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Collection # DRT-20.0-001

GMA/WA Governing Board Records,
1932-1933, 1940-1942, 1951-1975

 

Main Entry: GMA/WA Governing Board
Volume:
100 Files

Biographical/Historical Note:
In 1932, after the death of his wife and as he became older, Col. John Charles Woodward decided to recollect all outstanding shares of GMA and to deed all the personally held GMA properties to a newly created self-perpetuating Governing Board. He did this largely to insure the ongoing operation of the school in case of his death. At first the Board was composed almost exclusively of Woodward family members and important alumni. Only in the 1950s did the Board assume a more independent position. After a number of early chairmen, in the late 1950s alumnus James Colquitt became chairman of the Board. Colquitt was succeeded by alumnus Ben Johnson in the early 1980s. The Board became very involved in the important decisions of the 1960s when girls were first admitted and the military program was discontinued. The Board also became much more diverse in the 1960s as William R. Brewster Jr. became president.

These records had been stored for many years in the vault of the Business Office and were transferred to the archives by the Business Office.

Scope and Content:
Arranged in chronological order, this collection consists of 100 files containing typed, carbon-copied and handwritten paper records of the GMA/WA Governing Board, 1932-1933, 1940-1942, and 1951-1975. These records cover the presidencies of John Charles Woodward, Col. William R. Brewster and Capt. William R. Brewster Jr. The bulk of the collection, seventy-five of the one hundred files, covers from the period 1960-1975 when Capt. Brewster was the President and James Colquitt was the Chairman of the Board and the crucial, and sometimes controversial, decisions creating Woodward Academy were made.

The records consist principally of typed minutes of the Board meetings and correspondence concerning Board concerns. Beyond the typical sketchy “minutes” of the Board meetings, the records include transcripts kept a court recorder of the Board meetings, 1956-1962, and 1965. Beginning in 1956, the papers also include records of the minutes and correspondence of the Board’s Executive Committee. For yearly each year beginning in 1942, records include the annual report of the President given at the annual meeting at the end of the school year concerning the operation of the school for the previous year. See also Collection #DRT-30.0-001 for Annual Presidential Reports to the Board. Occasionally the presidents also issued special reports and mid-year reports. For example, in 1951 there was a special study of the feasibility of the Junior College. In 1964, the president and board began to consider elimination of GMA, Capt. Brewster issued two special studies entitled, “We Serve!” and “An Evaluation of GMA.”

Of special interest are records from 1960-1964 when the decision to create WA was being discussed. File #56 includes some of the records of a law suite filed by family members to stop of the board from dropping the military program.

The vast majority of the correspondence comes from the 1960s as Capt. Brewster assumed responsibilities as president. Although generally mundane in nature announcing the times of meetings, this correspondence does begin to reflect new and deepening relationships between Brewster and some of the most important Governing Board members, some of whom, such as John Flynt and Bill Stuckey, were members of congress. Brewster also began to court new board members and potential donors such as Edwin Pauley and Michael C. Carlos. Brewster also corresponded with very trusted Board members such as Jimmy Colquitt, Joseph Jones, and Randolph Thrower.

Subject Headings:
Presidents 30.0

 

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