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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the University of Chicago Faculty Wives' Dinners Records 1936-1985

© 2000 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

University of Chicago. Faculty Wives' Dinners. Records

Dates:

1936-1985(inclusive)

Size:

5 linear ft. (10 boxes)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,

1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637

Abstract:

The records of the Faculty Wives' Dinners comprise 5 linear feet of material, spanning the years 1936 to 1985. The records pertain to the organization of dinners for the wives of University of Chicago faculty and trustees, given annually from 1936 through 1980. The collection contains manuscripts of speeches, song lyrics, and play scripts; correspondence among event organizers and with University administrators; invitations and programs; and reports, committee records, and financial material. Also included in the collection is a small amount of material not pertaining to the Faculty Wives' Dinners. This material consists of manuscripts and grant applications for the 1980 Quadrangle Club Revels, faculty and alumni periodicals, and programs from amateur theater productions.

Information on Use

Citation

When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is:

University of Chicago. Faculty Wives' Dinners. Records, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Historical Note

From 1936 to 1980, volunteer committees organized social dinners in the Quadrangle Club for the wives of University of Chicago faculty and trustees. The events were planned as a counterpart to the annual dinner given by University Trustees for faculty members.

The Faculty Wives' events included entertainment productions as well as social dinners. Early productions were often unrehearsed theatrical readings, skits, song recitals, and games. Beginning in 1950, the productions took the form of more elaborate theatrical events, with the presentation of original material whose subject matter satirized current events and campus life. These productions became a campus tradition. Dress rehearsals were attended by the participants' husbands and children, members of the campus community, media reporters, and photographers. The content of these productions was socially attuned and could be sharply witty, as in the 1970 satire of the women's movement, "Never Underestimate…" which met with objections from many female students and faculty members.

Considerable time and effort were devoted to the event at every stage, including fund-raising and underwriting, designing and producing invitations and programs, planning meals for hundreds of guests, and composing, producing, and performing the theatrical programs. Committees assigned to each task reported to the General Chairman and the Treasurer for the event. These in turn reported to the Chair of the Board of Trustees

Beginning in the 1970s, social and generational changes resulted in diminishing interest and support for the tradition, which was ended in 1980 under the administration of President Hannah Gray. The last Faculty Wives' Dinner took place in 1980, and a reunion was held in 1985.

Scope Note

The records of the Faculty Wives' Dinners comprise 5 linear feet of material, spanning the years 1936 to 1985. The records pertain to the organization of dinners for the wives of University of Chicago faculty and trustees, given annually from 1936 through 1980. The collection contains manuscripts of speeches, song lyrics, and play scripts; correspondence among event organizers and with University administrators; invitations and programs; and reports, committee records, and financial material.

The collection has been arranged into six series. Series I, Events Files, is arranged chronologically and contains material related to the organization of Dinners and theater productions from 1937 to 1979. Series II, Officers' Reports, spans the years 1936 to 1979 and contains reports submitted by committee chairs to the General Chairman and University administrators. Series III, Invitations, Programs, and Talent Search Cards, spans the years 1942 to 1979. Series IV, Committee Records, contains material used within various organizing committees from 1959 to 1980. Series V, Scripts, Songs, and Production Materials, contains material used during the organization and performance of the amateur theater performances which followed dinners from 1950 to 1980. Series VI, Related Campus and Theater Organizations, contains material not pertaining to Faculty Wives' Dinners; this series, spanning the years 1951 to 1980, includes programs and other material related to a variety of amateur theater groups, as well as a small number of faculty and alumni periodicals.

Related Resources

The following resources are located in the Special Collections Research Center:

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/women.html

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/theart.html

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Series I: Events Files

Series I, Events Files, covers the period 1937 to 1979. This series consists of material related to the organization and production of the annual Faculty Wives' Dinners. Material includes scripts, song lyrics, speech manuscripts, correspondence among committee members and to University administrators, programs, schedules, cast and crew lists, budgets and financial material, and facsimiles of newspaper clippings. As organization of dinners generally began in October and November for January and February events, this series is arranged chronologically according to the date of the dinner to which the material is related.

