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Bruce Maguire / Student YMCA Papers

Call Number: RG 78

Scope and Contents

These records document the work of the Student Young Men's Christian Association primarily during the period when Bruce Maguire served as the Executive Secretary, 1955-1970. They provide insight into the activities and thought of American college students during this turbulent era and provide detailed information about the operations and policy of the Student YMCA as it sought to define its role in a changing society.

The material in Series I provides much evidence of the interrelations between the national administrative bodies. Other series further detail their cooperation as they jointly sponsored, organized or participated in various YMCA committees, seminars, conferences, programs, and college activities, or merely supported each other's efforts. In contrast, Series I also reveals the ongoing quest for the administrative independence of the bodies. This is evident in significant communications and policy records which state the scope of authority of the bodies, as well as in less substantial matters such as designating the privilege of using letterhead stationery to certain groups and individuals.

Commissions, Committees and Personnel, Series II, detail the policies set up by designated subgroups of the YMCA administrative bodies. This series offers valuable insight into their procedures for realizing the goals of YMCA projects. Of particular interest are job descriptions in the personnel files which itemize the various duties of YMCA positions.

Series III, IV and V offer interesting information on the variety of activities sponsored by the YMCA all over the world, such as YMCA internships, Career Try-Out program, Urban Field Study, and the Young Voters' Task Force. Pamphlets and brochures highlight these activities with photographs and slogans.

Series VI was created for subjects of special interest which relate to the YMCA in general. Substantial material on the Lay Movement, National Student Caucus, National Student Christian Federation in the process of becoming the University Student Christian Movement, Religion in Higher Education, the student strikes against racism and Vietnam, and YMCA/YWCA relations is available in this series. A poster and newspaper article regarding the Japanese during World War II are of particular interest. Material collected from related organizations shows their relationship and cooperation with the YMCA.

While every series contains material by, about and collected by Bruce Maguire, his role as Executive Secretary of the YMCA is probably best revealed in Series VIII. This is a compilation of his personal correspondence, biographical information and notebooks.


  • 1921-1985


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Bruce Maguire


  1. I. National Administrative Bodies
  2. II. Commissions, Committees, Personnel
  3. III. Regional and Local YMCAs
  4. IV. Seminars, Conferences
  5. V. Programs, Projects
  6. VI. Special Subjects
  7. VII. Collected Printed Materia
  8. VIII. Personal File of Bruce Maguire

The material within each series of Record Group 78 is grouped according to specific subdivisions. For example, the National Administrative Bodies of Series I are categorized in a hierarchical fashion according to the formal name of each specific administrative body. Items in Series III relating to regional and local YMCAs are grouped into two categories, Area/State/Regional YMCAs and College/University YMCAs, and are arranged by proper place names within each group. Series V, Programs, Projects, further exemplifies this type of arrangement. The logic of this method of subdivision for each series is explained in detail in the series descriptions.

Material within each series subgroup is arranged according to the nature of individual items. The resulting distribution of the papers is summarized as follows:

Communications consist of correspondence, memos, enclosures and papers included for the addressee's information. Reports and policy records are papers pertaining to the administrative operation of the Student YMCA divisions. Financial statements are included in this category. Rosters consist of lists of students, staff, or branch YMCAs serving on specific YMCA committees or participating in particular YMCA events. Notes serve as Bruce Maguire's personally handwritten commentary on the contents of the file and also include notes taken at meetings and drafts of letters. Printed material, published by YMCA divisions and related organizations, consists of books, serials, pamphlets, clippings and articles. A publicity tape and several photographs relating to the Asilomar conference are found in Series IV, necessitating the assignment of the additional category of Audiovisual Materials.

Related Materials

These papers complement many of the other YMCA-related archival collections at Yale Divinity School Library, including the Archives of the YMCA - Student Division, the World Student Christian Federation, the Student Volunteer Movement, the Student Christian Movement in New England and the New England Commission for United Ministries in Higher Education, as well as the papers of various individuals who played important roles in the development of the YMCA. Taken as a whole, these records provide extensive documentation of religious work among college and university students throughout the twentieth century.


16 Linear Feet (40 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers document the work of the Student Young Men's Christian Association primarily during the period when Bruce Maguire served as the Executive Secretary, 1955-1970. They provide insight into the activities and thought of American college students during this turbulent era and provide detailed information about the operations and policy of the Student YMCA as it sought to define its role in a changing society. Bruce Maguire was involved in student work for the YMCA from 1942 to 1971. From 1955-1970 he was Executive Secretary in the Student Department and National Student Council of YMCAs.

Biographical / Historical

1911 May 26
Bruce Brownlie Maguire born in Youngstown, Ohio
B.A., Muskingum College, New Concord, Ohio
B.Th., Pittsburgh-Xenia Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, PA
M.A., University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
1936 August 25
Married to Ruth L. Maguire. Children: G. Andrew, 1939 and Marjorie Lynn, 1941.
Presbyterian Board of Christian Education and Board of National Missions; Presbyterian University Pastor, Murray State Teachers College, Murray, Kentucky
Graduate study in personnel and higher education, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church, Cincinnati, Ohio; ministry in university community
Staff correspondent for The Christian Century
Pacific Southwest Area Council of YMCAs Area Student Secretary
National Board of Young Men's Christian Associations: Executive, Student Department and Executive, National Student Council of YMCAs; During this period, Bruce Maguire was instrumental in the initial creation of: YMCA-YWCA Students-in-Industry Project on West Coas, Student YMCA-YWCA West Coast Leadership School, Religion and Labor Council of Los Angeles, USA-USSR Student Exchange (YMCA participation), Junior World Service Worker Project of the YMCA, Buildings for Brotherhood Work Camps
Author of The University, the Church, and the YMCA
Director of Planning, Constituent Services Division, National Board of YMCAs
Author of The Revolution of the Young (Chapter 1 of YMCA Yearbook, pre-printed as pamphlet)
Executive Assistant to Executive Director, National Board of YMCAs Staff related to Committee on Christian Concerns and Ecumenical Relations
Staff Director of a study of the future direction of the YMCA in Metropolitan Washington
Fund Raising Campaign Consultant employed by Crook, Robinson and Clough, Montclair, NJ
Political campaign volunteer for son, Andrew Maguire
Active volunteer, Community Church of Glen Rock, New Jersey
Guide to the Bruce Maguire / Student YMCA Papers
Compiled by Joan R. Duffy
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared According To Local Divinity Library Descriptive Practices
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

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