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White (Howard A.) Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Biographical note
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Processing Information note
  • Separated Materials
  • Related Archival Materials

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Pepperdine University. Special Collections and University Archives.
    Title: Howard A. White Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 0010
    Physical Description: 97.71 Linear Feet (79 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1938-1991
    Date (bulk): 1957-1990
    Abstract: The collection contains professional and personal papers of Howard A. White dating from 1938 to 1991. The bulk of the materials range from 1957 to 1990 and document his professional involvement with Pepperdine University in various administrative roles, and personal documents including speeches, personal and family history, and book research for Crest of a Golden Wave.
    Physical Location: Pepperdine University. Special Collections and University Archives.
    Language of Material: Materials are in English.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Advance notice required for access. Materials in sub-series 2.3 are restricted until January 1, 2020. Materials in series 3 are restricted for 50 years after their date of creation; the entire series will be open in 2036.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

    Preferred Citation

    [Box/folder# or item name], Howard A. White papers, Collection no. 0010, Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries, Pepperdine University.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Items in the collection were transferred to the University Archives in October 1989, and after Howard White's death in 1991.

    Biographical note

    Howard Ashley White was born on September 28, 1913, in Cloverdale, Alabama, to a family of teachers. He attended David Lipscomb College, and was almost forced to leave due to money issues during the Depression, but the school loaned him the money to continue his education. White then planned to attend Tulane University, and sought a ministerial position in New Orleans part-time to augment his schooling. He received the position of minister at the Carrollton Avenue Church of Christ. While the elders there initially wanted him to work full time, he convinced them to allow him to attend Tulane as well, where he received his bachelor's and doctorate degrees in history. White extensively studied the Reconstruction Era in the United States, and later published a book, The Freedmen's Bureau in Lousiana (1970).
    White served at the Carrollton Avenue Church for 12 years before academia called again. He began teaching at David Lipscomb College in 1953, and eventually became chairman of the history department. In 1958, Norvel Young recruited him to teach at Pepperdine College, where he served as a history professor and the chairman of the Department of Social Studies.
    In 1962, White was named director of Pepperdine's graduate program, and in 1965 he became Dean of Graduate Studies. He also served as the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, before being appointed the Executive Vice President in 1970 under President William S. Banowsky. He held this position until Banowsky's resignation in 1978, whereupon he was appointed President of the university. During his time at Pepperdine, he also became the founding director of the Pepperdine's Year-In Europe program, and helped M. Norvel Young recruit students for the first program in Heidelberg, Germany.
    As President of Pepperdine, White is credited with bolstering faculty numbers and raising faculty salaries, tightening admissions standards to make Pepperdine a selective school for the first time in its history, and establishing four urban education centers in Los Angeles and Orange Counties to serve graduate students. He also famously doubled Pepperdine's financial resources through the university's first nine-figure capital campaign, called the "Wave of Excellence". It ultimately raised $137.8 million dollars for the university, far exceding the $100 million dollar goal. These funds helped White add 200 acres to the campus and construct major facilities, including music and theater buildings, student and faculty housing, the Helen Field Heritage Hall, and the baseball stadium. A major sports supporter on campus, White was also instrumental in bringing the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics to Pepperdine for the water polo competitions.
    White retired from the Presidency in 1985, but continued to serve as President Emeritus until health problems no longer allowed him to do so. He passed away on February 1, 1991, and was survived by his two sons. His wife, Maxcine Elliott Feltman White (May 5, 1919-January 19, 1973), preceded him in death, passing away after a struggle with cancer. White's legacy is honored in many ways at Pepperdine, including the Howard A. White Award for Teaching Excellence, the Howard A. White Professorship in History, and the Howard A. White Center (HAWC) on campus.

    Scope and Content

    The collection contains professional and personal papers of Howard A. White dating from 1938 to 1991. The collection contains chronological correspondence files; subject and correspondence files from White's office at Pepperdine University; files related to university boards (including the Board of Trustees, Board of Regents, and University Board); White's appointment books; notes and copies of speeches and sermons; and personal files including biographical information, personal and family history, and notes made in the course of writing the book Crest of a Golden Wave.
    White documented many aspects of Pepperdine's history and people, and made extensive notes and reports about the university. As a result, the collection also contains correspondence and files originally created by other individuals including M. Norvel Young, William S. Banowsky, Thomas Bost, Jerry Hudson, Donald Miller, and others.
    Items are primarily paper, but the collection also includes photographs and large blueprints.


    The collection is arranged in six series:
    Series 1: Chronological Correspondence Series 2: Subject/Correspondence Files Series 3: University Boards Series 4: Appointment Books Series 5: Speeches Series 6: Personal Files

    Processing Information note

    The collection was arranged and described by Jamie Henricks and Jessica Geiser in June, 2012.

    Separated Materials

    Contact information cards from William Banowsky's rolodex were moved from the Howard A. White papers to the William S. Banowsky papers.

    Related Archival Materials

    Other collections with material from Howard White's time at Pepperdine are the M. Norvel and Helen Young papers and the William S. Banowsky papers.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Speeches, addresses, etc., American -- 20th century
    Malibu (Calif.) -- History -- 20th century
    Financial records
    Universities and colleges -- United States -- Records and correspondence
    Universities and colleges -- History
    Universities and colleges -- Faculty
    Universities and colleges -- Employees
    College administrators -- United States -- History
    College presidents -- California -- Malibu
    Education, Higher -- California -- Malibu
    Universities and colleges -- California -- Malibu -- History
    Universities and colleges -- Administration
    Administrative records
    Appointment books
    Graziadio School of Business and Management
    Pepperdine University. School of Law
    Pepperdine University
    Pepperdine University. Board of Trustees
    Miller, Donald V.
    Tiner, Hugh M. (Hugh Marvin)
    Pepperdine University. Office of the President
    Seaver College
    White, Howard A. (Howard Ashley)
    Young, M. Norvel (Matt Norvel)
    Banowsky, William Slater