University Christian Movement in New England Records - Addendum A
Scope and Contents
Series I, Organization and Policy Records, includes historical material spanning sixty-three years, dating back to the founding of the Student Christian Movement in 1934, as well as important internal documents contained in the minutes of the meetings of the Board of Directors from 1966 to 2000. An unpublished history of the Student Christian Movement up until 1948 by Wilmer Kitchen provides valuable historical background. The "Correspondence" subseries contains letters from such notables as President Clinton, Senators Kerry and Kennedy, Newt Gingrich, and "Tip" O'Neill.
Series II, Conferences and Events, is the largest series of the collection. In the "Conferences, Sessions, Planning Meetings" subseries, detailed information from more than fifty major conferences, held from 1942 to 1999, stands as an enduring tribute to the lasting influence of UCMNE. There is extensive documentation related to the 50th anniversary celebration of the UCMNE.
Series III, Related Organizations, contains documentation related to denominational and other organizations with which the UCMNE was involved, including the Student Christian Movement of Canada, the World Student Christian Federation, and the National Ecumenical Student Conference.
Series IV, Financial Matters, contains financial and tax records, primarily from the last quarter of the 20th century, with very slight overlap with the UCMNE archives in Record Group No. 88.
Series V, Publications, contains a small amount of material related to two UCMNE newsletters dating from 1976 to 1999.
The Photographs and Slides of Series VI are a significant addition to the earlier UCMNE archives, with photographs dating back as far as 1886. Many of the photos and slides are undated, but care has been taken to keep them together as they were handed over by the donor, so there is substantial probability that the undated photos come from the same decade as those dated ones with which they were placed.
Series VII, Artifacts, contains items that would have been used at UCMNE conferences and events.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of the University Christian Movement in New England.
- I. Organization and Policy Records, 1934 - 2000
- II. Conferences and Events, 1942 - 1999
- III. Related Organizations, 1920 - 1999
- IV. Financial Matters, 1947 - 1998
- V. Publications, 1976 - 1995
- VI. Photographs and Slides, 1886 - 1999
- VII. Artifacts, 1990 - 2000
6 Linear Feet (14 boxes)
Language of Materials
This addendum to the main collection of the University Christian Movement in New England Records (see Record Group 88) contains all the remaining material belonging to the organization that was not submitted to Yale University in 1998. This collection, composed of historical documents, correspondence, reports, minutes of meetings, printed material, financial invoices, photographs, slides, an audio tape, as well as other artifacts, spans the entire history of the organization. It provides insight into college campus ministry in New England at the turn of the 20th century, and in the years between the two World Wars. This small added collection also fills in many of the details of the former collection that dealt with the turbulent 1960s and 1970s, and expands its coverage of the UCMNE through the more placid 1980s and 1990s until the organization's dissolution. The University Christian Movement in New England was a non-denominational inclusive campus ministry organization headquartered for the most part in Cambridge, MA. Officially formed anew with a name change in 1967, it was a continuation of the Student Christian Movement in New England, which had been formed by the YWCA, YMCA, and various other groups as an umbrella organization to promote religious co-operation on the campuses of the six states of New England.
Biographical / Historical
The bulk of this addendum to Record Group 88 documents the University Christian Movement in New England from 1975 to 1996. The Reverend Christine Blackburn was hired as director of the UCMNE in 1978 and under her leadership the organization flourished, sponsoring Winter, Spring and Fall Conferences annually, as well as Summer workshops, on specific, relevant "hot topics" of the time. In the last quarter of the 20th century alone, UCMNE organized more than fifty major conferences, attracting students and others from around the country.
Certainly the peak of the UCMNE's "Golden Age" of activity was its 50th anniversary celebration held at First Church in Cambridge, MA, on the morning of Sunday, October 21, 1984. Planning for the event had consumed the energies of the organization for more than a year, and when the day itself arrived, hundreds of honored guests, alumni, friends, and current student members assembled to celebrate. The glow of that event seemed to energize the organization for the following decade, but by 1990s there were signs of trouble.
In April of 1996, the director, Lee Ann Hopkins, and her staff submitted a letter to the Board of Directors recommending that UCMNE be dissolved for a number of reasons: lack of student interest and involvement, the decline of liberal campus ministries, a lack of funding, and the problem of gaining access to college campuses. The Board directed that there should be a "needs assessment" taken and authorized the hiring of qualified people to do the task. Interest in the organization, however, continued to wane in spite of the efforts of Lee Ann Hopkins, who had succeeded Blackburn as director in 1993. Hopkins resigned in July 1996, and was followed by Paige Blair, who resigned only a year later. In May 1997, Nancy Richards became the last director and valiantly attempted to re-energize the organization. For a while it seemed those efforts would succeed, but it was not to be. After sixty-six years of service to the Church, the University Christian Movement in New England came to an end, merging into the Boston-Cambridge Ministry in Higher Education. The latest documents in this collection date from 2000.
- Guide to the University Christian Movement in New England Records - Addendum A
- Compiled by Sherman W. Gray, Jr. and Martha Lund Smalley
- 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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