Lee, Emily Lewis Papers, 1940-2006 *JMU Alum Papers*

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Descriptive Summary


Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Title: Emily Lewis Lee Papers, 1940-2006

Collection No.: SC 0185
Creator: Lee, Emily Lewis, 1922-2014

Extent: 5 boxes; 1.97 cubic feet

Language: English

Abstract: The collection includes James Madison University related correspondence, newsclippings, photographs, scrapbooks, interview, and reunion booklets.


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: Collection is open for 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 Collection Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).

Preferred Citation: [identification of item], [box #, folder #], Emily Lewis Lee Papers, 1940-2006, SC 0185, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

Acquisition Information: Received from Alumni Relations in May 2003. The photos pertaining to the '43 Madison group reunions and University events were added later than the rest of the collection in July 2012.
Processing Information: During initial processing campaigns, scrapbooks were disbound. Others remain intact. Photographs were also individually sleeved in acid-free envelopes and described at the item level.In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in 2017-2018. This collection was previously cataloged as SC 5007. At this time the collection was minimally reprocessed. Newspaper clippings were discarded as were materials lacking discernable research value. The overall arrangement was also simplified.

Bio/Historical Information:

Emily Virginia Lewis Lee (1922-2014) graduated from Madison College as part of the class of 1943 with a degree in Home Economics. After graduation, she entered Johns Hopkins in Baltimore to begin a six month internship, after which she completed another six months at Halloran Hospital on Staten Island. She then entered the Army Medical Corps as a dietician and was trained in Atlantic City. She met her husband, Luther M. Lee (1923-1996), while stationed in North Carolina when she was a first lieutenant. She was discharged from the army at the end of the war, and later on became a dietician at the Veterans Administration hospital. Since then has been a proud and active alumni of her alma mater. Emily Lee has served on the Alumni Association, the Education and Student Life Committee, the Board of Visitors from 1980-1983, and as the fund agent for the class of 1943. In 1981, she received the "Distinguished Alumni Service Award" for her work for the university.

Scope and Content:

This collection documents Emily Lewis Lee work with James Madison University's Alumni Association, the Board of Visitors, attendance at JMU events, and reunions with her classmates. Much of her correspondence includes letters to her fellow alumnae from the class of 1943. Her awards, appointments and accompanying news clippings are included as are booklets compiled for alumni reunion weekends and homecomings. Of special interest is the history of the university's processional mace, a gift of the Class of 1943, presented to the University on Founder's Day, 1979. Of more recent interest are a 2001 interview with journalist Nancy Bondurant Jones and two subsequent articles on World War II and plans for an Alumni Center Terrace to honor JMU's contribution to it. Many photographs are included that document reunions and special celebrations at James Madison University.


The collection is arranged in 2 series:
Series 1: University Activities and Alumni Relations, 1941-2006
Series 2: Photographs, 1940-2006
All series are arranged chronologically. Exceptions to this arrangement scheme were made in order to group like materials together and as a result chronological arrangements are approximate.


Series 1: University Activities and Alumni Relations, 1941-2006

Series 1: University Activities and Alumni Relations, 1941-2006, is comprised of correspondence, scrapbooks, and ephemera, related to Emily Lewis Lee's involvement with James Madison University as a student and as an alumna.

Correspondence contains letters primarily regarding reunion planning, plus Lee's annual "Lee News" bulletins for 1981, 1983-1991, with similar reports in 1997, 1999 and 2001.

Scrapbooks contain two large disbound scrapbooks largely of color photographs compiled either for or after the 35th, 40th and 45th Reunions of the Class of '43. The first of these has a small selection of black & white photographs from the 1940s. One scrapbook documents Lee's time as a student during 1941-1943. Of particular interest is a program for "Plantation Idyll," a "musical water pageant" presented by Camp Strawderman (Edinburg, Virginia). The cast includes a "Mammy" character, "Negro servants," and "Pickaninnies." Emily Lewis Lee served as an usher for the production. Another scrapbook, 1946-1947, 2000-2003, documents Lee's work and research on World War II veterans who were JMU alumni. A related research file is included in this series.

Also included are three guestbooks containing signatures from alumni receptions and luncheons dating from 1956-1989. The first of these books belonged to the Madison Alumni Richmond Chapter, and the other two are most likely from on-campus alumni events.

Related subject matter is located in the Photographs series.

Folder Title
Box : Folder
Correspondence, 1953, 1973-2001
University Ephemera, 1973-2006, undated
University Mace, 1978-1979
50 year reunion, 85th Founders Day, 1993
WWII Veterans Memorial Research, 2000-2003
Scrapbook, 1941-1943
OV 1
Scrapbook 1, 1942-1986
Scrapbook, 1946-1947, 2000-2003, undated
OV 2
Scrapbook 2, 1980-1989
Guestbook 1, 1956-1979
Guestbook 2, 1977-1989
Guestbook 3, 1974-1979

Series 2: Photographs, 1940-2006

Series 5: Photographs, 1940-2006, contains a 5x7" black and white print of Emily Lewis Lee presenting the mace to President Carrier in 1979, an 8x10" of her reunion group ca. 1983 and four snap shots of awards and reunion banquets from the early 1980s. Also includes photographs from ten scrapbooks documenting reunions and events, as well as graduation photos from her commencement in 1943.

Folder Title
Box : Folder
Photographs, 1983, undated
1943 Madison reunions, 1995-1999
1943 Madison reunions (folder 1 of 2), 2000-2001
1943 Madison reunions (folder 2 of 2), 2000-2001
Commencement Ceremony, 1943
Class of 1943 35th reunion, 1978
Inauguration of President Linwood Rose, 1940-1999
Alumni Weekend, May 2002
Homecoming Weekend, October 2002
James Madison Day Celebrations, March 2006

Compiled by: Julia Merkel; Alicia Henneberry, August 2012; Ellen Blackmon, October 2015; Tiffany Cole, August 2018