Rarig, Frank Miller, 1880-1963.

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Frank M. Rarig was born in Kansas, started college at Kansas Wesleyan but finished his B.A. and M.A. at Northwestern University. His teaching career began at the University of Minnesota in 1908, in the fields of oral interpretation of literature, debate, and public speaking. He remained at Minnesota until he retired in 1948, but later taught as a visiting professor at the universities of Missouri, Utah, and California.

From the description of Frank M. Rarig papers, 1901-1966. <bulk 1948-1966> (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 63314455

Frank M. Rarig was born in Minneapolis, Kansas in 1880. His parents were farm people with rigid religious and moral principles and are often referred to in Rarig's reminiscences about his youth and early training. He received his early education in rural Kansas schools, started college at Kansas Wesleyan, but finished his B.A. and M.A. degrees at Northwestern University in 1903 and 1905 respectively. He never completed his doctoral degree although he took a sabbatical from the University of Minnesota to work on his dissertation at Harvard in 1917/1918.

Rarig's teaching career began at the University of Minnesota in 1908 as an assistant professor in the Department of Rhetoric and Public Speaking. In 1917 the English Department absorbed rhetoric and public speaking and for the next ten years, Rarig sought to establish an independent speech department. In 1927, Rarig became the first chairman of the newly created Speech Department, which included rhetoric, drama and speech pathology.

During Rarig's tenure as department chairman, the study of both theatre and public speaking gained in stature. His goal was to produce plays that would command respect from the community and Twin Cities theater critics. Under his leadership, enrollment in speech classes grew from one class to as many as 18 sections of beginning speech.

Rarig was most interested in oral interpretation of literature although he coached debate and public speaking. Several of his students went on to outstanding public careers; they include Hubert H. Humphrey, Arthur (Red) Motley, Roy Wilkins, and E.W. Ziebarth. He was a colleague of Wayne Morse who left teaching to take a law degree and become Oregon's U.S. Senator and a noted liberal and Democrat.

Rarig was married in 1906 to Eta Galbreath. He credits her as having a great and positive influence on his thinking and career. They had five children, Frank Jr., Margaret Osterman, Robert, Frederick, and Barbara Grinder.

He retired in 1948 and was succeeded by E. W. Ziebarth as chairman of the speech department. In 1948 and 1949 Rarig taught speech during summer sessions at the University of Missouri. He was in demand as a visiting professor and taught courses at the Universities of Utah and California. Frank Rarig died in 1963 at the age of 83. The Rarig Center, named in honor of Frank M. Rarig, was dedicated on 1 June 1973 and today houses the Department of Theatre Arts, University Theatre and Radio K (formerly KUOM).

From the guide to the Frank M. Rarig papers, 1901-1966, (University of Minnesota Libraries. University of Minnesota Archives [uarc])

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Rarig, Frank Miller, 1880-1963. Frank M. Rarig papers, 1901-1966. <bulk 1948-1966> University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
referencedIn Department of Theatre Arts papers, 1914-1983 University of Minnesota Libraries. University Archives [uarc]
creatorOf Frank M. Rarig papers, 1901-1966 University of Minnesota Libraries. University of Minnesota Archives. [uarc]
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, John Luther person
associatedWith Aly, Bower, 1903-1977. person
associatedWith Aly, Bower, 1903- and Lucille F., 1913- person
associatedWith Anderson, William, 1888-1975 person
associatedWith Bryngelson, Bryng, 1892-1979 person
associatedWith Burkhard, Oscar, 1881-1968 person
associatedWith Central States Speech Association corporateBody
associatedWith Committee to Investigate Charges of Political Interference with State Department of Education corporateBody
associatedWith Cooperative Services, Inc. (Minneapolis) corporateBody
associatedWith Dennis, Ralph B. (Ralph Brownell), 1876-1942. person
associatedWith Dietrich, John H., 1878-1957 person
associatedWith Dingwall, Ariel person
associatedWith Downie, Mildred person
associatedWith Duncan, Melba Hurd person
associatedWith Eliot, Frederick May person
associatedWith Ford, Guy Stanton, 1893-1962 person
associatedWith Gates, Larry person
associatedWith Gelb, Phillip Stanley person
associatedWith Gilkinson, Howard, 1898-1958. person
associatedWith Greaves, Halbert S. person
associatedWith Harvard University corporateBody
associatedWith Howell, William person
associatedWith Humphrey, Hubert H. (Hubert Horatio), 1911-1978. person
associatedWith Irwin, Ray Watkins person
associatedWith Kansas Wesleyan University, Salina, Kan. corporateBody
associatedWith KUOM (Radio station : Minneapolis, Minn.) corporateBody
associatedWith Lowenthal, Max (1888-197-?) person
associatedWith McCurdy, Frances Lea, 1906-1961 person
associatedWith McQuarrie, Irvine, 1892-1961 person
associatedWith Merry, Glenn Newton 1886- person
associatedWith Miller, Justin, 1888-1973 person
associatedWith Minnesota Citizens' Advisory Committee on Public Utilities corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota Department of Education corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota High School Debating League corporateBody
associatedWith Morse, Wayne L. (Wayne Lyman), 1900-1974. person
associatedWith Motley, Arthur Harrison (Red), 1900-1984 person
associatedWith Naftalin, Arthur Emanuel, 1917- person
associatedWith Northern Oratorical League corporateBody
associatedWith Northwestern University corporateBody
associatedWith O'Neill, James Milton, 1881-1970 person
associatedWith Pfankuchen, Llewelyn person
associatedWith Rarig family. family
associatedWith Reid, Loren Dudley, 1905- person
associatedWith Riley, Dale A., -1937 person
associatedWith Ruud, Martin Bronn, 1884-1941 person
associatedWith Ryan, John P. person
associatedWith Sanford, Maria Louisa, 1836-1920 person
associatedWith Smith, Donald Kleise, 1915- person
associatedWith Speech Association of America corporateBody
associatedWith Staadt, Edward, 1899-1931 person
associatedWith Stassen, Harold Edward, 1907- person
associatedWith Stiernotte, Alfred P. person
associatedWith St. Paul Seminary corporateBody
associatedWith Swenson, David Ferdinand, 1876-1940 person
associatedWith Thompson, David William person
associatedWith Thurman, A. L., 1920- person
associatedWith University of Minnesota corporateBody
associatedWith University of Minnesota. Dept. of English. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Minnesota. Dept. of Speech. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Minnesota. Dept. of Theatre Arts corporateBody
associatedWith University of Minnesota. University High School. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Minnesota. University Theatre. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Missouri. corporateBody
associatedWith Vincent, George Edgar, 1864-1941 person
associatedWith Wallace, Karl Richards, 1905-1973 person
associatedWith Whiting, Frank M., 1907- person
associatedWith Wilkins, Roy, 1901-1981 person
associatedWith Winans, James Albert, 1872-1956 person
associatedWith World We Want (Radio Program) corporateBody
associatedWith Ziebarth, Elmer William, 1910- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Public Utilities
World War, 1939-1945
Public speaking
Oral interpretation
Speech--Study and teaching
Debates and debating
Adult education
Academic freedom


Birth 1880

Death 1963

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