Physical Description: 2 Boxes
Series Scope and Content Summary
The materials in this series consist of audio tapes and oral history transcriptions of the San José State University Presidents
who served from 1956-1991. The interviews represented here document the experiences of SJSU presidents John T. Wahlquist (1952-1964),
Robert D. Clark (1964-1969), John Bunzel (1970-1978), and Gail Fullerton (1978-1991). University Archivist, H. Brett Melendy
conducted the interviews of President Bunzel and President Clark, Sandra MacMahon interviewed President Gail Fullerton in
1991, and History Professor Charles Burdick conducted the Wahlquist interview. The Bunzel and Clark interviews are particularly
significant in describing the civil rights and anti-war protests that took place on campus between 1964-1969 at San José State
University and at San Francisco State University (SFSU).
John Wahlquist's interview includes his interactions with SJSU President MacQuarrie, whom Walhquist succeeded. Other subjects
include Walhquist's experiences with the newly formed faculty council, a precursor to the academic senate, and the development
of SJSU from a teacher's college to a full university. Other topics represented include the development of new departments
in nursing, occupational therapy, industrial arts, and engineering.
Clark's interview describes his interactions with part-time sociology teacher Harry Edwards, student athletes Tommie Smith
and John Carlos, along with other black and Hispanic student organizations. The interview provides Clark's perspective on
the problem of race discrimination on campus, the larger problem of local housing discrimination for black and Hispanic students,
anti-war demonstrations, and Mexican American student protests. Clark was one of the few college presidents of the era to
address civil rights issues through direct negotiation with student groups, despite criticism from Governor Ronald Reagan
and other state officials.
John Bunzel's interview describes his experiences at SFSU during the faculty strike and student protests in the 1960s. Included
is the political fallout from an article promoting academic freedom in the newly formed Afro-American Studies courses. Students
vandalized Bunzel's property, left a bomb outside his office door, and disrupted his classroom. Bunzel also describes his
experiences with faculty and students while serving in the capacity as the President of SJSU, and he describes at length
his controversial decision to remove the power of self-governance from the Economics Department.
Gail Fullerton was the first woman to serve as the President of San José State University. Fullerton's interview describes
her struggle to improve a bad public image of the University as portrayed by the news and media. Other subjects include the
growth of the SJSU campus and athletics at SJSU, such as promotion of female competitive team sports and the concept of the
student-athlete that Fullerton wanted to promote.
- Wahlquist, John T
- Clark, Robert D
- Bunzel, John
- Fullerton, Gail
This series is organized chronologically by the term of office of the individual.