Processed by Sheri Brewer; machine-readable finding aid created by Hilary Writt
Thomas Jackson Coates Papers
Eastern Kentucky University ArchivesRichmond, Kentucky 40475-3102
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], Papers of Thomas Jackson Coates, 77A2, University Archives, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond.
2.25 Cubic Feet, 1, 450 items, 6 boxes
Thomas Jackson Coates was born on March 17, 1867, in Pikeville, Kentucky. He received his elementary and high school training in Pikeville and went on to State College, Lexington, and later to Southern Normal School, Bowling Green, where he earned the B.A. degree in 1904 and the M.A. degree in 1906. After teaching in the rural schools of Kentucky from 1883-1889, he served successively as principal of the Greenville public schools (1889-1895) and superintendent of schools at both Princeton (1895-1907) and Richmond (1907-1911). Coates became state supervisor of rural schools in 1911 and served in this capacity until his appointment in 1916 as the third president of Eastern Kentucky State Normal School.
Well-known for lectures given at teachers institutes for many years, Coates won acknowledgment as the primary source of Eastern's growth and improvement. During his term as president, he secured appropriations for construction of four major campus buildings, Cammack, Crabbe Library, Burnham Hall and the Coates Administration Building, in addition to the purchase of the new Stateland Farm. More importantly, Coates' administration saw the school's standards for teacher preparation greatly improved and the two year academic program extended to four years with a resultant increase in the variety of course offerings and the creation of many new departments.
Coates died on March 17, 1928, while still serving as president. Homer E. Cooper served in the interim until Herman Lee Donovan succeeded to the presidency on June 1, 1928.
The Thomas J. Coates collection is composed of six boxes of material relating to Coates' presidency at Eastern Kentucky State Normal School (1916-1928). The material covers only a small part of Coates' term of service, primarily the last two years. Unfortunately, many of the records from this period of the university's history were either destroyed or lost through the years. The majority of the papers cover general correspondence from 1926-1928. Also included are a fragmentary collection of business records that pre-date and follow his presidency and student teacher record cards from 1921-1922. The material is arranged in alphabetical order by subject, then chronologically within each folder, except the general correspondence which is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.
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