Box 1   Folder 1

Table chart,

1937

Box 1   Folder 2

Table chart,

1938

Box 1   Folder 3

Table chart,

1939

Box 1   Folder 4

Table chart,

1940

Box 1   Folder 5

Table charts, program, notes,

1941

Box 1   Folder 6

Table chart,

1942

Box 1   Folder 7

Table charts,

1946

Box 1   Folder 8

Table chart,

1947

Box 1   Folder 9

Table chart,

1950

Box 1   Folder 10

Welcome speech, program, cast and crew list, guest list,

1952

Box 1   Folder 11

General Chairman's welcome speech,

1953

Box 1   Folder 12

General Chairman's welcome speech,

1954

Box 1   Folder 13

Facsimile of newspaper clipping,

1957

Box 1   Folder 14

Correspondence,

1962

Box 1   Folder 15

Correspondence, financial material,

1963

Box 1   Folder 16

Correspondence, dress rehearsal program,

1964

Box 1   Folder 17

Correspondence,

1965

Box 1   Folder 18

Rehearsal schedule,

1966

Box 1   Folder 19

Rehearsal schedules, scripts,

1967

Box 1   Folder 20

Facsimiles of newspaper clippings, notes,

1968

Box 1   Folder 21

Manuscripts, correspondence, rehearsal schedule, facsimiles of newspaper clippings,

1969

Box 1   Folder 22

Script, cast and crew list, correspondence, photographs, facsimiles of newspaper clippings,

1970

Box 1   Folder 23

Manuscripts, cast and crew list, correspondence, notes, 1971

Box 1   Folder 24

Correspondence,

1972

Box 1   Folder 25

General Chairman's welcome speech, handwritten invitation,

1973

Box 1   Folder 26

Manuscripts, correspondence, notes, facsimiles of newspaper clippings,

1974

Box 1   Folder 27

Manuscripts, correspondence, notes, 1975

Box 1   Folder 28

Manuscripts, correspondence, cast and crew list, financial material, notes, facsimiles of newspaper clippings,

1976

Box 1   Folder 29

Notes,

1976

Box 1   Folder 30

Correspondence, financial material,

1977

Box 1   Folder 31

Manuscripts, cast and crew list, correspondence, financial material, notes, facsimiles of newspaper clippings,

1978

Box 1   Folder 32

Sheet music, financial material,

1978

Box 1   Folder 33

Cast list, rehearsal schedule, correspondence, financial material, notes, facsimiles of newspaper clippings,

1979

Box 1   Folder 34

Cast and crew list,

1979

Box 1   Folder 35

Notes, correspondence,

n.d.

Series II: Officers' Reports

This series contains reports completed by the General Chairman, Treasurer, chairs of subcommittees, and other officers involved in the organization of the Faculty Wives' Dinners from the years 1936 to 1978. Committees were assigned to duties such as entertainment, invitations, dinner, decorations, seating, programs, press publicity, and dance. The reports provide details of the officer's or committee's preparations for that year's dinner. After the event itself, reports were submitted to the General Chairman of the Faculty Wives Committee, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and the Vice Chancellor of the University. The reports were also used as reference by subsequent committees and officers. This series is arranged chronologically.

