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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Charles Whitney Gilkey Papers 1923-1941

© 2006 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Gilkey, Charles Whitney. Papers

Dates:

1923-1941

Size:

.25 linear ft. (1 box)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

The Charles Whitney Gilkey papers contain correspondence primarily concerning the University Chapel, and the Committee on the Presidency of the University (1928-1929). The collection also contains the minutes of the Commission for the Study of Moral and Religious Influence and Agencies in Higher Education, as well as several published articles by Gilkey.

Information on Use

Access

No restrictions.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Gilkey, Charles Whitney. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

The Dean of Rockefeller Memorial Chapel and representative of the University of Chicago, Charles W. Gilkey was born in Massachusetts on 3 July 1882. His parents were James H. Gilkey, and Mary Lottie Johnson. Gilkey's brother James Gordon also entered the ministry and became a reverend.

Educated in the United States, Gilkey also pursued graduated studies in Europe:

Harvard, A.B. 1903, A.M. 1904

Union Theological Seminary, B.D., 1908

Universities of Berlin and Marburg, 1908-1909

United Free DH. Coll. Glasgow, 1909-1910

New Coll. Edinburgh and Oxford University 1909-10

Hon. D.D. Williams 1925; Hillsdale College, 1925; Yale, 1927; Brown, 1928; Harvard, 1929; Colby, 1931

In 1910 the Hyde Park Baptist Church ordained Gilkey as their pastor and he remained there for 18 years. He married Geraldine Brown, a graduate of the University of Chicago (1911) on 26 July 1915. Together they had a daughter, Mary Jane, and a son, Langdon Brown. The family lived in Hyde Park, Chicago during the school year and summered in Maine.

Gilkey acted as a Trustee of the University of Chicago from 1919-1929. In 1928 he accepted the position of Dean of the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel of the University, which he would hold until 1947. Gilkey aimed to make Rockefeller Chapel a place of multi-denominational worship with a strong core of participants. This was a difficult task, he admitted, because the students stayed at the university only four years.

Gilkey also served as the Associate Dean of the Divinity School and represented the University in the position of the "Professor of Preaching of the University of Chicago Divinity School" at Princeton, Yale, Cornell, Chicago, Toronto, Wellesley, Stanford, Purdue, Harvard, Wellesley, and the University of Washington. The University appointed Gilkey the Barrows Lecturer to India, 1924-1925

Geraldine devoted herself to the YWCA as the national president and served as the vice-president of the United Council of Church Women in addition to opening the Gilkey home to students at the University.

Gilkey announced his retirement in June 1947. The Gilkey's retired to Massachusetts from which they continued to travel and lecture. A student scholarship, the "Charles and Geraldine Gilkey Fund" was established to honor him and his wife. Mr. Gilkey passed away in Massachusetts in March 1968.

Scope Note

The Charles Whitney Gilkey papers contain correspondence primarily concerning the University Chapel, and the Committee on the Presidency of the University (1928-1929). The collection also contains the minutes of the Commission for the Study of Moral and Religious Influence and Agencies in Higher Education, as well as several published articles by Gilkey.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

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

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Box 1   Folder 1

Correspondence about the University Chapel

Box 1   Folder 2

Correspondence of the Committee on the Presidency of the University (1928-1929), Charles W. Gilkey, Chairman

Box 1   Folder 3

Correspondence-Miscellaneous. Letters from Julius Rosenwald, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Max Mason

Box 1   Folder 4

Minutes of the Commission for the Study of Moral and Religious Influence and Agencies in Higher Education, 1923

Box 1   Folder 5

Published articles by Charles W. Gilkey

Box 1   Folder 6

"The Beloved Community of Memory and Hope," Semi-Centennial Sermon, September 28, 1941