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W. W. Hagerty administration records

Identifier: UR-01-008

Scope and contents note

The records in this collection document the administrational activities of Drexel University between 1934 and 1994, but mostly encompass William W. Hagerty’s tenure as president between 1963 and 1984. The collection consists primarily of two sets of subject files. An earlier set includes mostly papers that Dr. Hagerty inherited from the previous president, James Creese; these papers document the transition from the Creese to the Hagerty administration. A later set of subject files was created by Dr. Hagerty and his staff and reflects decisions made during his tenure. The collection also includes the outgoing correspondence of Dr. Hagerty and his staff, several of Dr. Hagerty's speeches, and some reports submitted to Dr. Hagerty from leaders of the colleges and divisions of Drexel University.

The Hagerty collection has been arranged into the following nineteen series:

Series I Accreditation - Includes documentation from the Middles States Association and other organizations affiliated with certification of Drexel’s academic programs and approval of the PhD program.

Series II Administration - Comprised of information on various departments within the administrative offices and personnel records. Includes one subseries on W.W. Hagerty specifically.

Series III Alphabetical Subjects – Miscellaneous folders from the subject files, including material such as the Bicentennial Celebration and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Series IV Alumni - Contains reports on the university for alumni, documents pertaining to the alumni association and surveys for alumni.

Series V Commencement – Programs, schedules and other documentation from commencements dating from 1970 to 1984.

Series VI Committees - Consists of the many committees the university implemented for planning and creation of procedures.

Series VII Computing - Documentation on the planning and implementation of the birth of computing at Drexel University.

Series VIII Correspondence - Outgoing and incoming correspondence, largely in chronological order, mostly from President Hagerty’s term as president.

Series IX Development and Planning - Documentation on various planning initiatives during Hagerty’s tenure, including the Hershey Conference, Peaks of Progress and Three Quarter Century Fund.

Series X Events - Programs, speeches, invitations, and correspondence about various campus events.

Series XI Facilities - Involves the planning and construction of various campus buildings as well as information on previously existing buildings.

Series XII Faculty - Salaries, contracts, procedures, visiting professors and fellowships of the Drexel faculty.

Series XIII Finance - Documentation regarding financial departments within the university such as Comptroller and Treasurer. Also includes information on aid received from the state.

Series XIV Inauguration - Materials include congratulations from various dignitaries and correspondence regarding Hagerty’s inauguration.

Series XV Institutional Relationships - Records related to the external organizations with which Drexel was involved during Hagerty’s tenure as president. Also includes institutions on whose boards Hagerty sat as well as names of local and national committees on which he served.

Series XVI Schools and Colleges - Information regarding the schools and colleges of the university such as awards, fellowships and annual reports. Includes one subseries on the College of Business Administration.

Series XVII Speeches - Speeches included were given by Hagerty or other administrative officers at events or functions related to Drexel University and other external organizations. Some functions include commencements, dinners and conferences.

Series XVIII Students - Documentation about various student organizations or activities.

Series IXX Surveys/Questionnaires - Includes surveys and questionnaires from external organizations. Also contains correspondence, listings, reports, minutes, summaries, and a guide.

Several of President Hagerty’ major initiatives are supported in the collection such as the creation of an administrative data processing system, expansion of the campus, the Hershey Planning Conference, Three Quarter Century Fund and other developmental projects. Also documented are various university activities and procedures including student organizations, faculty data, alumni information and events such as commencements and inaugurations.

Formats in most series include correspondence, memorandum, reports, meeting minutes, brochures, pamphlets, news clippings, publications and event programs. Graphic materials in the form of photographs and architectural drawings and plans are also included.


  • 1934-1994


Conditions Governing Access

Student and faculty records are restricted for seventy five years from date of creation. Consult the university archives' policy on access to records for further information.

Biographical Note

Born in Holyoke, Minnesota, on June 10, 1916, William Walsh Hagerty was educated as an engineer, earning an undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota and master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Michigan. He served as instructor in mechanical engineering at Villanova University and University of Cincinnati, becoming a full profesor while teaching at University of Michigan and was appointed Dean of the School of Engineering at the University of Delaware. Before coming to Drexel, he was dean of the college of engineering and director of the bureau of engineering research at the University of Texas. Drexel’s seventh president, Dr. Hagerty served from 1963 to 1984. During Dr. Hagerty’s tenure, the university grew to become the third largest university in the Philadelphia area. The university expanded from ten acres to forty, the operating budget grew from $8 million to $80 million per year, and enrollment grew to 12,500 students. Dr. Hagerty presided over the renaming of the Drexel Institute of Technology to Drexel University and the establishment of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the creation of the College of Science, and the Continuing Professional Education Program. In 1965, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania approved a doctoral program for Drexel. The Graduate School began it's cooperative education program at this time as well. In 1983, Drexel became one of the first universities in the country to require students to purchase personal computers to use for their studies. Dr. Hagerty oversaw the completion of the Three Quarter Century Fund in 1966, which raised over 18 million for the physical plant of the Institute as well as faculty development. The Peaks of Progress campaign ran from 1972-1978, and raised over its 36 milllion dollar goal for faculty development, scholarships, fellowships, teaching support and operating funds. In the 21 years he served as president, the campus expanded by about 1,350,000 square feet.

A well-known educator in the field of science and engineering, Dr. Hagerty served as an adviser to NASA and a board member of the National Science Foundation. President Lyndon Johnson, a longtime friend of Dr. Hagerty’s, appointed him to the board of the Communications Satellite Corporation (COMSAT) in 1965. For several years Dr. Hagerty served as chairman of the Advisory Committee of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He served on the boards of Thomas Jefferson University, the Martin Marietta Corporation, the Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company, and the University City Science Center, WHYY among others.

While at Drexel, Dr. Hagerty recieved several awards and honors. In 1970, he received the Engineer of the Year award from the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers, the Minnesota Outstanding Achievement Award in 1969 by the University of Minnesota Alumni Association and the University of Michigan Sesquicentennial Award in 1967. In 1986, Dr. Hagerty died of cancer in Savannah, Georgia at the age of 69.


34 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



This collection contains records from President William W. Hagerty's term as president of Drexel University, as well as some overlapping records before and after his tenure. Materials regarding President Hagerty's main initiatives such as computing, expansion of the campus and student enrollment, the creation of the PhD program and graduate school co-op program and relationships with many external organizations are included. Also included are correspondence, speeches and other documents regarding the overall administration of the university during this time period.

Related material

See UR 1.7 James Creese Administrative Records at the Drexel University Archives, UR 1.11 Office of the President Records, UR 3.18 Office of Development records, UR 3.06 Micro computing Program records, UR 10.003 Buildings and Campus Reference Collection, Drexel University Archives for more information on W.W. Hagerty.

W. W. Hagerty administration records1934-1994
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Finding aid is in English

Repository Details

Part of the Drexel University Archives Repository

W. W. Hagerty Library
3300 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
215.895.2070 (Fax)