]

Callisen also sought to remedy inconsistencies in the teaching program across departments. He established the Faculty Council consisting of himself, the dean, and the chairs of each department. This group met at least once a week, and would continue to exist as a body after Callisen stepped down as president. Both Callisen and his successor, Francis A. Ruzicka, undertook efforts to establish a degree-granting program at Parsons.

In January 1963, Dr. Callisen announced his resignation from the Office of the President in order to accept a directorship at the Edward E. Ford Foundation. Dr. Callisen died in 1988. Francis ("Frank") A. Ruzicka was the last president of Parsons.

Ruzicka was born in Chicago in 1924 and studied engineering at the University of Michigan. He served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II and completed his bachelor's degree in 1946. After working as an engineer, he returned to school and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in drawing and painting from the Art Institute of Chicago. Following a teaching assignment at the University of Wisconsin, he joined the faculty of Parsons in 1957. While teaching at Parsons, he earned an Masters of Fine Arts in painting (1963) and an Masters of Science in art education (1965) from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Ruzicka served as an assistant dean and an academic dean before becoming president of Parsons in 1963. He announced his resignation from Parsons in 1969.

Under Ruzicka's presidency research and preparation began for many of the changes that Parsons underwent in the early 1970s. Prior to his resignation, the school applied for and received authority from the Regents of the University of the State of New York to grant bachelor's degrees. However, the program was not implemented until after Parsons became affiliated with the New School for Social Research. Under Ruzicka, the Parsons administration also engaged in considerable preparatory activity to expand its curriculum into the liberal arts and to begin offering master's degree programs. Additionally, the Ruzicka adminstration recognized that the school's cramped, leased space on East 54th Street was hampering Parsons' ability to expand. To remedy the problem, Ruzicka undertook a campaign to move the school's facilities into a new "vertical campus," but this was never realized, and the school did not move downtown until after its affiliation with the New School.

After leaving Parsons, Ruzicka became dean at Ohio State University's College of the Arts and, in 1976, was elected chair of the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia, Athens. He retired in 1993. Francis A. Ruzicka died in 2003.

After Parsons merged with The New School in 1970 the position of the president was eliminated and the role of dean (later, executive dean) took on greater significance. John Everett, president of The New School, appointed David Levy to the position in 1970.

[1] Levy, 82. ---


"Francis A. Ruzicka." Online Athens, Athens Banner-Herald, last modified May 9, 2003, https://web.archive.org/web/20030709102238/http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/051003/obi_20030510041.shtml

"Francis A. Ruzicka, Former Chair of UGA Art Department, Dies at 78." University of Georgia Public Affairs News Bureau, The University of Georgia, last modified May 7, 2003, https://web.archive.org/web/20100606110910/http://www.uga.edu/news/newsbureau/releases/2003releases/0305/030507ruzicka.html

Levy, David C. "An Historical Study of Parsons School of Design and Its Merger/Affiliation with The New School for Social Research." PhD diss., New York University, 1979.


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Scope and Contents of Collection

These records consist of administrative files from the Parsons School of Design Office of the President, primarily during the tenure of Sterling A. Callisen (president, 1959-1963) and Francis A. Ruzicka (president, 1963-1969), with scattered material from the years prior to 1959. Additionally, this record group contains files from the Academic Dean's office and the Business Manager's office during the same years.

The material in this record group was previously broken up into three separate collections: the Parsons School of Design Office of the President records, Sterling A. Callisen records, and Francis A. Ruzicka records. Series I, II, and V were part of the Parsons School of Design Office of the President records. Records from the presidencies of Callisen and Ruzicka are also present in the Subject files (Series V), but these files often include material from both presidents, whereas Series III and IV contain records entirely from Callisen and Ruzicka, respectively.

The bulk of the records consists of correspondence with Parsons students, alumni, faculty, trustees and with peer institutions, contractors, and higher education-focused organizations. In many cases, copies of the outgoing and incoming letters are included. Correspondence in the Academic Dean's records (Series I) is primarily with students and faculty regarding department policies, teaching assignments, grades, and disciplinary actions. Correspondence in the Subject files (Series V) is wide ranging and represents the breadth of responsibilites and work of the Parsons Office of the President.

The Business Manager records pertain mostly to the finances of the school. They contain audit reports, financial records related to specific events and programs, material about student loans and governmental education funding. This series also contains extensive material related to the Parsons Paris facility from the 1920s-1957, covering the years of its initial establishment and re-establishment after World War II. This material includes correspondence with faculty and administrators at the Paris school, and a copy of the original lease for the Parsons Paris building.

Sterling A. Callisen and Francis A. Ruzicka's presidencies are documented in Series III-V. These records include evaluative reports, statistics, committee procedings, surveys, and budgets, and demonstrate the formalization of administrative procedures at Parsons during the 1960s. Numerous reports on the potential for a degree-granting program at Parsons document both presidents' ambitions to expand the Parsons curriculum.

Of particular note is material related to the Board of Trustees, found in Series IV and V. This material includes meeting agendas and minutes, correspondence with faculty, and background information on individual trustees. Documentation of various committees at the school can also be found in these records. President Callisen established many of these committees in order to regularize policy and procedure at the school. Also of note are extensive records from the Alumni Association, which include meeting minutes, chapter information, alumni fundraising drive materials, and correspondence with alumni.

Aside from scattered correspondence and memos, these records do not include the files of Presidents Pierre Bedard or Van Day Truex; President Callisen's records are the earliest Parsons presidential records in the Archives.