Box 2   Folder 1

Officers' Reports,

1936-1947

Box 2   Folder 2

Ledger pages,

1936-1954

Box 2   Folder 3

List of committee members,

1940

Box 2   Folder 4

Officers' Reports,

1948-1954

Box 2   Folder 5

Seating Committee Report,

1950

Box 2   Folder 6

Officers' Reports,

1951

Box 2   Folder 7

Officers' Reports,

1952

Box 2   Folder 8

Officers' Reports,

1953

Box 2   Folder 9

Officers' Reports,

1954

Box 2   Folder 10

Officers' Reports,

1955

Box 2   Folder 11

Officers' Reports,

1956

Box 2   Folder 12

Record book,

1956

Box 2   Folder 13

Officers' Reports,

1957

Box 2   Folder 14

Officers' Reports,

1958-1959

Box 2   Folder 15

Officers' Reports,

1960

Box 2   Folder 16

Officers' Reports,

1961

Box 2   Folder 17

Officers' Reports,

1962

Box 2   Folder 18

Officers' Reports,

1963

Box 2   Folder 19

Officers' Reports,

1964

Box 2   Folder 20

Producer's Report,

1964

Box 2   Folder 21

Officers' Reports,

1965

Box 2   Folder 22

Officers' Reports,

1966

Box 2   Folder 23

Producer's Report,

1966

Box 3   Folder 1

Officers' Reports,

1967

Box 3   Folder 2

Officers' Reports,

1968

Box 3   Folder 3

Producer's Report,

1968

Box 3   Folder 4

Officers' Reports,

1969

Box 3   Folder 5

Producer's Report,

1969

Box 3   Folder 6

Officers' Reports,

1970

Box 3   Folder 7

Producer's Reports,

1970

Box 3   Folder 8

Officers' Reports,

1971

Box 3   Folder 9

Officers' Reports,

1972

Box 3   Folder 10

Officers' Reports,

1973

Box 3   Folder 11

Officers' Reports,

1974

Box 3   Folder 12

Officers' Reports,

1975

Box 3   Folder 13

Producer's Report,

1975

Box 3   Folder 14

Officers' Reports,

1976

Box 3   Folder 15

Producer's Report,

1976

Box 3   Folder 16

Officers' Reports,

1977

Box 3   Folder 17

Officers' Reports,

1978

Box 3   Folder 18

Producer's Report,

1978

Box 3   Folder 19

Officers' Reports,

1979

Box 3   Folder 20

Officers' Reports,

n.d.

Series III: Invitations, Programs, and Talent Search Cards

This series consists of printed invitations, programs, and talent search cards produced for Faculty Wives' Dinners, 1942 to 1979. Invitations and programs were sometimes designed and produced by members of the Invitations Committee, but were more often professionally designed and printed. Participants indicated their volunteer interests on "Talent Search Cards," which were collected at dinners and used to assemble committees for the upcoming year. Handwritten notes and correspondence are found among some of the materials. This series is arranged chronologically. Samples of invitations and programs are also found in Series II: Committee Reports and Series IV: Committee Records.

