Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Records

ARCS004

The SWC has a number of scientific collections, both from individuals, universities, and other organizations. Not the least of these is the records of Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS). Founded in 1958 in Los Angeles in response to Sputnik and the perceived lack of U.S. supremacy in the technology race, the ARCS Foundation has since provided to thousands of scholars awards totaling nearly $87 million and has grown to 1,600 members in 17 Chapters across the United States. Our collections focus primarily on the Lubbock, Texas ARCS chapter, particularly related to events and get-togethers they held, the most notable of which was the 2003 ARCS National Meeting held and hosted in Lubbock.

Lubbock’s chapter was founded by Fran Carter in 1972, and she served as its first president. Her focus was on recognizing outstanding students in a leading science field at Texas Tech University (TTU) and Lubbock Christian University. The creation of the organization was also influenced by Dr. Grover E. Murray, former president of TTU and professional geologist, after he discovered other chapters from cities throughout the U.S. In 2012 the local chapter celebrated its 40th (or Ruby) Anniversary and documented the festivities in several scrapbooks, the cover of one of which can be seen above.

ARCS006

Another event is their annual Scientists of the Year dinner. 2003’s event celebrated the career of noted physicist Dr. Shubhra Gangopdhyay, whose work focused on semiconductor manufacturing. This invitation was sent to the aforemented Grover Murray, whose family donated many of the ARCS’s records to us.

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ARCS receives much of its support from donors, both at the local and national level. Documentation of donation drives, fundraising goals and results, and similar information comprise a sizable portion of these records. Fortunately, not all of them are dry financial reports. Here we have a page from a scrapbook acknowledging Lubbock’s many donors on the occasion of the chapter’s 40th (or Ruby) anniversary. These scrapbooks are some of the best parts of this collection, because through their photographs, biographies, and other personal elements they capture the human side of the organization.

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Interspersed among the newspaper and magazine clippings, correspondence, and scattered financial records in the collection is also a nearly complete run of ARCS newsletters, both local and national.This newsletter for the Lubbock chapter dates from Fall 2003, and concisely summarizes a great deal of organizational info: award winners, events both past and upcoming, and administrative information to which members otherwise might not have easy access.

In short, although the ARCS records are a relatively small collection, it is diverse and at the very least provides a snapshot of a large national organization is handled at the local level. The rest of the scrapbooks in particular are particularly interesting, and it’s a shame that we couldn’t provide more of them here. As with all of our materials, interested parties are encouraged to use our Reference Staff to the fullest if they want to see any of this in the flesh.

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Texas Tech University: Then and Now

Will rogers combo pack

(SWC HC-E168) (Texas Tech University)

This Wednesday, January 15th, Texas Tech University (TTU) will be opening its doors for the first class day of the 2014 Spring semester. The Texas Tech University Archives (UA) here at the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library is full of items commemorating such events as well as other TTU occasions. Photographs comprise a large portion of their materials; so many, in fact, that UA staff were able to curate an exhibit entitled Texas Tech: Then and Now, which is now on display in the SWC’s Formby Room. Many of its sports-related photographs for this exhibit can also be seen near the main entrance of the United Spirit Arena.

The image above are included in the exhibit. To the left we see former President Dossie Wiggins accepting TTU’s iconic Will Rogers statue in 1950. A gift from the Amon G. Carter Foundation, the statue (actually entitled Riding into the Sunset) is often wrapped in red for sporting events such as the TTU football homecoming game.

admin view combo pack

(SWC HC-C2502) (Texas Tech University)

In 1924, the Texas Technological College (the  name was changed to Texas Tech University in 1969) Administration Building (left) was a lonely sight on the South Plains prairie. That is not the case any longer. As you can see from the photograph on the right (taken from the English and Philosophy building located almost a half-mile southwest of Administration), the campus has expanded into dozens of buildings amounting to the second largest contiguous university campus (1,843 acres) in the United States. The almost uniform use of Spanish Renaissance architecture is one of its highlights.

football combo pack

(SWC HC E355) (Texas Tech University)

What would modern university life be like without sports? Definitely less entertaining for many students on Saturdays during the fall. TTU’s football team is now known as the Red Raiders, but from 1925 to 1936 they were known as the Matadors. The photograph on the left shows the first Matador touchdown in 1925, scored against Montezuma College. The field of play has changed a little bit since then, as the photo of the 60,000-spectator-capacity AT&T stadium shows.

8A-First Faculty Meeting 1925 B&W

(SWC HC-P343)

Photos and documentation about buildings and statues aren’t the only thing the University Archives preserves. Faculty records are important as, as the participants in the first-ever faculty meeting at TTU, pictured above, would no doubt have agreed. They met for the first time on September 15, 1925, to discuss the purposes of the college and make plans for the upcoming year. Although in 1925 TTU clearly wasn’t swarming with faculty members, it currently boasts over 1,100.

14B-Old Computer Lab (U185.6) B&W

(HC- U185.6 Box#2 F11)

Computers factor heavily into the academic life of today’s university. The TTU Library alone currently owns and maintains more than 200 computers for student, faculty, and public use. The university has for decades striven for similar accessibility. Want proof? Check out this photo of students several decades ago enjoying then-state-of-the-art computing technology.

24A-Ransom Walker and Basketball Team

(La Ventana 1926)

Let’s end with a little bit more about sports. This is a photo of Texas Technological College’s men’s basketball team in 1926. At that time, games were played in the Agricultural Pavilion because the campus did not yet have a gym. Ransom Walker, the first captain of both the basketball team and the football team, is seated at center holding the ball. Walker was also the first Matador to play in a post-season all-star football game (the 1929 East-West Shrine Game) and as a running back was the team’s top offensive player in 1927 and 1928.

The Texas Tech Then & Now exhibit will be on display indefinitely at the SWC, and the images in the United Spirit Arena will be up at least through the spring semester. Both are open for free to all interested visitors. Our University Archives has many other items, all of which our Reference Staff are always thrilled to help you find.

–  by Amy Mire, Lynn Whitfield, & Robert Weaver