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Organization and Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by topic in five series

  1. Academic Dean records, 1951-1968
  2. Business Manager records, 1921-1969
  3. Sterling A. Callisen records, 1955-1963
  4. Francis A. Ruzicka records, 1953-1970
  5. Subject files, 1908-1970

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Administrative Information

Initial processing by Anne Kumer, 2007; further processing by Anna Robinson-Sweet, 2019.

Publication Information

Parsons Institutional Collections - June 12, 2019

66 5th Avenue
New York, New York

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], Parsons School of Design Office of the President records, PC.01.01.02, box __, folder __, The New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use. Files containing student records are restricted for 120 years after person's known or estimated birth (or group of persons, like a class). Files with faculty or other personnel salary, performance reviews, hiring information are restricted for 50 years from creation date of item (or last creation date in file). Please contact archivist@newschool.edu for appointment.

Use Restrictions

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The material in the first, second, and fifth series was identified as originating from Parsons School of Design's Office of the President and separated from a large accession of records transferred from The New School President's Office in 2015.

The fourth series, the records of President Francis Ruzicka, were transferred to The New School Archives from the Office of the Dean, Parsons School of Design, sometime prior to 2008. The circumstances of the transfer of the third series, the records of President Sterling A. Callisen to The New School Archives, which occurred sometime prior to 2008, are unknown.

The Faculty Council files within the Callisen series were, prior to 2008, part of a Minutes and Reports record group that was later revised by New School Archives staff into two separate record groups, Parsons Records of Oversight (now Parsons governance collection [PC.01.01.01]) and the New School Records of Oversight collection (no longer extant). The Faculty Council records have been integrated into this collection because they were created under the auspices of the Parsons Office of the President.


External Support

The initial processing of the Callisen and Ruzicka series in this record group was supported in part by a grant from the J. Paul Getty Trust.

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Related Materials

The New School Archives holds the Parsons School of Design governance collection (PC.01.01.01), which includes Board of Trustee minutes and reports; the Parsons School of Design Alumni Association records (PC.03.02.01); the records of David C. Levy (PC.01.04.01), who was director of admissions in the 1960s and became executive dean of Parsons School of Design after its merger with the New School; the Parsons School of Design administrative and other offices collection (PC.03.01.01), which includes records from the Development Office, Admissions, Alumni Relations, Public Relations, and more, primarily from the post-merger years. Also of interest may be the Parsons School of Design Alumni Association records (PC.03.02.01).

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Keywords for Searching Related Subjects

Corporate Name(s)

  • Parsons School of Design. Board of Trustees.
  • Parsons School of Design. Faculty Council.


  • Administrative records.
  • Correspondence.
  • Financial records.
  • Minutes.
  • Reports.

Personal Name(s)

  • Levy, David C.
  • Paget, Richard M.


  • Art schools -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • Art -- Study and teaching -- New York (State) -- New York -- 20th century.
  • College administrators -- New York (State) -- New York -- 20th century.
  • Fund raising.
  • Universities and colleges -- Administration.
  • Universities and colleges -- Departments.
  • Universities and colleges -- Finance.
  • Universities and colleges -- Trustees.

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Other Finding Aids note

For selected item-level description and images from the Parsons School of Design Office of the President records, see the New School Archives Digital Collections at http://digitalarchives.library.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/collections/PC010102

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Collection Inventory

I. Academic Dean records 1951-1968 

This series contains records created, received by, or assembled by the academic dean at Parsons School of Design. The deans during the period covered were, in chronological order, Norman Boothby, Francis A. Ruzicka (prior to his appointment as president), and George Bayliss.

The records in this series primarily consist of correspondence with students, prospective students, faculty, administrators, and peer institutions. In many cases, copies of the outgoing letter is included with the received correspondence. Most of this material pertains to student statuses, grades, and disciplinary action as well as faculty contracts and requests.

Material related to the appointment of various academic deans can be found in Series V under the subseries "Deans."

Some of these files are restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for further information.


Box Folder
General alphabetical files, 1954-1966 

The "O" file includes photographs by J. Barry O'Rourke.

1 1-21
nr_4 11-12
Design in Industry, 1955-1962 
1 22
nr_4 13
European Summer Session, 1951-1966 

Includes photographs of tour group, circa 1964, by Flying Camera, Inc.

1 23-34
2 1-3
nr_4 13
Faculty Council, 1955-1959 
2 4
Fashion Design Department faculty, 1965 
2 5
Fashion Illustration Department, 1959-1963 
2 6-7
Graphic Design Department, 1959-1967 
2 8
nr_4 13
Industrial Design Department, 1963-1967 
2 9
Interior Design Department, 1966-1967 
2 10-11
Library Annual Report August 1957-September 1958, 1958 
2 12
Real estate and space acquisitions, 1966 
2 13
Scholarships, 1955-1968 
2 14
School Art League, 1956-1966 
2 15
nr_4 13
Visiting Committees, 1961-1963 
2 16

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II. Business Manager records 1921-1969  (Bulk, 1940-1969)

Consists of records created, received, or assembled by the office of the Business Manager, primarily during the years that William John Gard and Alvin Appel held this position. This title was also sometimes combined with the role of treasurer. Prior to 1957, the position of Business Manager was held by Eleanor Wenig Rushmore, who was also Vice President of the Parsons School of Design. During this period there was a separate position for the treasurer. Comprehensive records from this period are not included here; any records created prior to 1957 were likely those inherited by Gard and kept on file for record-keeping or reference purposes.

This series contains annual financial reports and audits from the 1950s and 1960s, information on accounts held by the school, faculty contracts, and financial records from specific events, such as the Annual Fashion Collection show. This material is valuable documentation of the financial state of Parsons in the years leading up to the financial crisis that would cause the school to merge with the New School. Also of note in this series are "data sheets" containing background information on hired faculty and staff, and enrollment statistics. More student statistics will be found in the Subject Files (Series V.)


