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John R. Everett records

Identifier: NS-01-01-02


John Everett (1918-1992) served as president of The New School from 1964-1982. This collection documents the activities of the president's office during his tenure, and includes some files from prior presidents. Also included is material from Everett's board service at other academic institutions, and manuscripts for speeches and articles he authored. Some files are restricted. Please email for details.


  • 1918 - 1979
  • Majority of material found within 1941 - 1979



17.3 Cubic Feet (15 boxes, 3 folders)

Scope and Content of Collection

The John Everett records document the professional activities of John Everett in the 1960s and 1970s as president of The New School and his contributions to other educational, scholarly, and civic organizations during this time. The bulk of the collection consists of The New School president's office files, primarily from the time of Everett's presidency, though some records from prior presidents are included--Robert MacIver (1963-1964), Henry David (1961-1963), and Hans Simons (1950-1961). Although Everett served as president through 1982, the later years of his tenure are not represented in this record group--the latest records date from 1979.

The records of the president's office are divided into three series. The first series consists of records from John Everett's activities and responsibilities outside of The New School during the period he was president. This includes documentation of his service on the board of trustees of educational institutions including his alma maters Park College and Union Theological Seminary, and the New Lincoln School, a private K-12 school that his daughter attended. Other files document Everett's consultancies at various organizations. Of note are the manuscripts for articles and speeches by Everett, which provide insight into his personal views on higher education, the societal upheaval of the late 1960s, and on school integration, which he opposed.

Series two and three consist of records pertaining to the office of the president at The New School. Of particular note in Series II are the files pertaining to the Center for New York City Affairs (CNYCA) and New School College. Both of these schools underwent expansion during Everett's tenure, and these records provide insight into the establishment and early years of CNYCA and the College. The subject files (Series III) primarily consist of correspondence, both internal to The New School and with external organizations and individuals.

Language of Materials

English and German.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use. Files containing student records are restricted for 120 years after person's known or estimated birth (or group of persons, like a class). Files with faculty or other personnel salary, performance reviews, hiring information are restricted for 50 years from creation date of item (or last creation date in file). Please contact for appointment.

Use Restrictions

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from The New School Archives and Special Collections. Please contact:

Biographical Note

John (Jack) Rutherford Everett was born in 1918, in Portland, Oregon. His father, a Presbyterian minister, later became the president of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. In 1942, Everett received a degree from Park College, Missouri, in 1943, an MA in economics from Columbia University, in 1944 a Bachelor of Divinity from the Union Theological Seminary in New York, and in 1945 a PhD in philosophy from Columbia University.[1]

Beginning in 1943, Everett taught philosophy at various colleges and universities, and became the chair of the Philosophy Department at Columbia University in 1948. In 1950, he was elected president of Hollins College (now Hollins University) in Virginia. At age 31, he became the youngest college president in American history.[2]

As president of one of the nation's first colleges for women, Everett transformed the curriculum, doubled the faculty, extended the campus, and significantly increased the endowment. Enrollment also doubled during his tenure. As a college president, Everett was a member and chair of several committees on higher education, such as the advisory committee of the Council for Financial Aid to Education (later the Council for Aid to Education).[3]

In 1960, Everett resigned from Hollins and started to work with Encyclopedia Britannica as a consultant. Around the same time, he also accepted the position of chancellor of the Municipal College System of the City of New York (City University of New York after 1961). He resigned from this post in 1962 to take on the role of vice president at Encyclopedia Britannica.

Everett became president of the New School for Social Research (now, The New School) in October 1964, upon the heels of a period of institutional administrative turnover and reorganization. He would occupy the position for the next 19 years. At the time he became president, the demand in the United States for higher education sharply increased, and publicly-supported funding increased along with demand. But the national scene changed in the following years such that plummeting enrollment -- due to fluctuating demographics -- and declining government support threw many colleges into crisis. Still, as post-secondary institutions tightened their budgets and closed their doors, The New School under Everett expanded. Over the course of his presidency, The New School merged with Parsons School of Design; started an undergraduate program (later, Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts); and developed the Center for New York City Affairs into a full-scale Graduate School of Management and Urban Professions. Everett's tenure was also marked by several tumultuous episodes. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the campus was rocked by student protests, and in the late 1970s the Graduate Faculty narrowly avoided having several of its doctoral programs lose accreditation.

Responding to student protest at The New School in 1968, Everett found sympathy with young people's mistrust of those in power and emphasized that university administrators must work to promote an atmosphere of trust on campus. He adopted a position that aligned with student demands at the time, arguing that student dissatisfaction stemmed from problems with curricula development. According to Everett, faculty weren't trained to establish educational policy so the school's central administration should guide the process with input from students and faculty. He also expressed the belief that students would feel that college was more relevant if courses directly connected social science scholarship to pressing social issues.

Everett also held firm views about the issue of desegregation of schools. In a 1958 memo when he was president of Hollins College, he called the desegregation movement "propaganda." His position remained the same a decade later. In a 1968 article in The Atlantic, authored when he was president of The New School, he opposed the decentralization of New York City public schools, asserting that forced desegregation constituted "unfair competition" for African-American students who had been disadvantaged in their education and would now be held to the same standards as white students who had benefited from better schools and more resources.

Everett contributed articles to scholarly journals and wrote two books, Religion in Economics: A Study of John Bates Clark, Richard T. Ely [and] Simon N. Patten (1946) and Religion in Human Experience: An Introduction (1950).

John Everett died of cancer in 1992, in New York City.

[1] Harris, Beth S. and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. "John R. Everett (1918–1992)." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 7 Sep. 2016. Web. 21 Sept. 2018. [2] ibid. [3] ibid.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject in 3 series: 1. Professional activities, 1951-1978 2. Schools and centers, 1941-1979 3. Subject files, 1918-1979

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These files were identified as John Everett's records and separated from a large accession of records transferred from The New School President's Office in 2015.

Related Materials

The New School Archives also holds the papers of John Everett (NA.0017.01) which includes documentation of his work outside of The New School. Additionally, The New School Archives holds the records of other members of the New School administration during Everett's tenure, including Chancellor Harry Gideonse (NS.01.02.02), the New School Adult Division Office of the Dean (NS.02.01.01) and Vice President Albert Landa (NS.03.02.07). New School periodicals from this period can be found in the New School periodicals collection (NS.05.06.01). Oral histories with students who participated in activism at The New School during the 1960s and 70s are included in the Activism at The New School oral history program (NS.07.01.04). Records from administrations preceding and succeeding Everett's tenure will be found in a variety of record groups in The New School Archives.

Guide to the John R. Everett records
Anna Robinson-Sweet and Ray Self
February 13, 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • March 12, 2024: Victoria Fernandez reviewed restricted material of the collection. Documents previously restricted were integrated into Series 3. Subject files: Staff: Salaries and benefits, 1952-1973.