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Emily Lewis Lee Papers

Identifier: SC 0185
  • Not requestable

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

This collection documents Emily Lewis Lee work with James Madison University's Alumni Association, the Board of Visitors, attendance at JMU events, and reunions with her classmates. Much of her correspondence includes letters to her fellow alumnae from the class of 1943. Her awards, appointments and accompanying news clippings are included as are booklets compiled for alumni reunion weekends and homecomings. Of special interest is the history of the university's processional mace, a gift of the Class of 1943, presented to the University on Founder's Day, 1979. Of more recent interest are a 2001 interview with journalist Nancy Bondurant Jones and two subsequent articles on World War II and plans for an Alumni Center Terrace to honor JMU's contribution to it. Many photographs are included that document reunions and special celebrations at James Madison University.


  • 1940-2006


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collection Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (

Bio/Historical Information

Emily Virginia Lewis Lee (1922-2014) graduated from Madison College as part of the class of 1943 with a degree in Home Economics. After graduation, she entered Johns Hopkins in Baltimore to begin a six month internship, after which she completed another six months at Halloran Hospital on Staten Island. She then entered the Army Medical Corps as a dietician and was trained in Atlantic City. She met her husband, Luther M. Lee (1923-1996), while stationed in North Carolina when she was a first lieutenant. She was discharged from the army at the end of the war, and later on became a dietician at the Veterans Administration hospital. Since then has been a proud and active alumni of her alma mater. Emily Lee has served on the Alumni Association, the Education and Student Life Committee, the Board of Visitors from 1980-1983, and as the fund agent for the class of 1943. In 1981, she received the "Distinguished Alumni Service Award" for her work for the university.


1.97 cubic feet (5 boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection includes James Madison University related correspondence, newsclippings, photographs, scrapbooks, interview, and reunion booklets.


The collection is arranged in two series. All series are arranged chronologically. Exceptions to this arrangement scheme were made in order to group like materials together and as a result chronological arrangements are approximate.

  1. University Activities and Alumni Relations, 1941-2006
  2. Photographs, 1940-2006

Acquisition Information

Received from Alumni Relations in May 2003. The photos pertaining to the ‘43 Madison group reunions and University events were added later than the rest of the collection in July 2012. A group of photographs documenting Emily Lewis's time as a student were transferred to Special Collections by the Centennial Office in 2008. They were added to the collection in April 2023.

Processing Information

During initial processing campaigns, scrapbooks were disbound. Others remain intact. Photographs were also individually sleeved in acid-free envelopes and described at the item level.

In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in 2017-2018. This collection was previously cataloged as SC 5007. At this time the collection was minimally reprocessed. Newspaper clippings were discarded as were materials lacking discernable research value. The overall arrangement was also simplified.

A Guide to the Emily Lewis Lee Papers, 1940-2006
Julia Merkel, Alicia Henneberry, Ellen Blackmon, Tiffany Cole
August 2012, October 2015, August 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2013-11-21: Converted to schema conforming EAD by dtd2schema.vh.xsl.
  • August 2012: Revised by Alicia Henneberry
  • April 2023: Photographs from accession 2008-0728 were incorporated into the collection.

Repository Details

Part of the James Madison University Libraries Special Collections Repository

820 Madison Drive
MSC 1706
Harrisonburg Virginia 22807
(540) 568-3612