Box Folder
136 East 57th St, 1944 
2 17
410 East 54th St., 1954-1964 
2 18-19
Advertising, 1952-1965 

Records of advertisements placed by Parsons School of Design in various publications.

2 20-21
Alumni Bulletin advertising, 1957-1965 

Lists of advertisers and contracts for companies advertising in the Parsons School of Design Alumni Bulletin.

2 22
Annual audits, 1953-1968 
2 23-24
Annual Fashion Collection, 1949-1969 

Expenses, contracts, memos, and correspondence related to the planning of the Parsons School of Design annual fashion show. Also included are programs from the shows for the years 1957, 1961-1964, and 1966. A full run of programs for the annual fashion show will be found in the Parsons School of Design Fashion Design Department records (pre-2008 accessions) (PC.02.02.01).

2 25-37
Bank accounts, 1940-1968 
2 38
Bedard, Pierre, 1958-1959 

Material related to Bedard's work for Parsons School of Design after his tenure as president of the school. Includes his contract with the school for consulting work.

2 39
Bequests, 1955-1963 
2 40
Chatain Scholarship Fund, 1962-1964 
2 41
Claire McCardell Memorial Scholarships, 1958-1960 
2 42
College and Private Schools Credit Association, Inc., 1957-1964 
2 43
Continental Can Company, 1963 
2 44
de Coudun, Marie, 1952-1955 

Marie de Coudun was employed by the Parsons School of Design to work with European Summer Session students during their time in Paris.

2 45
Council of Higher Educational Institutions in New York City, 1962-1967 
2 46
Elsie De Wolfe Foundation, 1945-1966 
2 47
Enrollment and admissions figures, 1950-1964 

Some material in this file is restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for further information.

2 48-49
nr_4 13
Faculty and staff 1953-1968 
Contracts, 1965-1969 
2 50-51
3 1-3
Data records, 1953-1968 

Forms containing faculty, lecturer, and staff information including educational and professional background. Some of the forms have photo identification cards attached. Also included in these files are correspondence and memos related to faculty and staff salaries.

3 4-10
Loyalty oaths, 1955-1961 

In the 1950s, at the height of national paranoia about communist espionage, university faculty were required to sign oaths of allegiance to the United States of America. This folder contains signed oaths by Parsons School od Design faculty members.

3 11
Summer Session contracts, 1964-1968 

Includes contracts for European Summer Session faculty and staff.

3 12-15
Federation Associates, 1959-1963 
3 16
Financial statements, 1956-1969 
3 17-23
Ford Foundation, 1953-1955 
3 24
French and Company, 1956-1964 
3 25
Fundraising, 1960 
3 26
Gifts, 1968-1969 
3 27
Gifts: Arthur A. Houghton Jr., 1953-1967 
3 28
Greater New York Fund, 1964-1965 
3 29
Legal, 1954-1958 
3 30
Legal: Macdonald, Charles L., 1958-1965 

Charles L. MacDonald was a lawyer retained by the Parsons School of Design.

4 1
Mantell, Harold, 1953-1954 
4 2
Mary L. Brandt Lectures, 1962-1964 
4 3
National Defense Student Loan, 1965-1968 
4 4
National Design Center, 1964-1965 
4 5
New York State Higher Education Assistance Corporation, 1958-1964 

Some material in this file is restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for further information.

4 6
nr_4 13
New York State Education Department applications, 1938-1968 
4 7-9
Night classes, 1956-1957 
4 10
Parsons Paris, 1921-1957 
4 11-13
Phillip Rosenthal Art and Hobby, 1948-1964 
4 14
Price Waterhouse and Company, 1961-1968 

Correspondence and related materials from Price Waterhouse and Company. Audits prepared by Price Waterhouse on behalf of the Parsons School of Design can be found in the file "Annual audits."

4 15-16
Reports 1930-1968 
American Council on Education, 1953 
4 17
Council for Financial Aid to Education, 1957-1968 
4 18
Financial and enrollment, 1938-1969 
4 19-20
National Education Association, 1953-1965 
4 21
New York State Education Department reports, 1930-1968 
4 22-25
Survey responses, 1952-1957 
4 26
Treasurers reports, 1954-1960 

Further treasurer's reports can be found in the Sterling A. Callisen records (Series III.)

4 27
United States Office of Education, 1949-1968 
4 28-29
S.C. Greaves and Company, 1959 
4 30
Scholarship letters, 1958-1964 
4 31
Student Council, 1959-1964 
4 32
Student Loan Fund, 1956-1958 
4 33
United Scenic Artists, 1959-1964 
4 34
United States Department of State, 1949-1963 
4 35
Veterans Administration, 1956-1968 
4 36-38

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III. Sterling A. Callisen records 1955-1963 

The records in this series were created, received by, or transferred to Sterling A. Callisen during his term as president of Parsons School of Design. Some records pre-date Callisen's presidency. This may be because they were transmitted to Callisen as historical reference materials, or the files were transferred from his predecessor Pierre Bedard's office and incorporated into Callisen's working files.

The files labeled "Faculty Council" consist of 1 to 2-page typed memoranda documenting regular meetings between the President, the Dean, and a representative of each department. A representative of the Parsons School of Design Student Council is also sometimes present. Frequent topics of discussion include competitions and exhibitions, curriculum, disciplinary actions, facilities and maintenance, finances, grading, and student activities.