Box 4   Folder 1

Invitation,

1942

Box 4   Folder 2

Invitation, programs,

1946

Box 4   Folder 3

Invitation,

1947

Box 4   Folder 4

Program,

1950

Box 4   Folder 5

Invitation, programs,

1952

Box 4   Folder 6

Invitations, program,

1953

Box 4   Folder 7

Invitation, program,

1954

Box 4   Folder 8

Invitation,

1955

Box 4   Folder 9

Invitation,

1956

Box 4   Folder 10

Invitations, programs,

1957

Box 4   Folder 11

Program,

1958

Box 4   Folder 12

Program,

1959

Box 4   Folder 13

Programs,

1960

Box 4   Folder 14

Invitation, programs,

1961

Box 4   Folder 15

Invitations, programs,

1962

Box 4   Folder 16

Invitation, talent search card,

1963

Box 4   Folder 17

Invitations, programs, talent search cards,

1964

Box 5   Folder 1

Invitations, program, talent search card,

1965

Box 5   Folder 2

Talent search cards,

1966

Box 5   Folder 3

Invitations, program,

1967

Box 5   Folder 4

Talent search cards,

1967

Box 5   Folder 5

Program,

1968

Box 5   Folder 6

Talent search cards,

1968

Box 5   Folder 7

Invitations, programs, talent search cards,

1969

Box 5   Folder 8

Invitation, programs,

1970

Box 5   Folder 9

Invitation,

1971

Box 5   Folder 10

Invitation, programs, talent search cards,

1972

Box 5   Folder 11

Invitations, programs,

1973

Box 5   Folder 12

Invitations, programs,

1974

Box 5   Folder 13

Invitation, programs, talent search cards,

1975

Box 5   Folder 14

Invitation, programs,

1976

Box 5   Folder 15

Talent search cards,

1976

Box 5   Folder 16

Invitations, programs,

1977

Box 5   Folder 17

Talent search cards,

1977

Box 5   Folder 18

Invitations, programs,

1978

Box 5   Folder 19

Talent search cards,

1978

Box 5   Folder 20

Invitations, programs,

1979

Box 5   Folder 21

Talent search cards,

1979

Series IV: Committee Records

Series IV, Committee Records, covers the period 1959 to 1980 and is arranged alphabetically by committee name, then chronologically. This series contains the records of subcommittees involved in organizing the Faculty Wives' Dinners for each year. Included are the records of the Dance, Invitations, Production, Programs, and Publicity Committees. Materials include budgets, correspondence, manuscripts, press releases, notes, newspaper clippings, copies of officers' reports, and paste-ups and samples of invitations and programs. While the materials in Series I, Officer's Reports were turned into committee chairs and university administrators, the materials in this series were used as records and reference within individual committees. Material related to the Invitations Committee is also found in Series III, Invitations and programs. Material related to the Production Committee is also found in Series V, Scripts, Songs, and Related Materials.

Box 6   Folder 1

Dance Committee, contracts, correspondence, and notes,

1970-1980

Box 6   Folder 2

Invitations Committee, notes,

1936-1949

Box 6   Folder 3

Invitations Committee, list of committee members,

1936-1978

Box 6   Folder 4

Invitations Committee, officer's report,

1941

Box 6   Folder 5

Invitations Committee, invitations, designs for invitations,

1946-1951

Box 6   Folder 6

Invitations Committee, officer's report,

1951

Box 6   Folder 7

Invitations Committee, officer's report, invitation, correspondence,

1952

Box 6   Folder 8

Invitations Committee, officer's report, invitation,

1953

Box 6   Folder 9

Invitations Committee, officer's report, invitation,

1954

Box 6   Folder 10

Invitations Committee, officer's report, invitation,

1955

Box 6   Folder 11

Invitations Committee, officer's report, invitation,

1956

Box 6   Folder 12

Invitations Committee, officer's report, invitation,

1957

Box 6   Folder 13

Invitations Committee, officer's report, invitation,

1958

Box 6   Folder 14

Invitations Committee, officer's report, invitation,

1959

Box 6   Folder 15

Invitations Committee, officer's report, invitation,

1960

Box 6   Folder 16

Invitations Committee, officer's report, invitation,

1961

Box 6   Folder 17

Invitations Committee, officer's report, invitation,

1962

Box 6   Folder 18

Invitations Committee, officer's report, invitation, notes,

1963

Box 6   Folder 19

Invitations Committee, officer's report, invitation,

1964

Box 6   Folder 20

Invitations Committee, officer's report, invitation,

1965

Box 6   Folder 21

Invitations Committee, officer's report,

1966

Box 6   Folder 22

Invitations Committee, officer's report, invitation,

1967

Box 6   Folder 23

Invitations Committee, officer's report, invitation, talent search card,

1968

Box 6   Folder 24

Invitations Committee, officer's report, invitation,

1969

Box 6   Folder 25

Invitations Committee, officer's report, invitation,

1970

Box 6   Folder 26

Invitations Committee, officer's report, invitation,

1971

Box 6   Folder 27

Invitations Committee, officer's report, invitation,

1972

Box 6   Folder 28

Invitations Committee, officer's report, invitation,

1973

Box 6   Folder 29

Invitations Committee, officer's report, invitations, program,

1974

Box 6   Folder 30

Invitations Committee, officer's report, list of committee members, invitation, notes,

1975

Box 6   Folder 31

Invitations Committee, officer's report, list of committee members, invitation, program, notes,

1976

Box 6   Folder 32

Invitations Committee, officer's report, list of committee members, invitation, program,

