Founders' Day Collection

Summary Information

George T. Henry College Archives
Founder's Day Collection
0.66 Linear feet
The first founders day was held in 1911. It was regularly held for the next decade to honor the people, places and events that make up the college's history. Founders' Day was revived in the late 20s and thirties and has periodically been honored since. The last Founders' Day was in 2001 to honor the 150th anniversary of Coe College. The collection includes speeches, plays, songs, programs, correspodence, historical sketches, committee reports and news items.

Preferred Citation Note

Founder's Day Collection. George T. Henry College Archives, Stewart Memorial Library, Coe College.

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1911 – First Founders day honors Rev. & Mrs. Williston Jones. Festivities include a skit.

1912 – Daniel Coe was honored. Festivities included an address by Coe’s grandson Dr. J. Ralph Jewell as well as a play.

1913 – Dr. John Fellows Ely was honored. Festivities included an address by Calvin Greene. A skit was included in the festivities and an oil portrait of Mr. Ely was unveiled. Glee clubs make first appearance during festivities.

1914 – Hon. Judge George Greene was honored. Festivities included an address by John. S. Ely, as well as a play. An etching of Judge Greene was presented to the college.

1915 – Rev. James Knox was honored. Festivities included an address by E. R. Burkhalter. Oil portraits of Rev. Williston Jones and Dr. E. R. Burkhalter were unveiled

1916 – Mr. T. M. Sinclair was honored. Festivities included an address by Rev. E. R. Burkhalter. An oil portrait of Mr. Sinclair was presented to the college

1917 – No founder’s day held

1918 – Dr. Robert A. Condit was honored. Festivities included an Address by Dr. S. W. Stookey.

1919 – No Founders Day Held

1920 – Western/ Leander Clark College’s History and founders were honored. Festivities included an address by Rev. M. R. Drury, D.D.

1921 – A memorial service for Miss Alice King was held on Founder’s Day

1922 – Dr. Stephen Phelps was honored. Festivities included an address by Dr. E. R. Burkhalter.

1923 – No Founder’s Day held

1924 – No Founder’s Day held

1925 – No Founder’s Day held

1926 – Williston Jones and George R. Carrol were honored in February (event was not an official Founder’s Day)

1927 – A Memorial Service for Rev. Dr. E. R. Burkalter was held. Address by Rev. E. A. Magary.

1928 – The Founders of Cedar Rapids Collegiate Institute 1853-1866 were honored. Festivities included an address by Dr. Benjamin F. Shambaugh

1929 – The founders of Parsons Seminary 1866-1875 were honored. Festivities included an address by Dr. S. W. Stookey.

1930 – Excerpts from Prof. E. M. Erikson’s manuscript “History of Coe Collegiate Institute 1853-1866” were read by Dr. Harry Morehouse Gage. Festivities also included an address titled “The Growth of Personality” by Dr. H.M. Crooks.

1931 – The Fiftieth Anniversary of the granting of the charter to Coe College. Festivities included an address by (?William H. Phelps.?) Stephen W. Stookey

1932 – No Founder’s Day held

1933 – No Founder’s Day held

1934 – Presentation of oil painting of Dr. John A Marquis. Festivities included an address by President H. M. Gage.

1939 – Speech presented by Dr. Hickok

1941 – Address by W. R. Boyd presented

1951 –centennial founders’ Day celebration. Festivities included an address given by Harry M. Gage.

1952 – address given by Dr. Alice B. Salter

1957 – President H. M. Gage named guest of honor

1958 – benediction by Rev. Howard L. Parsons, Ph. D

1960 – address given by president Douglas M. Knight of Lawrence college

1961 – address given by president Howard R. Bowen of Grinnell College

1962 – address given by John M. Thompson, director of Russian and East European Institute, Indiana university

1964 – address given by Dr. Robert E. Streeter, dean of the division of the humanities, the University of Chicago

1965 – address given by Dr. Glenn Leggett, president of Grinnell College

1966 – address given by Mr. Kenneth MacDonald, Editor and publisher of the register ad tribune, des moines

1967 – speakers include Joseph E. McCabe, Francis W. Pritchard and Eliza "Roby" Hickok Kesler

1968 – speakers include Joseph E. McCabe and Dora Jane Hamblin

1974 – Coe receives birthday cake in honor of 123rd birthday. Coe memorabilia displayed.

1976 – festivities included a performance of “ an American te deum” by Karel Husa as well as the granting of Coe College’s first founder’s medals to William L. Shirer and Paul Engle.

1977 – coe’s 125th anniversary. “an American te deum” written and performed for the occation.

