Truman, David B. (David Bicknell), 1913-2003

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David Bicknell Truman, a political scientist and college and university administrator, was born on June 1, 1913, in Evanston, Illinois to Malcolm George Truman and Jane Mackintosh Truman. He graduated from Evanston High School in 1931 and attended Amherst College, graduating with a B.A. degree in 1935. He received his M.A. (1936) and Ph.D. (1939) in political science from the University of Chicago. On February 4, 1939 he married Elinor Jane Griffenhagen. They had a son, Edwin Malcolm Truman. After serving in the United States Navy during World War II and participating in the United States Strategic Bombing Survey of the Pacific Theater in 1945-1946, Truman taught political science at Bennington College (1939-1941), Cornell University (1941-1944), Harvard University (1946-1947) and Williams College (1947-1951). He began teaching at Columbia University in 1951, where he also served as the Dean from 1963-1967 and Vice President and Provost from 1967-1969 (a position he held during the student-led takeover of that institution). In 1969, he resigned from Columbia to become president of Mount Holyoke College. Achievements and events during his administration included Mount Holyoke's recommitment to remaining a college for women; revisions to the curriculum that included the formation of the Black Studies Department and numerous interdepartmental and interdisciplinary programs; changes in regulations concerning male guests in dormitories and alcohol use by students; the strengthening of cooperative relationships among the Five Colleges (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst); the creation of a Black Cultural Center; and the construction of the Art Building and Willits-Hallowell Center. Truman retired from Mount Holyoke in 1978 and served as president of the Russell Sage Foundation, from 1978-1979. During his career, Truman wrote and published extensively and was an active member of several educational organizations and societies, including the American Political Science Association, the American Philosophical Society, and the Council on Foreign Relations. He died on August 28, 2003 in Sarasota, Florida at the age of ninety.

From the guide to the David Bicknell Truman Papers MS 0847., 1921, 1935-1999, 2004, (Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections)

College administrator.

From the description of Oral history interview with David Bicknell Truman, 1968. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 86158540

From the description of Reminiscences of David Bicknell Truman: oral history, 1968. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122527916

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Truman, David B. (David Bicknell), 1913-2003,. Oral history interview with David Bicknell Truman, 1968. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Principals and Presidents Biographical Files RG 4. 2., ca. 1875- Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
referencedIn Columbia University. Archives. University Protest and Activism Collection, 1958-1999 (Bulk dates 1968-1972). Nolan, Norton & Company, Incorporated
referencedIn Columbia University. Office of the Provost. Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs records, 1939-2006 (Bulk dates: 1956-2003). Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn University Protest and Activism Collection, 1958-1999, [Bulk Dates: 1968-1972]. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University Archives
referencedIn American foreign policy : panel discussion, 1963. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Merrill papers MS 0571., ca. 1913-1983. Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
creatorOf David Bicknell Truman Papers MS 0847., 1921, 1935-1999, 2004 Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
referencedIn Office of Public Affairs Photograph Collection, ca.1947-2006. Columbia University. Columbia University Archives Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
creatorOf Truman, David B. (David Bicknell), 1913-2003. Reminiscences of David Bicknell Truman: oral history, 1968. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Board of Trustees Records RG 3. 1., 1836-2004 Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
referencedIn David Bicknell Truman Records RG 4. 17., 1906-1978, 1969-1978 Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
referencedIn David Bicknell Truman Papers MS 0847., 1921, 1935-1999, 2004 Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
referencedIn Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs records, 1939-2006, [Bulk dates: 1956-2003]. Columbia University. University Archives. Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith American Political Science Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Columbia University corporateBody
associatedWith Columbia University. Archives. corporateBody
associatedWith Columbia University. Office of Public Affairs. corporateBody
associatedWith Columbia University. Office of the Provost. corporateBody
associatedWith Diamond, Edwin, person
associatedWith Janssen, Peter, person
associatedWith Luter, John, person
associatedWith Merrill, Katharine, 1895-1983 person
associatedWith Mount Holyoke College corporateBody
associatedWith Mount Holyoke College. Board of Trustees. corporateBody
associatedWith Mount Holyoke College. Office of the President corporateBody
associatedWith Truman, David Bicknell, 1913-2003 person
associatedWith Truman, Edwin M. person
associatedWith Truman, Elinor Griffenhagen, 1915-2005 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (State)--New York
England
Italy
Switzerland
Japan
Belgium
Germany
France
New York (State)--New York
Austria
Subject
Lectures
Student movements
College students--New York (State)--New York--Political activity
Autobiographies
Civil rights demonstrations
College administrators--Interviews
United States Strategic Bombing Survey
Women college students--Massachusetts--South Hadley
Speeches
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--New York (State)--New York
Cold War
Germany--History--1945-
Political scientists--United States
Student-administrator relationships--New York (State)--New York
Student strikes
Letters
Universities and colleges--Administration
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1913-06-01

Death 2003-08-28

Americans

English

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