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Dr. Carl Duncan and Patricia Whiting Papers
MSS.2012.01.19  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Carl D. Duncan and Patricia Whiting Papers collection consists of the personal papers of Patricia (neé Carpio) Whiting and a portion of letters written between Whiting and Dr. Carl D. Duncan from 1964 to 1966. The letters not only provide a glimpse into the everyday lives of Carl D. Duncan and Patricia Whiting but they also reflect a deep bond of friendship between mentor and student. The formats represented include: cards, letters, photographs and poetry from Duncan as well as correspondence, writings, newspaper clippings and newsletters that document the personal and professional life of Whiting. Dr. Duncan, a longtime professor of natural sciences at San Jose State College (SJSC), for whom the Carl D. Duncan Hall of Science building on the San Jose State campus is named, developed a very close friendship with Whiting. Duncan hired Whiting to work as a student secretary in the Field Studies program from 1964-1966. Duncan provided personal encouragement to Whiting and he financially supported Whiting and her family. Before his death he gifted his Menlo Park home to her mother and his estate funded the education of her siblings. After her marriage to Vincent Whiting in 1968, Whiting moved to Oregon and pursued a career in public service. She became the first Filipino woman elected to the Oregon State Legislature and served three terms from 1973 to 1978, focusing key legislation on environmental issues. Whiting remained involved with the community for all of her life until her death from cancer on June 23, 2010.
Background
Dr. Carl Dudley Duncan (1895-1966) was born in Fresno, California and received his education from Stanford University between 1923 and 1931. Duncan taught botany and entomology at San José State College from 1922 to 1950, after which he became the head of the Natural Science department until his retirement in 1965. Duncan was a beloved professor to whom many students referred to as “Dunc” and received his mentorship. In addition to his involvement as a professor, Duncan sponsored the Entomology Club and led annual science camps in California’s national parks. Duncan was married to Neva Duncan, a folkdance teacher at the Las Lomitas School District in Menlo Park, until her death in 1962. They did not have children. As a gift to his “goddaughter” Patricia Whiting, Duncan willed his estate to her upon his death in 1966 and funded the college education of her siblings. Duncan edited and contributed to several books and journals on entomology, including "Insect Stories" by Frederick Shackleford, "The World of Insects" with Gayle Pickford, and more. Duncan served as president of the Pacific Coast Entomological Society from 1937 to 1938 and again in 1947. The Carl D. Duncan Hall of Science building on the San José State campus was dedicated in his name in 1968.
Extent
3.0 Boxes, 3 Linear Feet
Availability
The collection is open for research.