By Archives Staff
Title: Dorothy C. Stratton papers, 1935-2006
Primary Creator: Stratton, Dorothy C. (1899-2006)
Extent: 1.2 Cubic feet
Arrangement: The papers are organized into five series. 1. Biographical Information 2. Correspondence 3. Speeches and Written Materials 4. SPARS Related Items 5. Photographs.
Date Acquired: 09/23/1979. More info below under Accruals.
Subjects: Deans of women--United States, Purdue University--Faculty, Women's Archives at Purdue University, Women deans (Education)--Indiana, World War, 1939-1945
Forms of Material: Clippings (Information artifacts), Letters (correspondence), Pamphlets, Photographic prints
This collection contains papers, clippings and photographs documenting Dorothy Stratton’s life, especially her role as Purdue Dean of Women and Director of the USCG SPARS.
Scope and Contents of the Materials
The Dorothy Stratton Papers (1935-2006; 1.5 cubic feet) predominately document Stratton’s work as Dean of Women at Purdue and as Director of the United States Coast Guard Women’s Reserve (also known as SPARS) through correspondence, pamphlets and photographs. Also of interest are a number of speeches and essays by Stratton about the role of women’s education in a democratic post-war world. Materials from later in Stratton’s life are generally secondary sources such as clippings about her birthdays, legacy, and obituaries.
Dorothy Constance Stratton (1899-2006) served as Dean of Women at Purdue from 1933 until 1946, at a time in which the enrollment of women students jumped from less than 500 to more than 1,400. During her tenure at Purdue, she oversaw the creation of a liberal science program for women in the School of Science as well as an employment placement center. She helped established the Housemother Training School that gave intensive training to fraternity and sorority housemothers from across the United States. In 1942, during the Second World War, Stratton took a military leave of absence from Purdue and was commissioned to create and direct the Women’s Reserve of the Coast Guard, also known as SPARS (an acronym she coined based on the phrase "Semper Paratus, Always Ready"). Upon her retirement from the military in 1946, she was awarded a Legion of Merit Medal for her contributions to women in the armed forces. Stratton went on to serve as the first director of personnel at the International Monetary Fund and then later as an executive director of the Girl Scouts of the America until her retirement in 1960.
Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections
Donation by Sarah J. Watlington, Mar. 7, 2008
The processed collection is open for research.
Dorothy C. Stratton
Dorothy Stratton had close ties to the next three Deans of Women (Helen B. Schleman, Beverley Stone, and Barbara Cook). More photos, correspondence, and other information relating to Stratton can be found in those collections.
MSF 366, Dorothy C. Stratton papers, Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries
The papers relating to Purdue Deans of Women Dorothy Stratton, Helen Schleman, Beverley Stone and Barbara Cook, have had a unique history. Although Stratton personally donated an album of WWII photographs to Purdue University Library in 1979, most of the materials in the Stratton Papers were transferred from Dorothy Stratton to Helen Schleman to Beverley Stone to Barbara Cook before finally coming under the stewardship of Sarah J. Watlington and Betty Nelson, who donated the combined materials to the Karnes Archives and Special Collections. The close friendships between these women and their shared histories as Deans of Women/Deans of Students at Purdue make determining the intended recipient of photographs, letters and other shared documents difficult. The archivists have attempted to restore the provenance of these materials and arrange them into appropriate individual collections to the extent possible. However, due to the intertwined histories of the women on professional and personal levels, the organization may not show exact provenance. Researchers studying Dorothy Stratton may want to also examine the papers of Helen Schleman, Beverley Stone, and Barbara Cook for additional insight into Stratton’s life and career.
Box and Folder Listing Browse by Series:
[Series 1: Biographical Information, 1933 - 2006
[Series 2: Correspondence, 1943 - 1998
[Series 3: Speeches and Written Material, 1943 - 1993],
[Series 4: SPARS Related Items, 1943 - 1999
[Series 5: Photographs, 1935 - 1998