Box Folder
By-laws, 1962 
5 1
Budget proposals, 1955-1963 
5 2
Budgets, 1959-1963 
5 3
Correspondence: General, 1958-1963 
5 4
Correspondence: Budgets, 1958-1962 
5 5
Curriculum proposals, 1962 
5 6
Faculty Council, 1959-1962 
5 7-8
Financial statements and treasurers' reports, 1956-1963 
5 9-17
Report from Alumni Council, 1961 
5 18
Visiting Committee reports, 1963 

In 1962, six Visiting Committees replaced the Advisory Board--one visiting committee was established for each department at Parsons, plus the library. See also the file for the Advisory Board.

5 19

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IV. Francis A. Ruzicka records 1953-1970 

The records in this series were created or received by Francis A. Ruzicka during his term as president of Parsons School of Design, and during the course of his earlier roles at Parsons. Some records pre-date Ruzicka's arrival at Parsons. It is unclear how these records came into Ruzicka's possession.

The records are divided into three sub-series: Administration, Board of Trustees, and Departments and programs. Files are not comprehensive -- for example, not all departments are represented in Departments and programs. Administrative records covering the same time span will be found in the records of David C. Levy, who served as director of admissions and assumed the leadership of Parsons School of Design following Ruzicka's departure.

Although the Board of Trustees series documents meetings of this governing body, researchers should be aware that Series III. Sterling A. Callisen records and Series V. Subject Files also include a large number of records addressed to or received from the Board of Trustees, particularly Chairman Richard M. Paget, reflecting the important administrative role played by the Board prior to Parsons' affiliation with the New School for Social Research in 1970. This executive governing body made many of the decisions regarding institutional affairs and worked closely with the Office of the President.

Of particular note is documentation concerning the school's fiscal crisis and efforts to resolve it in the 1960s, a crisis that ultimately resulted in Parsons School of Design's affiliation with the New School for Social Research. Also included are records of the school's ongoing preparations to become a degree-granting institution, to expand the curriculum, and to construct a "vertical campus" with adequate classroom space, administrative offices, and housing. While these goals were not achieved during Ruzicka's presidency, they were implemented in the decade following his tenure.


Box Folder

Administration 1955-1970 

Includes records pertaining to development, facilities, finance, legal matters, personnel, and general administrative activities.

Box Folder
Budget memoranda proposals, 1963-1967 
5 20-21
Buildings: Vertical campus, 1967-1969 
5 22
By-laws, 1962, 1965, 1969 
5 23
Campus memos, 1957-1969 
5 24
Chairmen's Council meeting minutes, 1969 

Includes appendix to a Parsons School of Design Self Study Project written by Leo Steinberg on the place of art history in the curriculum.

5 25
Correspondence, 1957-1963 
General, 1957-1963 

Includes correspondence sent and received by Francis A. Ruzicka as part of his official duties at the Parsons School of Design prior to becoming president. Correspondence from his tenure as Academic Dean may also be found in Series I.

5 26
General, 1963-1967 

Correspondence sent and received by Francis A. Ruzicka after being appointed president of the Parsons School of Design. Further correspondence from his tenure as president can be found in the subject files (Series V.)

5 27
Personal correspondence, 1963-1967 
5 28
Enrollment statistics, 1963-1969 
5 29
Faculty Council, 1966-1968 

Files consist of one to two-page typed memoranda documenting regular meetings between the President, the Dean, and a representative of each department, with Student Council representative sometimes also present. Topics include competitions and exhibitions, curriculum, disciplinary actions, facilities and maintenance, finances, grading, and student activities.

5 30-32
Fashion show, 1963-1964 
5 33
Financial crisis, 1969-1970 

File includes records generated during a search for a solution to the financial crisis threatening to bankrupt the institution. Includes correspondence with New School for Social Research Chancellor Harry D. Gideonse.

5 34
Financial statements: Price Waterhouse, 1963-1968 
5 35
Financial statements: Treasurer, 1963-1966 
5 36-39
6 1-4
Handwritten notes, circa 1963 
6 5
Parsons School of Design/New School for Social Research Merger Announcement, 1970 Feb 20 

Audio recording of a hastily-organized meeting of the Parsons School of Design community to announce the affiliation of Parsons with the New School for Social Research. Speakers (in order of appearance): Francis Ruzicka (President, Parsons School of Design); Richard M. Paget (Chairman, Board of Trustees, Parsons School of Design); and Orin Lehman (Chairman, Board of Trustees, the New School). Also on the speaker platform and responding to questions are Allen Austill (Dean of Adult Division, the New School) and John Everett (President, the New School).

Personnel: Faculty list and contacts, 1968 
6 6
Personnel: Salaries and hours, 1957-1966 
6 7-8
Reports: Annual report, 1964 May 21 
6 9
Reports: "A Preliminary Evaluation Study Including Recommendations for a Development and Public Relations Program" by Director of Development Sylvia Spencer, 1967 Sep 
6 10
Reports: "This Whole Alumni Business," 1966 

Although unattributed, this report was likely authored by Grace Agnew Storey, executive secretary of the Parsons School of Design Alumni Association.

6 11

Board of Trustees 1953-1970 

Series includes typed meeting agendas, correspondence, notices, reports, and handwritten notes. Further material from the Board of Trustees can be found in the subject files (Series V.)

Box Folder
Agendas and handwritten notes, 1963-1966 
6 12
Correspondence with Richard M. Paget, 1953-1970 

Correspondence between Board of Trustees Chairman Richard M. Paget and President Ruzicka in addition to Ruzicka's predecessors, Sterling A. Callisen and Pierre Bedard.