1980 – presentation of founders’ medals to F. Gaynor Evans and S. Donald Stookey

1981 – Coe’s 130th birthday celebration

1991 - 140th anniversary of Coe College: Coe People and Places through the years. Founders Day Convocation and reception

2001 – 150th anniversary of Coe College. Speech presented by Dr. Phifer. Founder’s medals presented to Donald Ebinger, Russell Knapp, and William Whipple

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

George T. Henry College Archives

Coe College
1220 First Avenue NE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 52402

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Cedar Rapids Collegiate Institute.
  • Coe College (Cedar Rapids, Iowa).
  • Coe Collegiate Institute (Cedar Rapids, Iowa).
  • Parsons Seminary (Cedar Rapids, Iowa).
  • Western Leander Clark College. Western College. Leander Clark College.

Personal Name(s)

  • Bowen, Howard R.
  • Boyd, W. R.
  • Burkhalter, Edward Read, Rev.
  • Carroll, George R.
  • Coe, Daniel, 1794-1892
  • Condit, Robert Aaron
  • Crooks, H. M.
  • Drury, M. R. , Rev.
  • Ebinger, Donald
  • Ely, John F., Dr.
  • Ely, John S.
  • Engle, Paul, 1908-1991
  • Eriksson, Erik McKinley
  • Evans, F. Gaynor
  • Gage, Harry Morehouse, Dr., Coe College President, 1878-1961
  • Greene, Calvin
  • Greene, George, 1817-1880
  • Hamblin, Dora Jane
  • Hickok, Charles
  • Husa, Karel
  • Jewell, James Ralph
  • Jones, Williston , Rev, 1814-1865
  • Jones, Williston, Mrs.
  • Kesler, Eliza Hickok , 1911-
  • Knapp, Russell
  • Knight, Douglas M.
  • Knox, James
  • Leggett, Glenn
  • MacDonald, Kenneth
  • Magary, E. A.
  • Marquis, John A.
  • McCabe, Joseph E.
  • Parsons, Howard L.
  • Phelps, S.
  • Phelps, William H.
  • Phifer, James R, Coe College President
  • Pritchard, Francis W.
  • Salter, Alice B.
  • Shambaugh, Benjamin F.
  • Shirer, William L., (Willam Lawrence), 1904-1993
  • Sinclair, T. M.
  • Stookey, S. Donald
  • Stookey, S. W.
  • Streeter, Robert E.
  • Thompson, John M.
  • Whipple, William


  • Coe College Courier
  • Coe College Founders' Day
  • Iowa--History--19th Century

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Collection Inventory


Commencement Song, be Pearl Allen Shedd [loose item from founder's scrapbook] 1920   (box 1, folder 1)

Founders' Day Plays 1912, n.d.   (box 1, folder 2)

Founders' Day Speeches 1914-2001   (box 1, folder 3)

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Invitations 1914, 1927, 1930, 1931, 1976   (box 1, folder 4)

Programs 1911-2001   (box 1, folder 5)

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Committee Reports [incl. transcription of 1881 board meeting] 1931, 1951   (box 2, folder 1)

Correspondence 1911, 1927, 1929, 1974   (box 2, folder 2)

Founders' Day Scrapbook 1911-1928   (box 2)

Historical Sketches   (box 2, folder 3)

Brief Historical Sketch of Coe College   (box 2, folder 3)

Editor's Introduction: The History and Significance of Founders Day, by E.E. Erikson   (box 2, folder 3)

Timeline of Founders Honored 1911-1934   (box 2, folder 4)

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Coe College Courier 1911-1938   (box 2, folder 5)

Founders Day at Coe: Rev. and Mrs. Williston Jones [2 copies] December 5, 1911   (box 2, folder 5)

The Fourth Annual Founders' Day Banquet in Memory of Honorable George Greene December 1914   (box 2, folder 5)

The Fifth Annual Founders' Day: rev. James Knox, Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church 1864-1875 December 13, 1915   (box 2, folder 5)

Annual Founders' Day Banquet December 6, 1920   (box 2, folder 5)

Founders' Day Memorial Service: Miss Alice King [2 copies] December 4, 1921   (box 2, folder 5)

Founders' Day Celebration: in Honor of Stephen Phelps, the First President December 1922   (box 2, folder 5)

1931 Founders' Day Observance to Mark Fiftieth Anniversary of the Coe Charter [2 copies] November 1931   (box 2, folder 5)

Coe's Fiftieth Anniversary Junilee: Christmas Greetings from Dean S. W. Stookey Member of Coe's first Graduating Class December 1931   (box 2, folder 5)

Dr. John A. Marquis and Founders' Day November 1934   (box 2, folder 5)

President Gage Recalls Founders' Day, Daniel Coe's Gift, and Life of a Cedar Rapids Pioneer November 1938   (box 2, folder 5)

Iowa Music Educator - "125th Anniversary of Coe College" March 1977   (box 2, folder 6)

News Releases 1974   (box 2, folder 7)

Newspaper Articles 1922-1967   (box 2, folder 8)

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