Edgar L. Harden papers

Summary Information

Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives
Harden, Edgar L.
Edgar L. Harden papers
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1956-1967
Date [inclusive]
1935 - 1992
3.0 Cubic feet

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], in the Edgar L. Harden papers, MSS-077, Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives, Northern Michigan University.

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Biographical note

Dr. Edgar L. Harden became President of Northern Michigan College in 1956. Previously, he had served as Dean of Continuing Education at Michigan State University. Harden is generally credited with saving Northern from closure. In 1956 the student population was roughly 800 but nearly reached 8,000 in 1967. During this period, Northern's campus and physical plant expanded to its present size. Harden also instituted Northern's "Right to Try" admission policy. Harden left office to enter private industry and served in 1979 as president of Michigan State University. He died in 1996.

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Scope and Contents note

The collection documents Dr. Edgar L. Harden's tenure as president of Northern Michigan College beginning in 1956 through 1967, then under the name Northern Michigan University. The most significant component of the collection is a complete set of speeches delivered during and after his presidency. Also included is a selection of handwritten notes, particularly of a trip to Germany. Records include photographs, calendars, programs, correspondence, proclamations, and honorary degrees. The collection's materials date from 1935 to 1992.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives 5/20/2010

Harden Learning Resources Center 126
1401 Presque Isle Ave
Marquette, Michigan, 49855

Revision Description


Conditions Governing Access note

No restrictions. Open for research.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Northern Michigan University--History--Sources.
  • Northern Michigan University. President.

Personal Name(s)

  • Harden, Edgar L.


  • Education, higher--Michigan.

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Collection Inventory

Box 1 of 5 


Plaque--Century Member of Boy Scouts of America presented by Sheet Metal Workers # 94, Hiawathaland Council, 1980 

Framed Memorabilia--Marquette Ambassadors 

Resolution by Northern Michigan University Board of Control accepting resignation of Edgar L. Harden, October 31, 1967 

Honorary Degree of Doctor of Public Service from Northern Michigan University, 9 Aug 1980 

Certificate of Life Member of De Molay Legion of Honor, 30 Mar 1959 

Resolution from Operation Action-UP, 21 June 1973 

Resolution from Michigan Blue Shield, 20 Sep 1967 

Resolution from Upper Peninsula Legislative Council to Elizabeth C. Harden for dedication of the Elizabeth C. Harden Circle Drive, 1 Oct 1975 

Certificate of congratulations from University of British Columbia for Harden's inauguration as President of Northern Michigan University, 23 Sep 1957 

Oversize photo of Edgr L. Harden presenting Award of Merit to Eve Arden, 23 Apr 1959 

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Box 2 of 5 Photographs 

35-06-17 LRC

Miscellaneous 1950's 

Miscellaneous 1960's 

Armed Forces Education Committee 1955 

Award Banquet 1979 

Buildings: Gries Hall, 1959; Aerial of Campus, 1968; Graduation procession from Gries Hall, circa 1970 

Exceptional Service Award from US Air Force 1962 

Graduation honorees; Board of Control? 1960's to 1970's 

Golfers circa 1985 

Edgar L. Harden portraits 1960's, 1980 

Edgar L. Harden 

Edgar L. Harden at Alma College convocation circa 1985 

Edgar L. Harden--Learning Resources Center dedication circa 1985 

Inauguration of Edgar L. Harden 1957 

Miscellaneous family and friends [includes H.N. Metzel, J.F. Wolfram] circa 1905, 1963, circa 1969 

Michigan Week 1961 

Richard and Pat Nixon; Lyndon B. Johnson; Miss America Judy ford; Order of Demolay circa 1969 

Edgar L. Harden, George Romney, Dominic Jacobetti 

Union Award Banquet circa 1975 

Union Award Banquet 1977 

Union Award Banquet 1978 

Photos from scrapbook: Edgar L. Harden; UP Power Company Representatives; John D. Voelker; Princeton Conference on Work-Study in Higher Education; University Center construction; Thunderbird Squadron; George Romney; Cornerstone laying of Gries Hall and Health Center: L.O. Gant, W.H. Treloar, Arnold W. Embre, Roger LaBonte, Harold E. Sponberg; June Commencement, 1962: Ernest L. Pearce, Lynn H. Halverson, Glenn T. Seaborg, Sam M. Cohodas; Elizabeth Harden with three women circa 1960-1965 

Vietnam, circa 1965 

Edgar L. Harden; Glenn T. Seaborg; Henry and Arlene Rajala; Ed Haulik; Jerry Glenville, Hal Dorf; William Vandament; MEA [Michigan Education Association] Distinguished Service Award 1992 

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Box 3 of 5 


Award certificates; notes; miscellaneous 1955-1981 

Calendars: 1957, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965 

Congratulatory letters and certificates for Edgar L. Harden's inauguration as President of Northern Michigan College 1957 

Correspondence 1961-1992 

Dedication of Harden Learning Resources Center 1973 

Dedication of Elizabeth Harden Drive 1975 

"Religious Studies-Dual Loyalty: The Roman Catholic Dilemma Under the Early Stuarts," by Anthony H. Forbes 1967 

Inauguration of President Richard M. Nixon and Vice President Spiro T. Agnew 1965-1969 

Edgar Harden Scrapbook 1974 

Notes regarding five year plan, Book A circa 1957 

Notes regarding Why Search for Talent; Who Should be Educated; HB [House Bill] 54, Notebook B undated 

