President William C. Fels, 1957-1964

Permanent URI for this community

Series Biographical/Historical Note: William Carl Fels was the fourth president of Bennington College. He was born in 1916 in New York City. He graduated with his B.A. from Columbia University in 1937, and received his M.A. in English at Columbia in 1940. President Fels came to Bennington with experience in educational administration and finance, having worked for Columbia, the College Entrance Examination Board, and the Ford Foundation College Grants Program prior to his appointment as president of Bennington College. After being hospitalized for cancer treatment for over two months, President Fels died in November 1964. During President Fels’ tenure, two college buildings, the Edward Clark Crossett Library (1959) and a central heating plant and maintenance building (1963), were constructed. The college also began planning for a gradual expansion in the size of the student body from 350 to 600 by the early 1970’s, and began preliminary plans for a parallel expansion of the physical plant. Under the leadership of President Fels, Bennington returned federal aid under the National Defense Education Act because of a requirement that required students to sign loyalty oaths, joining other colleges such as Harvard, Antioch, Goucher, and Reed (1959). The Fels series also includes documents created by Acting President Thomas Brockway (Spring 1964) and Acting President Harry W. Pearson (September 1964-July 1965). Please see the personal papers of William C. Fels (currently unprocessed) for materials relating to Fels’ work with the College Entrance Examination Board, the Ford Foundation, and overseas education, as well as miscellaneous documents relating to his publications, teaching, travel, and other pursuits.


Collections in this Community

Now showing 1 - 9 of 9