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Kent (Raymond A.) Collection, 1923-1943, bulk 1929-1943.

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Archives Staff


Kent (Raymond A.) Collection


1923-1943, bulk 1929-1943


University Archives and Records CenterLouisville, Kentucky 40292

Conditions Governing Access note

No restrictions; open to researchers

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], Raymond A. Kent Collection, 1923-1943, bulk 1929-1943, University Archives and Records Center, University of Louisville, Louisville.


.25 Linear Feet


Raymond Asa Kent, ninth president of the University of Louisville (1929-1943), was born in Plymouth, Iowa, on July 21, 1883 to Thomas Oliver and Ellen Stevens Kent. He earned an A.B. from Cornell College (Mt. Vernon, Iowa) in 1903, and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1910 and 1917, respectively.

He began his career in education as principal of graded education in Fountain, Minnesota, in 1904 and served as superintendent of schools in two districts in Minnesota, before becoming an instructor of mathematics at State Normal School, Winona, Minnesota in 1909. Two years later, he became superintendent of schools in Winona, and two years after that, he became secretary of the Minnesota State Education Commission. In 1914 he became the principal of University High School and an assistant professor of education at the University of Minnesota. He moved on to become the superintendent of schools in Lawrence and professor of education at the University of Kansas in 1916, and in 1921 was named dean of that school of education and director of the summer session. His last appointment before coming to the University of Louisville was as dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Northwestern University, from 1923 to 1929. He served as president of the University of Louisville from 1929 until his sudden death in February 1943.

Kent is highly regarded as the president that improved educational standards at the university. Working with the deans, he encouraged each academic division to become fully accredited. He established night extension courses, the Division of Social Administration (later renamed the Kent School of Social Work), and the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes. He was supportive of the arts, establishing the School of Music and the development of a Fine Arts Department. He also developed a united administration and a retirement plan for the faculty. A strong supporter of academic freedom, his philosophy was, "We teach students to think, not what to think." A recognized scholar in the field of education, Kent was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Delta Kappa. He was also active in many professional organizations.

Active in the Louisville community, Kent was a president of the Rotary Club, a member of the Arts Club, the Pendennis Club, the University Club, and the Big Springs Golf Club. He served on the Executive Committee of the American Printing House for the Blind, the Kentucky Emergency Relief Commission, and the State Liquor Control Board, as well as national and international boards.

Kent married Frances Stanton Morey (1886-1964), of Winona, Minnesota, in 1911 and they had three children, Charles Stanton, Constance Frances, and Roger Betts. Kent was found dead of a heart attack aboard a train returning from Washington, D.C., on February 26, 1943.

Scope and Content

This collection of materials belonging to Raymond A. Kent was donated to the University Archives in 1997 by Louis English, MD. The donor was married to Kent's daughter Constance and sent the material to the university after her death. It consists mainly of correspondence, both outgoing and incoming, on a variety of topics including Dr. Kent's academic career, issues related to education, and the war in Europe. The collection includes correspondence with Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Bernard Flexner, Senators Alben Barkley and Albert Chandler, and a letter from President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

User Restrictions

The copyright interests in the Raymond A. Kent Collection, 1923-1943, bulk 1929-1943, have not been transferred to the University of Louisville. For further information, see the section on copyright in the regulations and Procedures of the Special Collections Library or consult a reference archivist.

Collection Inventory

Correspondence re: position at Northwestern University, 1923
[box: 1, folder: 1]
General correspondence, 1924 and 1927
[box: 1, folder: 2]
Correspondence re: position at the University of Louisville, 1929
[box: 1, folder: 3]
Correspondence with and re: Justice Louis D. Brandeis, 1929-1941
[box: 1, folder: 4]
Correspondence with National Education Association, 1931
[box: 1, folder: 5]
General correspondence, 1932-1935
[box: 1, folder: 6]
Correspondence with Wilfred Grenfell, 1933-1934
[box: 1, folder: 7]
Correspondence with Alfonzo Mendoza, 1934
[box: 1, folder: 8]
Correspondence re: the situation in Europe, 1934
[box: 1, folder: 9]
Correspondence with McConnon & Co., Winona, MN, 1934-1936
[box: 1, folder: 10]
General correspondence, 1936-1937
[box: 1, folder: 11]
Correspondence with and printed material re: Patty Smith Hill, 1937
[box: 1, folder: 12]
Correspondence with W.W. Charters and printed material re: "Cooperative Education in Liberal Arts Colleges,", 1937
[box: 1, folder: 13]
Correspondence with William F. Russell and printed material re: his address to the American Legion, 1938
[box: 1, folder: 14]
Correspondence with and writings by Leon Solomon, 1938
[box: 1, folder: 15]
General correspondence, 1938-1939
[box: 1, folder: 16]
Correspondence with Bernard Flexner and related printed material, 1939-1942
[box: 1, folder: 17]
Correspondence with Harlan Horner re: position at the University of the State of New York, 1940
[box: 1, folder: 18]
General correspondence, 1940-1941
[box: 1, folder: 19]
Correspondence re: war, "America First," sedition, 1941-1942
[box: 1, folder: 20]
Scope and Content Note:

Correspondents include: Senator Alben W. Barkley, Attorney General Francis Biddle, Senator Albert B. Chandler, Representative Emmet O'Neal, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Senator Robert Taft

University of Louisville Alumni Magazine, November, 1941
[box: 1, folder: 21]
Memorial letters and resolutions, 1943
[box: 1, folder: 22]
Mason, Alpheus Thomas, Brandeis and the Modern State, Washington, DC: National Home Library foundation, 1936
[box: 1, folder: 23]
Dilliard, Irving, ed. Mr. Justice Brandeis, Great American, St. Louis: Modern View Press, 1941
[box: 1, folder: 24]

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