Notebook: Notes regarding Freedom and Responsibility; Address to Members of the Board; Outline of Address to Department Heads; Residence Hall Directors; convocation? undated 

Notebook: Notes regarding Dropouts; for Faculty, and other speeches undated 

Notebook: Notes for "Push-outs, Not Drop-outs" undated 

Notebook: Notes for Citizens Conference; Faculty Dinner circa 1970 

Notebook: Notes for 1962, including Faculty Dinner 

Programs and Awards 1957-1971 

"The Making of a Senator," speech at Testimonial Dinner for Joseph S. Mack, by Harold E. Sponberg 1970 

Speeches: "Building for the 21st Century," [Michigan Education] circa 1985 

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Box 4 of 5 


Dedication Speeches, Notes: Lake Shore; Ishpeming; Field House [Hedgecock]; Stambaugh School; Student Center; Walter F. Gries Hall; Fine Arts and Practical Arts Building; Historical Marker [NMU?]; Remarks by Forest Roberts; Remarks by Ernest H. Rankin 1958-1961 

Democracy Speeches: "Our Democratic Faith;" "The Role of the College in the Nuclear Age;" "The Road We Must Travel" to school boards; "Continuing Education: The Answer to Academic Obsolescence;" "Our Educational Heritage," Alma College commencement 1956-1967 

Democracy Speeches, outlines, notes--includes "The Record Speaks;" "Our Most Neglected Asset;" "A Sense of Gratitude" 1967, undated 

Speech Outline--"Four Freedoms" 1956 

Harden's Early Presidential Speeches--Inauguration; "Don't Be Afraid of the Future;" "Probate Judges;" "Adult Education;" "Faculty Load;" "Junior College Situation in Michigan" 1957, 1958, undated 

Faculty Meeting and Dinner Speeches for John D. Pierce Parent-Faculty Organization 1956-1966 

Harden Speech outlines--Student Assemblies and Convocations 1956-1963 

Harden Speech outlines--Student Assemblies and Convocations 1958-1967 

Michigan Week Speeches, Educational Poetry and Quotes 1958-1959 

Speech--"Critical Issues in Higher Education" 1960 

Speeches: Citizens' Conference, "Who Shall Be Educated;" Aquinas College, "Time to Get Started;" Michigan Road Builders; Michigan Health Association; Charlevoix [Vocational Education]; "The Challenge to the Superintendency-1960;" "Remarks to Opening Session A.S.T." "Wives and Children;" Port Huron Pre-School Conference; Billings Montana, "Some ABC's of Working with Parents;" Michigan Counselors' Association, "Toward a Profession of Counseling" 1960 

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Box 5 of 5 

Scope and Contents note

Some speeches have the same titles, but can be significantly different


Speeches regarding Northern Michigan College and the Upper Peninsula 1956-1966 

Speeches: Marshall, Michigan, "What Makes Your Community Tick?""The Changing Role of Higher Education;" TV Program [demands for educated brain power]; UPEPC [Upper Peninsula---?]; "Education-A United Front;" "Our Most Decisive Weapon [Educated Society];" Tri-County Safety Council, Marinette, Wisconsin; "Meeting with John D. Pierce Parents;" "Tri-County Safety Conference" 1960-963 

Speeches: "Ability to Get Along with Others;" Ishpeming Rotary; "The Problem of Education;" County School Administrators; Painesdale Alumni; Lansing, "Portrait of a Great Teacher;" Naperville, Illinois, "Superior Teaching is the Goal;" Des Moines, Iowa, "Portrait of a Good Board Member;" Billings, Montana, "Today's Teachers" 1958-1960 

Speeches: Mankato, Minnesota, "Looking Ahead to What?" Detroit, "This One Thing I Do;" Grand Rapids Junior College Convocation, "This One Thing I Do;" "Testimonial Dinner in Honor of Dominic Jacobetti" by Harold E. Sponberg; Alumni Homecoming Banquet; American Society for Public Administration, "So You Want to be an Executive;" Les Scott Eulogy; "Some Basic Qualities of a Leader' 1964-1983 

Speeches--Commencement: St. Luke's School of Nursing; Lansing Eastern, "This One Thing I Do;" "Education For What?" Central Michigan University, "Dollars are Not Enough;" Port Huron, "This One Thing I Do;" Brimley, "This One Thing I Do;" Menominee, "The Big Decision;" Michigan State University [by Osborn Elliot, Newsweek Magazine] 1957-1972 

Speeches: Welcome-Medical Professionals; "To Whom Much is Given;" "Don't Be Afraid of the Future;" Summer convocation at Eastern Michigan University; "Time Out for Responsibility;" Lansing, "Portrait of a Great Teacher;" "The Next Ten Years...[Economic Development Committee] 1958-1959 

Speeches: Pre-School Conference-Escanaba; "An Ounce of Prevention;" Trade Association Speech; Sault Ste Marie, Michigan [Traffic fatalities] 1957, 1959 

Speeches: "Awakening to the Importance of New Trends in Education for a Changing World;" "Where Have We Failed?" "Dining In--Air Force Officers;" "The Triumph of Acceptance;" "The Superintendant as an Able Leader;" "The Role of Education in the Solution of the Problems of Juvenile Delinquents' 1961 

Memorial Service Pamphlet-- A Celebration of The Life of Edgar L. Harden, PH.D. 

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