New York University. Bureau of Public Occasions.

Hide Profile

The Bureau of Public Occasions was first created under Chancellor Elmer Ellsworth Brown in 1930, originally under the name of Bureau of Public Information. By 1933 Chancellor Harry Woodburn Chase changed the name to the Bureau of Public Occasions. Originally, the Bureau of Public Occasions reported to the Office of the Vice Chancellor and Secretary of the University and the role of Director of the Bureau of Public Occasions was part-time. However, as the demands for services grew and the Bureau was utilized by all schools and departments, on September 1, 1954, the Director of the Bureau of Public Occasions became a full-time position. The Director of the Bureau also became Assistant Secretary of the University under Chancellor Henry Townley Heald. Then in 1974, under President James McNaughton Hester, the Bureau of Public Occasions was organizationally transferred to the office of Planning and Development. The Bureau of Public Occasions continued until 1976 when the then-Director Arthur Rubin became Director of the Office of External Affairs, Commencement and Special Events. The Bureau of Public Occasions and the Office of External Affairs, Commencement and Special Events were the precursors for NYU's current Office of University Events, which is a division of University Relations and Public Affairs.

Throughout its history, the Bureau of Public Occasions was involved in the implementation of University functions to which the public was invited, such as commencement and commencement-related events, the James Stokes Lectureship on Politics, the Charles F. Deems Lecture Series, Founders Day Honors Convocations, the inauguration of President James M. Hester and dedications of numerous University buildings. The Bureau's main responsibilities were to supervise and to coordinate the planning and implementation of any event considered a public occasion, averaging more than 400 a year. The Bureau was also charged with the responsibility of creating promotional materials for those events. The Bureau of Public Occasions worked with various departments within the University, including the Office of Information Services, the Office for University Development, the Office of Publication and Printing, and the Office of Property Supervision.

The Bureau of Public Occasions was also involved in planning some of the public events relating to the Hall of Fame for Great Americans and New York University's expansion into Puerto Rico. Information on these two locales is scattered throughout various collections in this repository, and this collection offers a partial record of their activities. The Hall of Fame for Great Americans (the first hall of fame in America) was conceived by Chancellor Henry Mitchell MacCracken. It was opened in 1901 and was located on the University Heights Campus of NYU. The building, which housed the Hall of Fame, the Temple of Fame, was designed by Stanford White, and it was intended to be a temple of American wisdom and valor. The selection of twenty-nine political and literary figures ranging from George Washington to Washington Irving was chosen by a panel of one hundred individuals. The Hall of Fame still stands today as part of the Bronx Community College campus.

In 1949 New York University's School of Education first offered courses for graduate credit in Puerto Rico in cooperation with the University of Puerto Rico. By 1960 the program offered eighteen courses. However, since only one-third of the course work for these degrees could be taken in Puerto Rico, students had to come to New York City for an academic year or two summers. As a result of this requirement and expanding class sizes, NYU established a Residence Center in Puerto Rico in the summer of 1961. From 1949 to 1961, approximately 1,500 educators enrolled and more than four hundred masters' degrees were awarded, six students completed doctorates in NYU's School of Education. Then, in 1963, Dr. Parmer L. Ewing was named Director of the Puerto Rico Program. The first New York University commencement in Puerto Rico, which was planned by the Bureau of Public Occasions, was held on December 9, 1969. The Bureau was also involved in planning the next two commencements: December 5, 1970, and December 4, 1971. These Commencements were distinct from the Commencements in New York and had their own honorary degree recipients.

During the time span of this collection there were five Directors of the Bureau of Public Occasions. In order of their appointment, they were:

Alvin Clayton Busse was Professor of Speech and Dramatics at NYU for thirty years. He was a native of Slayton, Minnesota, and graduated with a B.A. from Macalester College in 1921. In 1924 Alvin Busse received his M.A. from NYU. Busse was first appointed as Instructor of Speech at NYU in 1921 and received his first Assistant Professorship in 1928. In 1934 he was promoted to Associate Professor and in 1950 to Professor. Busse was the Director of the Bureau of Public Information from 1930 to 1933 while he was also the first Director of the Bureau of Public Occasions. Alvin Busse continued to serve as the Director of the Bureau of the Public Occasions until 1942, when he left on military leave; he then resumed his role as Director from 1945 to 1950. Busse served in the USMC during WWI and WWII.

