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Theodore Friend Papers

Identifier: SFHL-RG6-D11

Scope and Contents

Collection of records from the Office of Theodore Friend while he was President of Swarthmore College. Consists primarily of topical files related to faculty, staff, board members, and others. Includes minutes and correspondence of the Board of Managers, campus and student activities and issues, as well as facilities and college services, such as the health center, development, and grants and scholarship funds. There is also material related to political and governmental issues like South Africa divestment, equal opportunity employment, and affirmative action employment. Other records include correspondence related to committees such as the Council on Educational Policy and the Curriculum Committee, minutes of the "Three Colleges" from 1949-1972, staff meeting minutes, notes for a 1982 course on Southeast Asia, files on the case Presseisen v. Swarthmore College, and photocopies of his research notes on Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Correspondents include: Charles Gilbert, Kendall Landis, Thomas J. Hallowell, Thomas B. McCabe, Dorothy Shoemaker McDiarmid, Michel C. Oksenberg, Marjorie Todd Simonds, William Poole, Hadassah Holcombe, Stephen G. Lax, Richard O.Turner, Barclay White, Harrison Wright, Barbara S. Smoyer, John W. Nason, Isabel Logan Lyons, Robert Browning, Edwin M. Bush Jr., Katherine Lindsley Camp, Edward K.Cratsley, Carl K. Dellmuth, Richard O. Smith, and Hildreth Strode.


  • Creation: 1923 - 1982


Conditions Governing Access

Series 1 and 2 of the Theodore Friend Papers are closed to research until 2057.

The rest of the collection is open for research with the understanding that certain confidential materials may be redacted. Please contact the repository for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.

Biographical / Historical

Born August 27, 1931, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, "Dorie" was the son of Theodore Wood and Jessica H. (Merrick) Friend. He earned a Williams College B.A. in 1953, and a Ph.D. from Yale University in 1958. In 1960, Friend married Elizabeth Pierson, and they had three children; she died in 2003.

Friend began his academic career at the State University of New York at Buffalo as assistant professor and then professor of history; he was Faculty Advisor from 1968-1969 and Executive Assistant to the President, 1969-1970.

In 1973 he was selected as the 11th President of Swarthmore College, and served until he resigned in 1982. While at Swarthmore, Friend established an Advisory Council on Resource Use, and led the faculty in a careful evaluation of the Honors Program.

Beginning in 1982 he was Trustee of the Eisenhower Exchange Fellowships, Inc., and its president from 1984. He was also affiliated with the Philadelphia Committee on Foreign Relations after 1986. Theodore Friend is the author of Family Laundry: A Novel, a story about the secrets of a wealthy family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the 1950s. He is also the author of two historical studies, Between Two Empires: The Ordeal of the Philippines (which received the prestigious Bancroft Prize in American History and Foreign Relations in 1966) and his 1988 publication, The Blue-Eyed Enemy: Japan against the West in Java and Luzon, 1942-1945. Friend won a number of awards, including a Fulbright fellowship, 1957-59, the Rockefeller Foundation fellowship, 1961-62, Bancroft Prize in American History and Foreign Relations, 1966, NDEA fellowship, 1966-67, a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, 1967-68, and a Woodrow Wilson International Center fellowship, 1983-84.


22 linear ft.

Language of Materials



Theodore Friend was President of Swarthmore College from 1973 to 1982. He is a teacher, historian, and novelist. His books include Indonesian Destinies (Harvard University Press, 2003) and Between Two Empires: The Ordeal of the Philippines (Yale University Press, 1965). He is President Emeritus of the Eisenhower Fellowship and a senior fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

Physical Location

For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Deposit, Office of the President, Swarthmore College.

Related Materials

Swarthmore College Board of Managers Records, at Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pa.

Theodore Friend papers, 1968-1973, at the University of Buffalo, 22/6F/205.

Processing Information

As far as possible, original file names and contents have been preserved. Search Committee files for unsuccessful candidates were destroyed by direction of the President's Office.

Additional Board of Managers Correspondence files were processed into the collection, 2016.

Theodore Friend Papers, 1923-1982
FHL Staff
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Find It at the Library

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