6 13-17
Notices and rosters, 1963-1966 
6 18
Visiting Committee correspondence and reports, 1963-1964 
6 19

Departments and programs 1963-1968 

Box Folder
BFA degree implementation, 1966-1968 
6 20
Curriculum development, 1963-1965 
6 21
Interior Design Department, 1965-1966 
6 22
Parsons Collection: Course outline, 1960s 
6 23
Reports: "Parsons School of Design: Shape and Content for the 1970s," 1969 

Includes drafts and final report of a planning document, likely drafted by David C. Levy, submitted to the Board of Trustees. The report proposes a number of incremental additions to the curriculum, including filmmaking and cinematography, product design, urban planning and design, and art education bachelor's degrees and a master's degree program projected for the mid-1970s. Additional documentation on these matters will be found in the David C. Levy records.

6 24-26
Reports: "A Tentative Proposal for the Implementation of a Liberal Arts Program in an Existing Professional Art and Design Curriculum," 1965 Sep 
6 27

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V. Subject files 1908-1970  (Bulk, 1953-1970)

These subject files were amassed by the Parsons School of Design Office of the President and include primarily documents created or received by Presidents Sterling A. Callisen and Francis A. Ruzicka. Many of the files contain material that spans the two presidencies, as opposed to the records in Series III and IV, which were created by either of the two presidents. These subject files also include some records created by the academic dean and business manager, but files maintained by those offices are found in their respective series.

The subject files consist primarily of correspondence sent and received by the president. This material documents Parsons' relationship with peer institutions, professionals in the fields of art and design, corporations, and government agencies. This series also contains documentation of the administrative functioning of the school through internal memos, committe meeting minutes, admissions figures, and evaluative reports.

The "General alphabetical files" contain correspondence with assorted recipients. In most cases material in these files was originally placed there, but in some cases small sets of correspondence were moved by archives staff from standalone folders to these files. Most files with names of particular institutions, organizations, or people also contain correspondence with that entity.

Departmental files such as "Fashion Design Department" include memos, meeting minutes, and faculty correspondence. This series also contains documentation of the planning and implementation of the Annual Fashion Collection benefit show during the 1960s.

Extensive material related to the Parsons Alumni Association and Board of Trustees can also be found in this series. This includes correspondence, meeting minutes (for both the Alumni Council and Board of Trustees), and governance documents.

A variety of assessment reports and statistics found in this series provide a picture of the overall state of Parsons in the 1960s. Such reports can be found in the sub-series for the National Association of Schools of Art (NASA), New York State Education Department, and Reports. This last subseries contains reports commissioned or created by the school. Statistics on student admissions, enrollment, and graduation are found in the "Admissions" and "Students" sub-series, as well as the Business Manager records (Series II.)

Some of these files are restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for further information.


Box Folder
General alphabetical files, 1952-1970 

These files contain correspondence sent and received by Parsons School of Design presidents Pierre Bedard, Sterling A. Callisen, and Frank A. Ruzicka. The letters have been retained in their original alphabetical order, which was sometimes filed by sender name, other times by affiliated company/organization, or by subject name. Of particular note is a set of correspondence from Walter Gropius, filed under G.

6 28-48
nr_4 13
Admissions 1956-1969 
General, 1956-1969 

Includes photographs.

6 49
Application information and responses, 1960-1962 
6 50
Figures, 1963-1969 
6 51
Visits, 1964-1967 
6 52
Advisory Board, 1962 

This file contains letters from President Callisen to members of the Advisory Board notifying them that they are disbanding the group, and the letters received in response to this notice. The Advisory Board was discontinued in 1962 in favor of six Visiting Committees--one for each department at Parsons plus the library. See file on Visiting Committees for more information.

6 53
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, 1953-1959 
6 54
Alumni 1957-1970 
General, 1963-1965 
6 55
Alumni Association chapters 
Atlanta, 1957-1963 
6 56
Chicago, 1962-1965 
6 57
Dallas/North Texas, 1964-1967 
6 58
Detroit, 1960-1967 
6 59
Kansas City, 1961-1962 
6 60
Los Angeles/Southern California, 1960-1964 
6 61
Miami/South Florida, 1962 
6 62
New York, 1959-1970 
6 63
Philadelphia, 1961-1962 
6 64
San Francisco, 1961-1962 
6 64
Washington, D.C., 1958-1963 
6 65
Alumni Association charter, 1960 
6 66
Alumni Council, 1957-1968 

Includes minutes of Alumni Council meetings held between 1957-1963.

6 67
7 1-2
American Alumni Council Conference, Jan 1965 
7 3
Correspondence, 1964-1969 
7 4-5
Fund drives, 1959-1970 
7 6-12
Trips, 1960-1963 
7 13
American Institute of Approval, 1963-1965 
7 14
American Institute of Interior Designers, 1960-1965 
7 15
Annual Fashion Collection, 1960-1970 

Includes documents related to the planning of the Parsons School of Design Fashion show including correspondence with vendors, internal memos, and minutes from post-mortem meetings.

7 16-24
Archdiocese of New York--Department of Education, 1959-1961 
7 25
Art Institute of Chicago, 1961-1969 
7 26
Art history, 1961-1963 

Correspondence, memos, and meeting minutes related to the art history curriculum at Parsons School of Design, and the hiring of instructors for courses in art history

7 27
Art News, 1960 
7 28
Atlanta Art Institute, 1961-1966 
7 29
Bank Street College of Education--Committee on Arts in Education, 1967-1968 
7 30
Board of Trustees 1947-1970 
General, 1947-1968 
7 31
By-Laws, 1962-1969 
7 32
Meetings, 1967-1970 

Includes notice of upcoming meetings, agendas, newsletters recapping meetings, minutes, and lists of members. Also includes a copy of the promotional brochure "We Design Rooftops for Shouting."

