Julian A. Burruss Papers
Scope and Content
The Julian A. Burruss Papers contain documents related to the establishment of the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg, including a 1904 report to the Joint Committee of the General Assembly of Virginia on Location of State Normal School titled “State Female Normal School: Reasons and Inducements for Its Location at Harrisonburg” by A. H. Snyder and George E Sipe. It also contains a newspaper clipping from the May 26, 1904 Daily News-Record – “Stating the case for Harrisonburg, Committee on Normal School here to investigate.”
Of note in the correspondence file are Burruss’ exchanges with and president of the senior class, Alpha Holcolme, regarding regulations proposed by senior class (1913), letters regarding Burruss’ decision to accept the position of President at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute (1919), and correspondence with M’Ledge Moffett, Dean of Women at the State Teachers College in East Radford, Virginia (1939). The file contains photocopies of a 1917 letter from Burruss to George W. Chappelear, then of the Miller School in Virginia, inviting him to a position as a biology instructor and head of buildings and grounds.
The files include several reports and speeches, including the “Report and Bylaws, Virginia Normal School Board,” July 1, 1914 - January 1, 1916, and a report titled “Normal School Organization and Administration: Some Recommendations Relative Thereto with Special Reference to the State Normal School for Women, Harrisonburg , Virginia,” written in 1918.
The papers include news releases from 1914-1919, most of which were prepared for the Virginia Journal of Education.
- Burruss, Julian Ashby, 1876-1947 (Person)
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Julian Burruss was the first president of the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg, serving from 1908 to 1919. During his tenure, Burruss maintained a busy speaking schedule promoting the new school, actively recruited faculty and students, expanded administrative staff, oversaw the establishment of the Student Government Association, YWCA and other clubs and societies, and established special funds and scholarships available to eligible students. He oversaw many building projects, and created a long-range development plan for the school and grounds that would contain approximately 40 buildings and support a maximum enrollment of 1000 students.
During Burruss’ tenure, the Normal School went from an enrollment of 11 women in 1909, to a graduating class of over 300 students in 1919. During his presidency, the Normal school transitioned from offering four years of high school and two years of post-high school professional programs and teaching certificates, to offering a four-year Bachelor Science degree in Education, in addition to other programs. Burruss was a strong advocate for industrial and vocational training, and established Harrisonburg Normal School as leader in manual arts, household arts and rural arts.
Burruss was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1876. He graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in 1889 with a degree in civil engineering, and did some graduate work at Columbia University. Prior to his presidency, he served four years as the head of the manual training program in the Richmond city schools. While in Harrisonburg, he was an officer in the Presbyterian church and served two years as president of the Harrisonburg Chamber of Commerce. In 1919, Burruss left the Normal School to become president of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg.
0.4 cubic feet (8 folders)
Language of Materials
The collection contains papers and correspondences, reports and speeches by President Julian Ashby Burruss, first president of the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg, and documents related to the founding of the school.
Documents are arranged topically. Papers that are noted as originating from R.C. Dingledine and Dr. John Wayland are contained in folders of the same title.
Some papers contain a handwritten note in the margins indicating that they were received from R.C. Dingledine in 1984.
- Dingledine, Raymond C. Dingledine, Jr. Madison College: the First Fifty Years, 1908-1958, Harrisonburg, VA : Madison College. 1959.
- "President Burruss Papers," Founding Documents in Special Collections, James Madison University. Accessed January 8, 2018. http://www.lib.jmu.edu/special/FoundingDocs/burruss/default.aspx.
- College presidents -- Virginia
- Education, Higher -- Virginia -- History
- Harrisonburg (Va.) -- History -- 20th century
- James Madison University -- Administration
- James Madison University -- History
- Letters (correspondence)
- Manuscripts (documents)
- Newspaper clippings
- Speeches (documents)
- State Normal School for Women at Harrisonburg (Harrisonburg, Va.) -- History
- State Normal School for Women at Harrisonburg (Harrisonburg, Va.) -- Administration
- State Normal and Industrial School for Women (Harrisonburg, Va.) -- History
- State Normal and Industrial School for Women (Harrisonburg, Va.) -- Administration
- Teachers colleges -- History
- Universities and colleges -- Virginia -- Administration
- A Guide to the Julian A. Burruss Papers, 1904-2005
- Sarah Roth-Mullet
- January 2018
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description