Ormond J. Drake received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Michigan in 1930 and 1931 respectively. He joined the faculty of NYU's College of Arts and Science as Professor of Speech and Chairman of the Department of Speech and Dramatics at NYU in September 1938, and in 1949 he was named Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions at College of Arts and Science. Drake was the Acting Director of the Bureau of Public Occasions from 1943 to 1945 and Director of the Bureau of Public Occasions from 1952 to 1956. Ormond Drake then went on to become the Associate Dean of the School of Continuing Education, and in 1956 Director of Town Hall. On March 10, 1965, Ormond J. Drake received a citation from Mayor Robert Wagner for distinguished and exceptional service.

Fred Crossland graduated from Brooklyn College in 1943 and received his M.A. in 1947 and Ph.D. in 1953, both from NYU. Crossland became a faculty member in NYU's School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance in 1947 and was promoted from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor of Political Science. From 1956 to 1959 Fred Crossland served as Assistant Secretary of the University and as Director of its Bureau of Public Occasions. In 1959 Crossland was named Director of Admissions and in 1962 was named Dean of Admissions. In 1964 Crossland left NYU to become a Program Associate in the Education Program of the Ford Foundation.

Morton C. Kimball served as the Director of the Bureau of Public Occasions from February 1, 1959, to August 31,1963, when he then became the Director of Housing at NYU.

Arthur H. Rubin received his B.S. from NYU's Business Education Department in the School of Education in 1951. In 1959 he received his M.A. in Guidance and Personnel Administration from NYU's School of Education. Rubin started his career at NYU in 1947 as an Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Dean of the School of Education. He was promoted to several positions before September 1963, when he was appointed Director of the Bureau of Public Occasions, succeeding Morton C. Kimball. On June 30, 1971, Rubin was awarded a presidential citation for "consistently high quality of the manner in which he has presented our institution to the public." In 1974 Rubin was promoted to Assistant VP for Public Occasions, a newly created position. In this same year, the Office of the Bureau of Public Occasions began to report to W.F. Payne, Executive Vice President for Planning and Development. In 1976 Rubin became Director of Extramural Affairs and later that year was named Associate Dean for Administration at the NYU College of Dentistry. In 1980 Rubin became Director of Alumni Affairs at NYU.

Source:

Frusciano, Thomas J. and Marilyn H. Pettit, New York University and the City: an illustrated history, 1831-1996 . New Brunswick, NY: Rutgers University Press, 2007

From the guide to the Records of the Bureau of Public Occasions, Bulk, 1950-1976, 1935-1976, (New York University Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Records of the Bureau of Public Occasions, Bulk, 1950-1976, 1935-1976 New York University. Archives.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Busse, Alvin C. person
associatedWith Chase, Harry Woodburn, 1883-1955 person
associatedWith Crossland, Fred person
associatedWith Deems, Charles F. person
associatedWith Drake, Ormond J. person
associatedWith Gallatin Associates. corporateBody
associatedWith Heald, Henry T., (Henry Townly), 1904-1975 person
associatedWith Kimball, LeRoy Ellwood, b. 1888 person
associatedWith Kimball, Morton C. person
associatedWith MacCracken, Henry Mitchell, 1840-1918 person
associatedWith McNaughton Hester, James person
associatedWith Nelson, Norton person
associatedWith Newsom, Carroll Vincent, 1904- person
associatedWith New York University. corporateBody
associatedWith New York University. Alumni Association. corporateBody
associatedWith New York University. Hall of Fame for Great Americans. corporateBody
associatedWith Onassis, Jacqueline Kennedy person
associatedWith Phelps, Anson G. person
associatedWith Rubin, Arthur H person
associatedWith Stokes, James person
associatedWith Voorhis, Howard O. person
associatedWith White, Stanford, 1853-1906 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (State) |z New York.
Puerto Rico.
Subject
Award dinners
Occupation
Function
Commencement Ceremonies

Corporate Body

Related Descriptions
Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6bb0snd

Ark ID: w6bb0snd

SNAC ID: 44239906