This Is Auburn Auburn University Libraries Special Collections & Archives Home
Hours of Operation (Special Collections & Archives)

Search Archival and Manuscript Collections


Featured Collection

John Jenkins Wilmore Papers

Record Group No. 645

Portrait of John Jenkins Wilmore, circa 1938.
John Jenkins Wilmore, circa 1938.

 

John Jenkins Wilmore began work at Auburn in 1888 and was dean of engineering from 1907 until his death in 1943. The John Jenkins Wilmore Papers contain letters, essays, speeches, and photographs pertaining to Wilmore’s fifty-five year career at API (now Auburn University). The papers also include Wilmore family correspondence and records dating back to 1834, including letters from John W. Jenkins, Secretary of the Territory of Colorado, 1874-1875.

The following excerpt from an essay written by Wilmore as a student at Purdue University provides advice that he himself would find useful later in life:

 “Therefore in the Spring and Summer of life let us gather all these drifting ideas we can and incorporate them into the pile of knowledge we should be constantly cording up, so that when the time comes in which it costs us an effort to collect our fuel, we may have an ample supply on hand to keep the fires of our intellect brightly burning until the last silver cord of our earthly existence is broken and we fly away.”

Summer Driftwood for Winter Fire by John Wilmore, circa 1887.

Scanned page from Summer Driftwood for Winter Fire essay by Wilmore, circa 1887.

Page from Summer Driftwood for Winter
Fire essay by Wilmore, circa 1887.

 

Wilmore’s career at API as an instructor and later, dean of engineering, required ideas and information to be communicated clearly and at times, to be pulled together quickly. In 1932, Wilmore became a member of an administrative committee selected by the Board of Trustees to lead the college in lieu of a president. Wilmore addressed the API faculty at the start of the school year:

“I would like to get before this group the idea that the student is the material on which we work. If we do not have this material we do not have jobs. Neither is this a penal institution where students are required to come and spend a certain length of time. These students are our customers.”

Speech by John Wilmore at API faculty meeting, September 5, 1932.

Black-and-White Photograph: Governor Miller presents honorary degrees to Wilmore, Duncan, and Crenshaw in 1934.

Governor Miller presents honorary degrees to Wilmore, Duncan, and
Crenshaw in 1934.

An exhibit of select materials from the John Jenkins Wilmore Papers is on display in Special Collections and Archives from January to December 2019.


Questions? Contact us at archives@auburn.edu or 334-844-1732.

Last updated: 07/19/2019