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Guide to the H. Brett Melendy Oral History Collection
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Collection Contents


Series I:  Oral History Audio Tapes and Transcriptions 1982-1991

Physical Description: 4 Boxes

Series Scope and Content Summary

The material in this series documents the history of San José State University through oral history interviews conducted by the University Archivist, H. Brett Melendy, History Professor Charles Burdick, and others. The interviews document thirty-five years of university governance, which reflect many of the controversies between the university administration, faculty, students, and staff. For example, the interview with Burton Brazil describes the conflicts between the Economic Department faculty, President John Bunzel, and the Academic Senate. Other interviews include several personal accounts concerning the faculty strike and student protests in the 1960's, including the Dow Chemical protest at SJSU that resulted in police firing tear gas at rioting students.

Personal Names

  • Ashe, Mary Rutledge
  • Baird, Forrest
  • Bentel, Dwight
  • Bowman, Mary O
  • Brazil, Burton R
  • Brown, James
  • Burns, Hobert W
  • Carmick, Admiral Edward
  • Cockrell, Loren
  • Carr, Marie
  • Cumry, Alice A
  • Dumke, Glenn S
  • Dusel, William J
  • Gunderson, Norman O.
  • Guttormsen, Glan
  • Harcleroad, Fred
  • Hubbard
  • Hyde, Barney
  • Jacobsen, Albert
  • Jenkins
  • Leonard, Tom
  • Lopez, Daniel
  • Maruyama, Rose
  • McPherson
  • Mcreath, Benny
  • Melendy, Brett
  • Mc Callum, Alexander
  • Palmer
  • Pitman, Paul
  • Rendahl, Milton
  • Sinclar, George M
  • Sweeny, William G
  • Thomas, Violet
  • Thorton, James W
  • Titchenal
  • Vandergon, Lucy
  • Vasoncelos & Titchenal
  • Vessel, Matt
  • Walhquist, Grace
  • Walker
  • Wheeler, Gerald
  • Williams, Otho Clinton
  • Winters, Mildred
  • Wright, Milburn
  • Wool, Whitaker


This series is organized alphabetically by surname and chronologically by date range.
Box 1

Transcriptions A-D 1982-1988

Box 2

Transcriptions E-Z 1982-1988

Boxes 3-4

Audio Tapes 1982-1991


Series II:  San José State University Presidents Oral Histories 1983-1991

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.

Personal Names

  • Wahlquist, John T
  • Clark, Robert D
  • Bunzel, John
  • Fullerton, Gail


This series is organized chronologically by the term of office of the individual.
Box 5

Wahlquist, Clark, and Bunzel 1983-1987

Box 6

Fullerton 1991


Series III:  Research Materials 1965-1984

Physical Description: 1 Box

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series represents the oral history and research files collected by H. Brett Melendy during the course of his tenure as University Archivist. Several different SJSU departments or events are documented including the San José State College Centennial, the history of the Home Economics Department, SJSU Athletics, the Philosophy Department, and the Tutorials Program (1965-1968), an experimental Humanities Department program directed at freshman students.


  • City Hall
  • Emeritus Faculty Association
  • Faculty Retirements Mailing
  • Faculty Wives Club
  • Genealogy Inquiries
  • Greenwood Encyclopedia Project
  • Home Economics Department (Laah Whiting)
  • Johnson article on SJSU
  • Journalism Department
  • Misc. Publications on SJSU
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Ombudsman
  • Oral History Project Candidates
  • Philosophy Department
  • Research for SJSU
  • School of Engineering
  • School of Humanities and Arts
  • School of Social Sciences
  • Survey of the Status of Women at SJSU
  • SJSU 1929-1934 Graduates by degree
  • SJSC Centennial History
  • SJSU College Union History
  • Tutorials Program
  • Willow Glen Community History


This series is arranged chronologically by date range.
Box 7

Research Materials 1965-1984