1977

Box 6   Folder 33

Invitations Committee, officer's report, list of committee members, invitation,

1978

Box 6   Folder 34

Production Committee, list of committee members, schedules, notes, 1974-1978

Box 7   Folder 1

Programs Committee, officer's report, program,

1960

Box 7   Folder 2

Programs Committee, officer's report, program,

1961

Box 7   Folder 3

Programs Committee, officer's report, program, draft of program,

1962

Box 7   Folder 4

Programs Committee, officer's report, program,

1963

Box 7   Folder 5

Programs Committee, officer's report, programs,

1964

Box 7   Folder 6

Programs Committee, officer's report, programs,

1965

Box 7   Folder 7

Programs Committee, officer's report, programs,

1966

Box 7   Folder 8

Programs Committee, officer's report, programs,

1967

Box 7   Folder 9

Programs Committee, officer's report, programs,

1968

Box 7   Folder 10

Programs Committee, officer's report, programs, cast and crew list, notes,

1969

Box 7   Folder 11

Programs Committee, officer's report, programs,

1970

Box 7   Folder 12

Programs Committee, officer's report, program,

1971

Box 7   Folder 13

Programs Committee, officer's report, program,

1972

Box 7   Folder 14

Programs Committee, officer's report, program, invoice,

1973

Box 7   Folder 15

Programs Committee, officer's report, program, talent search card, invoice,

1974

Box 7   Folder 16

Programs Committee, officer's report, program, talent search card, invoice,

1975

Box 7   Folder 17

Programs Committee, drafts of program and talent search card,

1976

Box 7   Folder 18

Programs Committee, officer's report,

1977

Box 7   Folder 19

Programs Committee, officer's report, program, invitations, talent search card, business cards,

1978

Box 7   Folder 20

Programs Committee, officer's report, invitation, draft of invitation, talent search card, cast and crew lists, correspondence, program, manuscripts, notes,

1979

Box 7   Folder 21

Publicity Committee, facsimiles of newspaper clipping,

1959

Box 7   Folder 22

Publicity Committee, correspondence,

1964

Box 7   Folder 23

Publicity Committee, correspondence, manuscripts, facsimiles of newspaper clipping,

1965

Box 7   Folder 24

Publicity Committee, correspondence, manuscripts, facsimiles of newspaper clippings, dress rehearsal schedule,

1966

Box 7   Folder 25

Publicity Committee, press release, officer's report, facsimiles of newspaper clippings,

1967

Box 7   Folder 26

Publicity Committee, officer's report, press releases, facsimiles of newspaper clippings,

1968

Box 7   Folder 27

Publicity Committee, officer's report, press releases, facsimile of newspaper clippings, dress rehearsal program, manuscripts, notes,

1969

Box 7   Folder 28

Publicity Committee, press release, officer's report, dress rehearsal program, facsimiles of newspaper clippings,

1970

Box 7   Folder 29

Publicity Committee, officer's report, press release, facsimiles of newspaper clippings, rehearsal schedule, manuscripts,

1971

Box 7   Folder 30

Publicity Committee, officer's report, press release, correspondence, facsimiles of newspaper clippings,

1972

Box 7   Folder 31

Publicity Committee, officer's report, press release, facsimiles of newspaper clippings, manuscripts,

1973

Box 7   Folder 32

Publicity Committee, officer's report, press releases, notes, facsimiles of newspaper clippings, manuscripts,

1975

Box 7   Folder 33

Publicity Committee, press release, facsimiles of newspaper clippings, manuscripts,

1976

Box 7   Folder 34

Publicity Committee, press releases, form letters, list of committee members,

1977

Box 7   Folder 35

Publicity Committee, press release,

1978

Box 7   Folder 36

Publicity Committee. Manuscripts, correspondence, notes,

n.d.

Series V: Scripts, Songs, and Production Materials

Series V, Scripts, Songs, and Production Materials, covers the period 1950 to 1985. This series is arranged chronologically. Series V contains draft and final versions of play scripts, song lyrics, and sheet music composed for the theatrical productions of Faculty Wives' Dinners. Related material in this series includes notes, correspondence, schedules, and lists of cast and crew members. The content of this material, composed and produced by members of the Entertainment Committee, often satirizes current events and campus life at University of Chicago. Further material related to theatrical productions, including manuscripts of plays and songs, are also found in Series I, II, and IV.