7 33-35
Abramovitz, Max, 1961-1969 
7 36
Bachrach, Alice, 1963-1969 
7 37
Baker, Hollis S., 1952-1966 
7 38
Carman, Harry, 1959-1965 
7 39
Crossland, Fred E., 1965-1969 
7 40
De Liagre, Alfred, 1965-1966 
7 41
Drake, Ormond J., 1965-1969 
7 42
Franklin, Gordon, 1969 
7 43
Griswold, Marjorie, 1967-1969 
7 44
Houghton Jr., Arthur A., 1955-1969 
7 45-46
Hurlburt, Allen F., 1965-1969 
7 47
Kline, Bennet E., 1965-1969 
7 48
Lafarge, Margaret, 1965-1969 
7 49
Lazar, Jack, 1969 
7 50
Le Maire, Eleanor, 1954-1969 
7 51
Lowery, R. John, 1959-1970 
7 52
MacDonald, Charles L., 1958-1970 
7 53
Morin, Dorothy Liebes, 1961-1970 

Includes photograph of Dorothy Liebes Morin.

7 54
Murname, George F., 1956-1968 
7 55
Norrell, Norman, 1961-1969 

Includes photograph of Norman Norrell.

7 56
Oenslager, Donald, 1955-1966 
7 57
Raiser, William C., 1963-1966 
7 58
Silverman, Jerry, 1969-1970 
7 59
Stephenson, C. Eugene, 1959-1969 
7 60
Trahey, Jane, 1963-1964 
7 61
Truex, Van Day, 1962-1963 
8 1
Turnbull, Sarah Little, 1965-1969 
8 2
Voorhis, Harold Oliver, 1958-1968 
8 3
Waugh, Sidney B., 1956-1963 
8 4
Trustee contribution acknowledgements, 1969-1970 

Acknowledgement letters for trustee donations can also be found in the individual Board members' files.

8 5
Trustee photographs, circa 1969 

Includes photographs by Fabian Bachrach, Katrina Thomas, Pach Bros., William R. Simmons.

8 6
Brooklyn College stage design program, 1962-1966 
8 7
Brooklyn Museum, 1959-1966 
8 8
Caldwell, Lilly May, 1953-1958 

Lily May Caldwell was Art Editor for the Birmingham News in Birmingham, Alabama. This file contains correspondence pertaining to scholarship recipients and students recommended to Parsons by Ms. Caldwell.

8 9
Calendars, 1962-1970 

Includes various academic and administrative calendars.

8 10
Capezio Dance Award, 1960 
8 11
Carnegie Corporation, 1953-1962 
8 12
Career placement, 1960-1970 
8 13
Castle, Robert J., 1954-1964 

Robert James Castle was the chairman of the Department of Interior Architecture and Decoration at Parsons School of Design until his retirement in 1964. This folder contains documents and correspondence from Castle's time as a professor until his retirement.

8 14
Catalog, 1960-1966 

Correspondence, memos related to the production of the course catalog.

8 15
Civil rights and school dropouts, 1963 

Correspondence from the White House regarding national effort to keep students in college.

8 16
College Art Association, 1963-1969 
8 17
Commencement, 1957-1969 
8 18-25
Commencement addresses, 1953-1963 
8 26
Committees 1953-1964 
Admissions Committee, 1959-circa 1964 
8 27
Building Committee, 1953-1957 
8 28
Exhibition Committee, 1960-circa 1964 
8 29
Library Committee, circa 1964 
8 30
Student Aid Committee, 1959-1963 

Includes a copy of "A Confidential Report--Parsons School of Design" (the Christ-Janer report).

8 31
Survey Committee, 1961-1962 
8 32
Visiting Committee, 1961-1964 

See also the file for Advisory Board, the predecessor to the Visiting Committees.

8 33
Competitions, 1960-1966 
8 34
Continental Can Company, 1962-1963 
8 35
Cooper Union, 1961-1968 
8 36
Coty, 1960-1964 
8 37
Council for the Advancement of Small Colleges, 1956 
8 38
Council for Financial Aid to Education, 1956-1960 
8 39
Council of Higher Education Institutions in the City of New York, 1959-1966 
8 40-41
Council on Student Travel, 1959-1960 
8 42
Curriculum, 1953-1963 

Includes lists of courses in various departments as well as a letter from Mildred Irby, Executive Secretary of the Parsons Alumni Association, providing feedback on the curriculum.

8 43
De Messieres, Olivier, 1958-1961 

Olivier de Messieres was a faculty member in Interior Design from 1957-1959.

8 44
Deans 1953-1970 

Primarily material related to the recruitment and hiring of deans. Files from the academic dean's office are in Series I.

Bayliss, George, 1963-1968 
8 45
nr_4 13
Boothby, Norman B., 1953-1960 
8 46
Taylor, Benjamin deBrie, 1969-1970 
8 47
Decorators Club Incorporated, 1960-1964 
8 48
Design conference, 1953-1954 

Includes correspondence to various university officials, design companies, and businesses to gather support and advice regarding the planning of a design conference as well as the creation of a new "Design Department" at Parsons.

8 49
Diplomas and certifications of enrollment, 1908-1932 
8 50
Eastern Arts Association, 1964 
8 51
Educational Foundation for Jewish Girls, 1962-1963 
8 52
Evening Courses, 1953-1960 
8 53
Exhibitions 1953-1969 
General, 1953-1969 
8 54
Art in Jewels (1965), 1964-1967 

Exhibition of jewelry by Salvador Dali from the collection of The Owen Cheatham Foundation. Admission proceeds from the exhibition benefited the Parsons Scholarship Fund.

