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Title UA68 Potter College of Arts & Letters 6. English
Creator English (WKU)
Description Records created by and about the English Department.

Series 1. Publications
Series 2. Student Organizations
Series 3. Administration / Curriculum
Series 4. Events
Series 5. Publicity File
Collection WKU Archives
Object Name Records
Year Range From 1918
Admin / Biog History English was one of the original subjects taught at Western Kentucky State Normal School beginning in 1907 and was established as a department in 1918. Several other departments grew out of the English Department including Philosophy & Religion (about 1965), Speech and Theatre (1968), Mass Communication (1970), and the Center for Intercultural & Folk Studies (1972).

The English Department started several other programs. Dr. Cherry made the English Department the home of the College Heights Herald in 1925. Frances Richards was given the task of establishing the Herald and was the advisor until 1964. The Writing Center (Lab) was established in 1972 and the first director was John Reiss from 1972 to 2000. The first departmental study abroad course was a London theatre tour taught by James Heldman in 1972. The English as a Second Language program was begun in 1976. The English Honors Program was established in 1980 with Walker Rutledge as the sponsor. The Robert Penn Warren Center was established in 1986 by Joy Bale Boone and Mary Ellen Miller. And, the Women's Studies Program was established in 1990 with Katie Ward as the director.

The English Department had a graduate program in the 1930s that granted 114 degrees, but was discontinued by the Council on Public Higher Education. A Master of Arts in Education was reestablished in 1941 and grew in the 1960s (the Graduate School of Western was established in 1964). The Master of Arts in English was reinstated in 1966.

The English Department has also sponsored or hosted oratorical contests, lecture series, conferences, and more.

Dept. Heads
Macon Anderson Leiper 1918-1926
Gordon Wilson 1928-1959
Willson E. Wood 1959-1972
James Heldman 1972-1979
James S. Flynn 1979-1984
Joseph R. Millichap 1984-7/31/1994 (on sabbatical 1990 fall semester)
Mary Ellen Pitts 8/1/1994-06/30/1998
Joe Millichap (interim) 7/1/1998-6/30/1999
Linda Calendrillo 7/1/1999-6/30/2003
Karen Schneider (interim) 7/1/2003-6/30/2004
Karen Schneider 7/1/2004-
Robert Hale (current in 2014)

UA1A Harrison, Lowell, Western Kentucky University -
UA68/6/1 Flynn, James, A Centennial History of the Department of English of Western Kentucky University,
UA68/6/5 Publicity File
UA68/6/5 Some Interesting Facts about the English Department 02/07/1934
UA68/6/1 Wood, Willson, A Brief History of the English Department, Western Kentucky University, 1907-1972
Subjects Authors
Student organizations
Student works
Search Terms English (WKU)
Potter College of Arts & Letters (WKU)
Robert Penn Warren Symposium (WKU)
Finding Aids Series 1. Publications -

Digital copies of Zephyrus available at:

Series 2. Student Organizations -
Subseries 1. Western Writers
Subseries 2. Speculative Fiction Society
Subseries 3. English Club
Subseries 4. Sigma Tau Delta

Series 3. Administration / Curriculum -

Series 4. Events -

Series 5. Publicity File - < a href="">
Catalog Number UA68.6
Dates of Creation 1918-present
Caption WKU Archives Documents
Extent 1.75 cu. ft., CDs and OS
Number of Images 1
Access Conditions no restrictions
Parent ID UA68
Level of Description Series
Child Records UA68 Potter College of Arts & Letters 6. English 1. Publications
UA68 Potter College of Arts & Letters 6. English 2. Student Organizations
UA68 Potter College of Arts & Letters 6. English 3. Administrative / Curriculum File
UA68 Potter College of Arts & Letters 6. English 4. Events File
UA68 Potter College of Arts & Letters 6. English 5. Publicity File