Box 8   Folder 1

A Night at the Opera, song lyrics,

1950

Box 8   Folder 2

Midway Go Round, scripts, song lyrics, cast and crew lists, notes, 1956

Box 8   Folder 3

Universitas Chicaginensis Confidential, scripts, cast list,

1957

Box 8   Folder 4

Mocha Do About Nothing, scripts,

1958

Box 8   Folder 5

Three Phases of Eve, scripts, notes,

1959

Box 8   Folder 6

Trouble in Paradox, scripts, song lyrics,

1960

Box 8   Folder 7

Lark in a Humdrum Tree, script,

1961

Box 8   Folder 8

Madness at the Medici, scripts,

1962

Box 8   Folder 9

Ph.D., the Third Degree, script,

1963

Box 8   Folder 10

Next Year at Marienbad, scripts, song lyrics, rehearsal schedule,

1964

Box 8   Folder 11

Poly-Inorgani-Morphous-Pseudo-Counterphobic, scripts, song lyrics, rehearsal schedule,

1966

Box 8   Folder 12

The Secret Life of Mitty Walter, script, song lyrics, 1967

Box 8   Folder 13

Versa-Visa, song lyrics,

1968

Box 8   Folder 14

The Marry Chase, script, song lyrics, rehearsal schedule, continuity sheet, prop list,

1969

Box 9   Folder 1

Never Underestimate..., scripts, song lyrics, cast and crew list,

1970

Box 9   Folder 2

Creative Crookery, scripts, song lyrics, notes, correspondence,

1973

Box 9   Folder 3

The Women of Harper's Bazaar, scripts, rehearsal schedules, cast and crew lists, notes, correspondence,

1974

Box 9   Folder 4

Is the Water Safe to Drink? scripts,

1975

Box 9   Folder 5

1776 and All That, cast and crew list, 1976

Box 9   Folder 6

MMLXXVII, scripts, song lyrics, cast and crew list, correspondence, notes, facsimile of newspaper clipping,

1977

Box 9   Folder 7

MMLXXVII, sheet music,

1977

Box 9   Folder 8

A Touch of Genius, scripts, sheet music, cast list, correspondence, notes,

1978

Box 9   Folder 9

A Touch of Genius, sheet music, sign-up sheets,

1978

Box 9   Folder 10

La Meme Shows, scripts, song lyrics, sheet music, continuity sheet, cast list, rehearsal schedules, correspondence, notes,

1979

Box 9   Folder 11

La Meme Shows, scripts, notes, continuity sheets, sheet music,

1979

Box 9   Folder 12

The Last Show, script,

1980

Box 9   Folder 13

The Last Show, scripts, song lyrics, sheet music, continuity sheets, notes, correspondence,

1980

Box 9   Folder 14

Faculty Wives' Reunion, song lyrics, notes,

1985

Box 9   Folder 15

The Last Show, sheet music, notes,

1980

Series VI: Related Campus and Theater Organizations

This series contains materials associated with a variety of campus groups which, like the Faculty Wives Club, produced special events at the university. This series consists of event programs, correspondence, schedules, and other material related to the production of events and covers the period 1951 to 1980. The end of this series also contains a small number of University of Chicago faculty and alumni periodicals, as well as material related to amateur theater and charity groups unaffiliated with the University of Chicago.

Box 10   Folder 1

Acrotheatre, programs, continuity sheets, rehearsal schedules,

1953

Box 10   Folder 2

Acrotheatre, programs, continuity sheets, notes,

n.d.

Box 10   Folder 3

Quadrangle Club Revels, drafts of grant application,

1980

Box 10   Folder 4

Quadrangle Club Revels, scripts, correspondence, notes,

1980

Box 10   Folder 5

Quadrangle Club Revels, continuity charts,

1980

Box 10   Folder 6

University of Chicago Student Union, ...Simply the Best, program,

n.d.

Box 10   Folder 7

University Theater, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, program,

1953

Box 10   Folder 8

Miscellaneous amateur theater programs,

n.d.

Box 10   Folder 9

Faculty News Bulletin,

March 1952, June 1952, June 1953, May 1957

Box 10   Folder 10

Tower Topics,

July 1951

Box 10   Folder 11

University of Chicago Service League, yearbooks and calendar,

1977