8 55
Art Schools, U.S.A. (1960), 1960 

Exhibition at the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Parsons School of Design was among twelve art schools participating.

8 56
Corning Glass Building, 1960-1963 
8 57
Eric (1964), 1964 

A retrospective of drawings by fashion illustrator Carl "Eric" Erickson. Proceeds from the sale of works benefited the Parsons Scholarship Fund. A group of Eric's illustrations will be found in the New School Archives and Special Collections (KA.0041).

8 58
IBM Gallery, 1959-1964 
8 59
Facilities 1954-1969 
12 West 14th St, 1966 
8 60
410 East 54th Street, 1954-1969 
8 61
Adams Real Estate, 1964 
8 62
Faculty address lists, 1963-1965 
8 63
Faculty correspondence, 1964-1970 

Correspondence with faculty in also in the general alphabetical files in this series, and in the correspondence files in Series III and IV.

8 64
Faculty handbook, 1964-1965 
8 65
Fashion Design Department, 1959-1970 

Administrative material pertaining to the Fashion Design Department. Includes memos and correspondence from the office of Ann Keagy, chairman of the Fashion Design Department and President Francis A. Ruzicka. Also includes letters of invitation to guest critics and lecturers. Of note is a survey from 1963 detailing the percentage of designers then working in the fashion industry who attended Parsons.

8 66-70
nr_4 13
Fashion Design Department donations, 1967-1969 
9 1
Fashion Illustration Department, 1961-1970 
9 2
Fine Art Department, 1959-1966 
9 3
Ford Motor Company, 1953-1955 
9 4
Foundation for Financing Schools of Design, 1954-1957 
9 5
Fund for the Advancement of Education, 1953-1956 
9 6
Fundraising 1954-1969 
Foundations, 1964-1969 
9 7
Friends of Parsons, 1954-1963 
9 8
President's appeals, 1964-1966 
9 9
Furst Survey Research Center, 1963 

Proposal for "An Exploratory Investigation Into Employment Funds and Possibilities in the Fashion Field" to be conducted for the Parsons School of Design.

9 10
General Electric Company, 1953-1955 
9 11
General Motors Corporation, 1955-1964 
9 12
Grades, 1962-1963 
nr_5 5
Graphic Design Department, 1960-1970 
9 13
Greater New York Fund Campaign, 1954-1964 
9 14
Hanover Bank, 1950-1957 
9 15
Heckscher, August address at 60th Anniversary Dinner, 1956 Nov 1 
9 16
Heyman, Ruth S., 1960-1961 

Ruth S. Heyman and her husband, David Heyman, were philanthropists.

9 17
Howell, James, 1963-1969 

James Howell was chairman of the Interior Design Department beginning in 1964. Material in this file relates to his hiring at Parsons School of Design, and his work at the school.

9 18
Industrial Design Department, 1962-1970 
9 19
Institute of International Education, 1953-1965 
9 20
Insurance policy, circa 1962 

Property insurance policy for the Parsons School of Design, 1962-1967.

9 21
Interior Design Department, 1954-1970 
9 22-24
International students, 1960-1962 
9 25
Japanese designers, 1956-1961 

Correspondence between the Institute of Contempory Arts (ICA) and President Callisen regarding the search for a Japanese designer to participate in the ICA's cultural exchange program. Also includes a proposal for a program to send industrial design instructors to Japan.

9 26
Kingston School of Art, 1960-1966 
9 27
La Napoule Art Foundation, 1960-1961 
9 28
Library 1958-1970 
General, 1958-1970 
9 29
Accessions, 1958-1963 
9 30
Annual Report, 1962-1963 
9 31
Waugh, Sidney gift, 1963-1964 
9 32
Lovell, Malcolm, 1963-1965 

Correspondence and other material related to Colonel Malcolm Lovell's 1965 donation of artworks, jewelry, and other decorative art pieces to the Parsons School of Design.

9 33
Malone, Robert A., 1959-1963 

Robert A. Malone was the chairman of the Design in Industry Department from 1956-1962. He went on to be editor of the magazine Industrial Design.

9 34
Massachusetts College of Art, 1967-1968 
9 35
Memoranda to staff and faculty, 1961-1965 
9 36
Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, 1953-1968 
9 37
Moore Institute of Art, 1960-1967 
9 38
Morgan, Urban, 1955-1959 

Urban Morgan was a lecturer in the Interior Design Department.

9 39
National Association of School of Art (NASA) 1957-1970 
Annual meeting 1964, 1963-1965 

Parsons School of Design president Frank Ruzicka was the program chair for this annual meeting.

9 40-41
Audit report for the year ended September 30, 1969, 1969 Oct 
9 42
Correspondence, 1969-1970 
9 43-44
"Factual Report from Applicant School," 1961 

Completed questionnaire for Parsons School of Design's application for associate membership in the National Association of Schools of Art.

9 45
Member directories, 1965-1970 
9 46
Minutes, 1958-1969 
10 1-4
9 47-53
"National Association of Schools of Art Evaluation Questionnaire, Parsons School of Design 1965-1966," 1965 Dec 16 
10 5-6
"Professional School Analysis Guide," 1957 Apr 15 
10 7
Reaccreditation visit, 1965-1966 
10 8
Tuition survey, 1965 
10 9
National Council of the Arts in Education, 1963-1965 
10 10
National Education Association of the United States, 1963-1966 
10 11
National Shoe Institute, 1958-1960 
10 12
National Society of Interior Designers (NSID), 1962-1965 
10 13
Neiman-Marcus, 1964 
10 14
New York City Board of Education, 1960-1964 
10 15
New York Fashion Designers, Inc., 1961-1967 
10 16
New York State Art Teachers Association, 1963-1965 
10 17
New York State Education Department 1953-1970 
Accreditation consultations, 1966-1970 
10 18
Application for Approval to Train Veterans, Oct 1967 
10 19
Correspondence, 1953-1970 
10 20-21
Library requirements, 1962 
10 22
Rules and regulations on campus unrest, 1969-1970 
10 23
Petitions for revisions to charter, 1941-1968 
p_6 5-6
New York University, 1945-1965 
10 24
New York World’s Fair, 1962 

Includes photograph.

