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John T. Lewis papers

Identifier: MS-0061

Scope and Content

This collection contains the papers of Dr. John T. Lewis, Vice President and Dean of Faculties for West Georgia College from 1977 until 1993. The collection primarily consists of departmental and organizational files maintained by Frances Miller, who served as Dr. Lewis’ secretary from 1977-1993. The collection includes news clippings, newsletters, memorandum, correspondence, meeting minutes, proposals, annual budgets, reports, curriculum notes, event programs, pamphlets, policies and procedures, and more.

The collection contains information about the history of West Georgia College and details many significant events, including the hiring of first African-American administrator and the transfer of the Psychical Research Foundation from North Carolina to West Georgia College, and more.

Charles E. Wilson was appointed Director of Developmental Education Programs on July 1, 1970. He was the first African American administrator at West Georgia College. In 1973, he was given the rank of Assistant Professor of Education and his title became Assistant Director of Special Academic Programs. By 1976, Wilson was identified as Chairman for the Department of Special Studies and Affirmative Action Officer.

On January 27, 1976, a proposed amendment was recommended to establish a Department of Special Studies to be supervised by a chairman reporting to the Vice President and Dean of Faculties. This position was responsible for the coordination for the special studies program in cooperation with the appropriate academic and administrative agencies of the College and in accordance with the policies of the Board of Regents and the University System of Georgia. Faculty senate minutes from Feb 6, 1976 record a successful motion to establish a Department of Special Studies. In August 1981, the Special Studies Program was re-designated and renamed to Development Studies.

The folders on Row Hall Dormitory include letters, memorandum, contractual agreements, budgets, building time lines, building policies and more. The documents collected begin in 1960, when funds were earmarked by the College to begin the planning and bidding process. The dormitory was completed on August 7, 1963. Today, Row Hall houses administrative offices.

The Psychical Research Foundation folder details the agreement between the West Georgia College Foundation, Inc., and the Psychical Research Foundation, Inc., of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, which was established on June 30, 1986. The agreement proposed several aims. First, to establish a Chair of Psychical Research in the Department of Psychology. Second, the David Wayne Hooks Library to be transferred as a gift to the College. Third, the Department of Psychology would provide the continuation of the professional journal “Theta.” Fourth, the West Georgia College Foundation would be the designated agency for financial contributions.

The Psychical Research Foundation was organized for the purpose of engaging in and promoting scientific and educational activities in the field of parapsychology. The agreement between West Georgia College and the Psychical Research Foundation resulted in the employment of Mr. William George Roll, Jr., a prominent figure in the field of parapsychology, who helped to establish a nationally recognized psychology program at West Georgia College in the 1980s.

On April 14, 1965, departments were created within the Division of Social Science and the Division of Humanities. In the Division of Social Science, the following departments were created: Department of Business Administration, Department of Economics, and Department of Political Science. In the Division of Humanities, the Department of Languages was established.

On September 1, 1973 the following departments were established at West Georgia College: Department of Accounting and Finance, Department of Management and Marketing, Department of Early Childhood Education, Department of Elementary Education, Department of Secondary Education, Department of Administration and Supervision, and the Department of Guidance and Counseling. The following departments were eliminated: Department of Business Administration, Department of Teacher Education, and Department of Specialized School Personnel. The Department of Physical Education was renamed as the Department of Physical Education and Recreation.

The Department of Art was established on July 1, 1974. The Department of Fine Arts originally included music, speech and theater. On, July 1, 1986, the Department of Fine Arts split into two new departments: the Department of Music and Department of Mass Communication and Theater Arts.

The debate team folders include news clippings, letters of invitations, congratulatory letters, and news releases. It was in 1973, under the coaching of Chester Gibson, that the debate team qualified for the National Debate Tournament. The West Georgia College debate team was a semi-finalist in the National Debate Tournament in 1979.


  • Majority of material found within Bulk, 1977-1988
  • 1960-1989


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users; no restrictions

User Restrictions

As stipulated by U.S. copyright laws

Biographical History

Dr. John T. Lewis, III, born October 3, 1930 was raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Dr. Lewis served as the Vice President and Dean of Faculties for West Georgia College from 1977 until retirement in 1993. He was primarily responsible for coordinating the educational and research programs of the college as well as supervising the activities of the various schools and academic units.

He previously served as vice president for academic affairs and professor of psychology at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, a position he held from 1967-1976. Dr. Lewis received a B.A. degree in psychology from Millsaps College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi. He served as assistant to the adjutant general of the State of Mississippi from 1953-1960, prior to joining the faculty at Austin for one year. He served in the U.S. Army as a captain during the Berlin Crisis from 1961-1962 before returning to Stephen F. Austin. Dr. Lewis became psychology department head at Austin in 1966 before his promotion to vice president of academic affairs in 1967. He is married to wife, Helen Fay, and they have two children.


3.78 Linear feet (9 boxes)




Papers of Dr. John T. Lewis, III, Vice President and Dean of Faculties at West Georgia College from 1977 until 1993.

Arrangement Note

Arranged alphabetically by file title; reverse chronologically within file.


Transferred to Special Collections from an unknown University of West Georgia source.

Processed By

Processed by Amber Seale, 2014

Guide to the John T. Lewis Papers MS-0061
Finding aid prepared by Written by Amber Seale, 2014
© 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the University of West Georgia Special Collections Repository

Special Collections, Ingram Library
University of West Georgia
1601 Maple Street
Carrollton GA 30118-2000 United States