|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
At a Glance
This collection is organized in four series: Series 1: Administrative Files, 1934-1942 (1 box, 0.50 lin. ft.); Series 2: Correspondence, 1931-1943 (2 boxes, 1.00 lin. ft.); Series 3: Publications, 1935-1941 (1 box, 0.25 lin. ft.); Series 4: Partner Institutions, 1928-1943 (4 boxes, 1.50 lin. ft.)
Scope and Content
Materials in the collection are from William Adams Brown, NECA member and President of the Board from 1936 until his death in 1943. It is organized chronologically in four series.
Using the Collection
The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Restrictions on Access
This collection has no restrictions.
Item description, Near East College Association Records, series #, box #, and folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Papers processed BCK 01/2013.
July 25, 2013 XML instance document created by Brigette C. Kamsler.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
The plan for a college association in the Near East began with Cleveland H. Dodge in 1919. In the interest of efficiency and saving money, Dodge believed that Robert College in Istanbul and the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut should have a joint office in the United States. Albert W. Staub, who would become Executive Secretary of the Joint Office, was sent to visit the colleges and report back on educational problems in the Near East.
The result of this survey showed financial deficits at each college totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. In 1920, the Syrian Protestant College was renamed the American University in Beirut. The Joint Office was so popular that other organizations were included. The News Letter for September 1926 announced:
In accordance with the plan suggested by Cleveland H. Dodge, the boards of trustees of six American educational institutions in the Near East have voted to combine their financial and administrative work in a joint office for increased efficiency in management and in raising the endowment funds necessary to secure their maintenance and development in the future.
The member organizations of the newly-established Near East College Association (NECA) were Robert College, Istanbul; the American University of Beirut, Syria; the American College for Girls at Istanbul; the American College of Sofia, Bulgaria; the International College in Izmir, Smyrna; and Athens College, Greece. Many of these organizations had originally been founded by American missionaries. Original executive committee members included William Morgan Kingsley, Arthur Curtiss James, Stephen Baker, Henry Sloane Coffin, George A. Plimpton, Harold A. Hatch, Lucius R. Eastman, James L. Barton, and Edward Capps.
The organization was incorporated March 1927. Using private donors, organizations, clubs, educational foundations, and international relief, funds were raised and educational locations in the Near East were reorganized. Endowments for each were successfully filled in 1940, but the NECA Trustees approved the permanent continuation of the Association.
The Boards of Trustees for Robert College and the American College for Girls at Istanbul decided, "for the purpose of simplifying the problem of dealing with the Turkish Government officials and in the interest of coordination and progress," to elect a common President, appoint joint professorships, and share financial burdens. Dr. Paul Monroe was appointed President on May 18, 1932.
Problems in 1933 at the International College in Izmir, Smyrna led to a two-year investigation by the Board of Trustees who eventually liquidated the college; the property was sold to the Turkish Government. The work at the International College became affiliated in 1936 with the American University of Beirut.
According to the Near East Colleges Quarterly Vol. 6, No. 2 published June 1947, two more institutions were added: The American School for Boys, Baghdad, Iraq; and Damascus College, Syria. Anatolia College in Thessaloniki, Greece, joined NECA in 1950.
Dr. William Adams Brown was appointed President of the Board of Directors in May 1936, assuming the role from William Morgan Kingsley. He would serve until his death in 1941, when he was succeeded by Henry C. Holt. Allen W. Dulles assumed the responsibility in 1946, followed by Harold B. Hoskins in 1951.
The institutions of the Near East College Association continue to exist and prosper today, as does the Near East College Association.
From the records themselves, specifically the History in Series 1, Box 1, and Folder 11.
"Bulletin of Near East Society." Digital Library for International Research. http://www.dlir.org/arit-periodical-collection/199.html (Accessed January 31, 2013).
"Near East College Association and its Member Colleges," Near East College Association, New York. [N.P.], 1950. http://clio.cul.columbia.edu:7018/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=2542328
Shrikian, Gorun. Armenians Under the Ottoman Empire and the American Mission's Influence on Their Intellectual and Social Renaissance." [United States?: The Author], c2011.