10 25
Newsletter, 1968 

General newsletter produced by Parsons School of Design. Unclear whether there were more issues.

10 26
Pace College, 1961-1965 
10 27
Parker, William E., 1968 

William E. Parker was Vice President for Academic Affairs at Parsons School of Design in the 1960s. He resigned in 1968.

10 28
Parsons School of Design history, 1954-1962 

Includes a timeline of the history of Parsons School of Design, organizational charts, and bylaws.

10 29
Parsons-New School Affiliation, 1970 

Includes material regarding the terms of the affiliation between Parsons and The New School and correspondence between Francis A. Ruzicka, John R. Everett, and other universities and organizations.

10 30
Parsons Paris, 1953-1960 
10 31
Personnel 1959-1970 
Administrative staff, 1959-1968 
10 32
Business Manager, 1962-1964 

Material pertaining to the hiring of a business manager for the Parsons School of Dsign. The search resulted in the hiring of Alvin Appel in 1964. Includes photograph of L. J. Donahue.

10 33
Deans, 1963, 1968 
10 34
Degree program, 1962 
10 35
Faculty, 1970 

Includes photographs of work by William Charles Bahmermann.

10 36
Philadelphia College of Art, 1962-1969 
10 37
Philip Rosenthal Company, 1962-1965 
10 38
Pratt Institute, 1958-1968 
10 39
Publicity, 1963-1965 
10 40
Regents Advisory Committee of Educational Leadership, 1965-1966 
10 41
Registrar, 1960-1968 
10 42
nr_4 13
Registration, 1962 
10 43
Reports 1948-1968 
Callisen, S.A., "A Plan to Enable Parsons to Become a Degree-granting College," 1962 Sep 
11 1
Christ-Janer, Albert, Dana P. Vaughn, Wilhelmus B. Bryan, "A Confidential Report on Parsons School of Design," circa 1961-1962 
11 2
De Messieres, Olivier, "A Report to Implement Decisions and Intiate Action in Planning for a 1958-1959 Program in the Interior Department of the Parsons School of Design," circa 1958 
11 3
"Instructional Brief Synopses for Industrial Design (Frist, Second and Third Years)," 1968 
11 4
Levy, David C., "Proposal: Pro-College Foundation in the Arts," 1968 Jan 
11 5
Parker, William E., "A Topical Report on Curriculum Development at Parsons School of Design," 1968 May 21 
11 6
"A Preliminary Evaluation Study, Including Recommendations for a Development and Public Relations Program," 1967 Sep 
11 7
"A Report on the Prospects and Needs of Parsons School of Design," 1948 Mar 
11 8
"A Report: Parsons School of Design Self-Critical Study," 1955 Aug 26 
11 9
Ruzicka, Frank A., "Special Report to the President,"1959 Aug 
11 10
Spencer, Sylvia, "Final Report of the Director of Development," 1968 Jun 
11 11
Rhine, Kelly, 1965-1966 

Kelly Rhine was an alumna of the Parsons School of Design. File contains correspondence related to works of art by Rhine that hung in the office of the president of Parsons.

11 12
Rhode Island School of Design, 1953-1965 
11 13
Rockefeller Foundation, 1953-1954 
11 14
Rothschild, Herbert M., 1960-1963 

Herbert M. Rothschild was an interior designer. File contains correspondence between Rothschild and President Callisen regarding a potential donation.

11 15
Royal College of Fine Art, 1953-1969 
11 16
Salaries, 1962, 1969 
11 17
Saturday classes, circa 1962-1963 
11 18
Scarsdale Art Association, 1965-1966 
11 19
Selective Service, 1966, undated 

Includes a memo and correspondence from Arnhold Herstand, the director of the Minneapolis School of Art regarding deferment for students and the possible detriment that selective service policies could have on male enrollment in art institutions. Also includes signed petitions by students and faculty objecting to the university administration's policy of submitting student transcripts and records to the Selective Service system.

11 20
Stephens College, 1960-1967 
11 21
Student loans, 1961-1965 
11 22
Students 1954-1969 
Department lists, 1965-1968 
11 23-25
Rules and regulations, 1962-1965 
11 26
Statistics, 1960-1966 

Lists of graduating students with high school standing, IQ score, admissions portfolio grade, and department affiliation.

nr_5 1-4
Student Council, 1954-1969 
11 27
Summer session, 1960-1968 

Includes promotional posters for Parsons School of Design's summer session from the years 1960-1965.

11 28-29
Takayabu, Akira, 1962-1963 

Akira Takabayu was an exchange student at Parsons School of Design from Japan during the 1962-1963 academic year.

11 30
Time, 1963-1964 
11 31
Treasurer, 1963-1970 
11 32
Tuition, 1962-1966 
11 33
Tuition Plan Incorporated, 1969-1970 
11 34
United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare, 1961-1970 
11 35
University of Illinois, 1960-1967 
11 36
University of New Mexico, 1964-1965 
11 37
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1966-1967 
11 38
Wye Institute, Incorporated, 1965 
11 39

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Collection Guide Last Updated: 06/27/2019

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