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A. Max Lennon Presidential Records

Identifier: Series-0061

Scope and Content Note

This series contains the records of the Office of the President of Clemson University primarily during Max Lennon's presidency, 1986-1994. There is a continuity of arrangement of the subjects and folder titles with Lennon's predecessors Walter Cox, Bill Atchley and Robert C. Edwards. The outgoing copies of correspondence are arranged alphabetically by recipient's last name. During Lennon's presidency, many earlier records were transferred from the President's Office to the University Records Center and for this reason the series inclusive dates span from 1939-1994. Among the older records are many related to land, legal and scholarship matters. The bulk of the records date from the late 1970s through the early 1990s with an effort made to exclude any material from Lennon's successors.

The series includes significant documentation about the activities of the senior administrators of Clemson University and its Board of Trustees. Subjects within the series include the University's institutional advancement efforts, civil rights compliance, the University's building program, the administration of the Athletic Department, and the reorganization of the University. There are records about Dr. Lennon's professional activities such as EARTH (the Agricultural College of the Humid Tropical Region in Costa Rica).

Frequent correspondents include Board of Trustee members William Amick, Louis Batson, Paul McAllister and Buck Mickel; Provosts, David Maxwell and J. Charles Jennett; Legal Counsel, Ben Anderson; Vice Presidents for Development, Donald Elam and Gary Ransdell; Vice Presidents for Business and Finance, Melvin Barnett and David Larson; Vice Presidents for Administration, Allen Rigsby and Hugh Clausen. There is correspondence from deans and directors which vary in quantity but encompass the scope of the entire University and its programs throughout the state.


  • 1939 - 1994
  • 1979 - 1993


Biographical Note

A native North Carolinian, Archie Max Lennon was born in Columbus County on September 27, 1940, to Denver H. and Mary Kelly Lennon. Lennon attended Mars Hill College graduating with an associate degree in agriculture in 1960. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from North Carolina State University in 1962 and proceeded to operate a diversified crop and livestock farm in Evergreen, North Carolina. In 1966, he returned to North Carolina State and focused upon studying swine nutrition, his 1970 dissertation being "Soy Flour as a Protein Source for Early-Weaned Pigs."

Lennon was appointed an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science at Texas Tech in 1970. Two years later he left Tech and went to work for Central Soya Company on research for swine feeds but returned to Texas Tech in 1974 as Professor and Chair of the Department of Animal Science. In 1980, he accepted the position of Chair of the Animal Husbandry Department at the University of Missouri's Columbia campus and then within six months was promoted to Dean of the College and Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station. Three years later, Lennon moved to Ohio State as Vice President of Agricultural Administration and Executive Dean for Agriculture, Home Economics, and Natural Resources. In early 1986 Lennon accepted the presidency of Clemson University and began work on March 1, 1986.

The years of the Lennon Presidency at Clemson were marked by successful efforts to increase private giving and funding for directed research. A number of research initiatives such as The Institute for Wildlife Ecology and Toxicology were established and a major building program for University facilities such as the Madren Conference and Continuing Education Center proceeded. University-wide long range planning was undertaken as well as the implementation of total quality management (TQM). The student body grew to over 16,000 by 1989 at a time when the University suffered a decline in state support as a percentage of it's budget. The athletic program witnessed the resignation of two football coaches during Lennon's administration and was the subject of public concern. As the state's formula funding for Clemson reached an all time low, programs throughout the University suffered serious cutbacks. Faced with a potential vote by all faculty regarding his leadership, Max Lennon resigned on February 26, 1994, and left Clemson during July of 1994. After working briefly with Eastern Foods, He accepted the presidency of Mars Hill in December 1995.

Information for this biographical note is from this series, Box 132, Folder 1264, "Resume, 1991-1994" and Joseph F. Boykin, Jr. "The Visionary: A. Max Lennon, 1986-1994" in Tradition: A History of the Presidency of Clemson University. 2nd ed. Donald M. McKale and Jerome V. Reel, Jr. Mercer: Macon, GA, 1998, pp. 262-282.


111 Cubic Feet (246 boxes; 1 box of 80 photographs; 3 video cassettes in one box; 15 oversize items in 3 oversize folders)

Language of Materials



The bulk of these records were received through the Records Center from the Office of the President or directly from that Office and represent accessions: 84-79, 88-74, 89-73, 89-208, 90-32, 90-94, 90-132, 92-85, 94-96, 95-20, 95-44, 95-69, 95-161, 96-51, 96-77, 96-116, 96-144, 97-42, 98-22, 98-34, 99-13. Additional material was received from President Walter T. Cox in accessions: 98-1 and 98-7.

Processing Information

In 1997, Michael Kohl, Head of Special Collections supervised John Angus Martin, who worked on them as part of archives and independent study graduate history courses, and Steven Johnson who did a cross training project. In 1998 Vicki Schmid, Library Technical Assistant in Special Collections, began work on them and supervised student assistants Beth Ciuzio and Amy Bonnette until the completion of processing in 1999.

The conversion of this finding aid to Encoded Archival Description format was made possible with a grant from the South Carolina State Historical Records Advisory Board in 2009-2010. The finding aid was prepared for encoding by Jen Bingham.

A. Max Lennon Presidential Records
2010 July 5
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Repository Details

Part of the Clemson University Libraries Special Collections and Archives Repository

230 Kappa St.
Clemson SC 29634 U.S.A. US