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Robert Llewellyn Sumwalt Papers, 1914-1977
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Consisting of general correspondence, 1914-1977; University of South Carolina correspondence, 1958-1975; topical files, including materials regarding Sumwalt's connections with Pierre S. DuPont and the DuPont Company, Easter Seal Society, Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge [an educational civic organization promoting good citizenship and patriotism], USC Board member Rutledge Osborne, and others; and activities at the University of South Carolina Extension Centers [the two- year and four-year campuses]; and addresses/speeches.

Extent: 2.5 linear ft. (2 cartons)
Location: Annex
Materials stored offsite; advance notice required.

USC Archives holds an separate collection of Presidents' records
documenting Sumwalt's tenure as President of USC

Biographical Sketch

Engineer; 22nd president of USC, serving as acting president from 1957 to 1959 and president from 1959 to 1962; joined USC faculty in 1926 as associate professor of civil engineering and became full professor in 1931 and dean of the School of Engineering in 1943; Sumwalt received the B.S. degree and the professional degree of Civil Engineer from the University of Delaware, and the S.B.C.E. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology; University of Delaware also conferred upon him the honorary Doctor of Science degree.

Series List

Correspondence (Box 1)
Speeches (Box 2)

Container List

General Correspondence:

1914-1920. Material relating to his undergraduate career at Delaware College and graduate work at MIT, including his undergraduate transcript, 1920 MIT Class Day and Commencement programs.

1918. The Design of A Type Emergency Mill Building, Sumwalt’s undergraduate thesis, Delaware College.

1921-1924. Materials include Sumwalt’s 1921 thesis on the construction of a mental hospital for advanced degree in Civil Engineering from Delaware College, correspondence re: efforts to publish thesis, employment and community activities.

1925-1929. Employment and community activities, including incorporation papers for Robert L. Sumwalt, Inc., and All Saints Cemetery Development Company, correspondence with Engineering Dean Walter Rowe re: Sumwalt joining USC faculty, Kiwanis Club.

1930. Primarily correspondence and reports re: Kiwanis Club and vocational guidance activities, including draft for What Am I Going To Do?, published by the University of South Carolina.

1931-1932. Correspondence and reports re: Kiwanis Club and vocational guidance, South Carolina certification to practice Civil Engineering, reports as Valuation Engineer for the SC Power Rate Investigating Committee, USC engineering curricula, vita.

1933. Primarily correspondence re: Engineering curriculum, topographic mapping with the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, construction of Columbia Stadium. 1934. Materials include South Caroline Society of Engineers, engineering lecture series, engineering work outside of USC, construction and maintenance of Columbia Stadium, including a “Stadium Diary.”

1935-1936. Includes letter to former USC President Samuel Chiles Mitchell, thanking him for the influence he had on Sumwalt’s life, engineering accreditation, stadium maintenance, Sanitary Sciences and Public Health Engineering, proposed sewage disposal plant.

1937. Topics include professional activities, proposed course in Public Health Engineering, geodetic and topographic surveying and mapping (including a South Carolina Mapping Plan by Sumwalt), legislation and funding for a national mapping program.

1938-1941. Materials on South Carolina survey projects, aerial photography and mapping, University committees, Public Works Administration projects, Sumwalt serving as acting Campus Engineer, activities in support of World War II.

1942-1955. Topics include activities in support of WWII, including the State Council of Defense, professional activities outside of USC, University construction, Rene Pleven convocation, School of Engineering Development Program.

1958-1960. Correspondence re: Sumwalt’s community and professional activities, family matters, and election as President of USC.

1961-62. Correspondence re: his retirement, community and professional activities.

1963-77. Correspondence re: his retirement, community and professional activities.


Biographical information. Includes clippings and other biographical sketches of Sumwalt, news releases re: donation of his papers to USC Archives, death of Mrs. Sumwalt.

Class of 1910. Correspondence re: reunion.

DuPont, Pierre S. 1918-1932. Topics include duPont paying Sumwalt’s school expenses at MIT, his progress in school, employment in engineering and insurance, stock market and financial advice from duPont.

DuPont, Pierre S. 1938-1954. Primarily personal matters. Topics include tax legislation, President McKissick’s death, DuPont Company establishing site at Camden, duPont family genealogical information.

Easter Seal Society 1964-70. Correspondence and news releases and speeches re: Sumwalt’s participation as 1965 Chairman.

Engineer of the Year Award 1959. Two copies of the award’s information packet on Sumwalt.

Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge 1962-71. Materials on Sumwalt’s participation in, including copies of his speeches.

McKissick, James Rion. 1934-1944. Includes letter with University Trustee Hugh O. Hanna re: McKissick’s burial on campus; primarily personal matters, including finances.

Osborne, Rutledge. Materials on Osborne’s service to USC, including Sumwalt’s tribute to him.

Post Office Positions 1963-69. Correspondence re: Sumwalt’s service as member of Advisory Board.

Receptions 1958-1961. Arrangements for receptions held for new faculty, and student and staff functions.

Statements on USC Extension Centers 1958-1961. Remarks at and about USC Extension Centers, including Florence Center’s groundbreaking.

Sullivan Awards 1958-1962. Citations for presentation of awards.

Sumwalt Family History. Correspondence with a cousin in New Jersey and with a George Zumwalt about genealogical information.

USC 1908 and 1909 Football Team Reunions. Includes photographs of reunion (not dated), clippings of teams’ performances, reunion arrangements, team members’ whereabouts.

USC Correspondence 1958-1961. Correspondence, reports and proposals re: various USC programs and activities.

USC Correspondence 1962. Primarily personal and correspondence with USC personnel after Sumwalt’s retirement.

Sons of Confederate Veterans Speech. “Our University and the Confederacy.”

USC Correspondence 1963-75. Correspondence re: USC-related activities, including fund-raising, service on committees.

Addresses/Speeches: 1958-1960. Copies of speeches that focus on education and the University, including “What the University Means to Columbia,” “The Crisis in Higher Education,” and Sumwalt’s convocation address at Coker College.

1961. Remarks made to various clubs, meetings, and commencements. Topics include “The University Faces the Future,” “Our University: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow,” “The Obligation for Responsibility,” “Growth and Higher Education in South Carolina.”

Alumni 1958-1962. Primarily addresses to Alumni Association meetings, and meetings of the USC Education Foundation.

Athletic Functions 1957-1962. Primarily remarks made at football banquets and Gamecock Club meetings.

Board of Women Visitors 1960-61. Two welcome addresses.

Engineering Speeches and Addresses. Copies of speeches that focus on engineering, including “Engineering as a Career,” “The Shortage of Engineers and Scientists,” “The Engineer and His Profession,” and “The Impact of Engineering on the Society.”

Great University Fund Meetings 1961-62. Fund-raising remarks.

South Caroliniana Society 1958-1962. Remarks at annual meetings and presentations of collections.

USC Students 1957-1962. Includes statements for publication in The Gamecock and Garnet and Black, welcome remarks to new students, Religious Emphasis Week participants and other student functions.

Welcome Addresses 1958-59. Welcome remarks to various off-campus groups or organizations meeting on campus.

Welcome Addresses 1960.

Welcome Addresses 1961-62.


This page updated 19 March 2004
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South Caroliniana Library
Manuscripts Division
The University of South Carolina
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