A Guide to the

Jay G. Rainey Papers, 1970-1996, bulk 1970-1977

SC 0024

Compiled by: Tiffany Cole, December 2016

 

Descriptive Summary

 

Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Title: Jay G. Rainey Papers, 1970-1996, bulk 1970-1977

Collection No.: SC 0024
Creator: Jay G. Rainey

Extent: 5 legal folders; .1 cubic feet

Language: English

Abstract: The Jay G. Rainey Papers, 1970-1996, bulk 1970-1977, consist of five legal folders (.1 cubic feet). The collection is comprised of materials relating to Rainey’s role in the April 1970 protest of three faculty members’ non-reappointment. Additional materials are related to The Fixer, a student-run newspaper of which Rainey was an editor, and political brochures and newsletters from the AFL-CIO.

 

Administrative Information

 

Access Restrictions: Collection is open to research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).

Preferred Citation: [identification of item], [box #, folder #], Jay G. Rainey Papers, 1970-1996, bulk 1970-1977, SC 0024, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

Acquisition Information: Donated by Jay Rainey in October 1997 via Dr. Robert Geary, Professor of English at James Madison University.
Processing Information: This collection, formerly numbered SU 97-1007, was originally processed by Chris Bolgiano in December 1997. During reprocessing all correspondence and official court documentation related to Jay Rainey’s 1977 sentencing was separated from The Fixer materials and housed in one folder. All newspaper clippings were consolidated into one folder and filed in chronological order. A hard copy of the original finding aid is located in the collection control file.

Bio/Historical Note:

Jay Garland Rainey (b. 1946) entered Madison College in September 1966 as a member of the college’s first fully coeducational class; he was originally from Alexandria, Virginia. He married Katherine (Tina) Marie Russell soon after graduating high school and they moved to Rockingham County with their son so Rainey could attend Madison. In an effort to prepare for his wife’s delivery of the couple’s second child and to save for tuition, Rainey left the college after two years of study and returned to Alexandria. Rainey was initially denied readmission for the 1968-1969 session due to his alleged unkempt appearance. He brought suit against the college in February 1969 and the ruling was subsequently overturned due to a lack of due process. Rainey returned to Madison for the 1969-1970 session.

While attending Madison College, Rainey was active in several “radical” or “left-leaning” student organizations. Rainey served as the first editor of The Fixer, a student-run underground newspaper at Madison College from 1969 to 1973. It was published by the Madison College Free Press and its prime directive was to encourage a “meaningful exchange of ideas, a confrontation of minds.” Furthermore, the paper strove to reopen various channels of dialogue between students, faculty, and the administration due to a perceived lack of communication and overall transparency. Rainey was also active in the student group, Harambee. While Rainey described the organization as a “liberal group of like-minded people that would mainly get together and give each other support,” Harambee did not explicitly identify as a political organization.

Rainey organized a sit-in at Wilson Hall in April 1970 after the administration announced that three professors – Roger Adkins, Assistant Professor of Economics; Houston Rogers, Instructor of English; and James McClung, Assistant Professor of English – would not have their contracts renewed for 1970-1971 academic term. Many students perceived the non-reappointments as being politically motivated rather than a result of poor academic performance. Rainey was arrested, convicted of trespassing, and, despite a long series of appeals, sentenced to a six-month jail sentence and a $500 fine. Governor Mills E. Godwin Jr. eventually pardoned Rainey and commuted his sentence on November 17, 1977. Rainey graduated Madison College in June 1971 with a B. S from the School of Social Sciences.

Scope and Content:
The Jay G. Rainey Papers, 1970-1996, bulk 1970-1977, consist of five legal folders (.1 cubic feet). The collection is comprised of materials relating to Rainey’s role in the April 1970 protest of three faculty members’ whose contracts were not renewed. Additional materials are related to The Fixer, a student-run newspaper of which Rainey was an editor, and political brochures and newsletters from the AFL-CIO.

The collection includes newspaper clippings, court documents, and correspondence documenting the April 1970 demonstration organized by Jay Rainey in protest of three faculty members’ non-reappointment for the 1970-1971 session. Of particular interest are letters written to Governor Mills E. Godwin Jr. by Staunton journalist William H. Reid and Rainey’s lawyer John C. Lowe requesting that Rainey and his co-defendants’, James McClung and Stephen B. Rochelle, be pardoned. Rainey’s November 17, 1977 signed pardon by Governor Godwin is included. A chronology of events related to the April 1970 protest, copied from Teresa Geary’s exhibit, is included.

Materials related to The Fixer include editorial staff questionnaires, signed anti-Vietnam petitions, flyers, and a Report of Faculty Grievance Committee on the case of Dr. Edward D. Lipton, Associate Professor of Health and Physical Education, who was dismissed from the college and subsequently rehired. This report was printed in its entirety in the April 30, 1972 issue of The Fixer.

Additional materials include a grouping of approximately 20 pamphlets, brochures, and newsletters published by the AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education and the Virginia State AFL-CIO. Most relate to the 1972 presidential election.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged topically in five folders.

Bibliography:
The Breeze, October 29, 1969. Harrisonburg (Va.): Madison College.

Jay Rainey, interviewed by Jeremy Turner, 1998, SdArch 11-2, transcript, Madison College Student Protest, April 1970 Oral History Collection, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

Location of Originals:
Jay Rainey’s Post Sentence Report, dated September 15, 1977, was removed from the collection and placed in the collection control file. A facsimile, with Rainey’s social security number redacted, is located in Folder 2.

Related Material:
The Fixer,
Harrisonburg, Va.: Madison College Free Press.

Madison College Student Protest Oral History Collection, SdArch 11.

G. Tyler Miller Collection, 1949-2005, PR 2004-0217, James Madison University Historical Collection, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

JMU Student Government Association Records, UA 0007, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

Contents:

Folder Title Box : Folder
Newspaper clippings, 1970-1996 1:1
Correspondence and court documents, 1977 1:2
Chronology of events – April 1970 Protest, undated 1:3
The Fixer materials, 1971-1972, undated 1:4
AFL-CIO printed materials, 1972 1:5