English

History of the English Department, 1911-2011

For suggestions or to share additional information for the Department History, please contact
Dr. Bene' Cox, Dr. Robert Petersen, or Dr. Larry Gentry


A Letter from Dr. Tom Strawman, Chair of the English Department

I am pleased to introduce the English Department's contribution to the MTSU Centennial Celebration. In our web site, we have included a wealth of information about many people and their numerous contributions to the department over many decades. Here, you will find an overview of our history form 1911 to 2011, a timeline of events, lists of current faculty and retired faculty, information about our students, and photographs of people and artifacts. Additionally, several links help users access information available on our existing website. In fact, I envision this work as an on-going history for us to continue refining and updating over the years, so this information will provide a basis for future historical study and appreciation of our department and the university.

To this end, I wish to invite all of you who would like to contribute to this history to let us know about information or artifacts you may have, so we can record and archive them and, perhaps, add them to this history. Certainly, as alumni of MTSU's English Department, you can help us build our history by sharing your experiences, useful, factual information, and personal comments.

The committee members who worked diligently on this undertaking are Dr. Bene Cox, Dr. Robert Petersen, and Dr. Larry Gentry. Fortunately, each one of the committee members has been in the department at least one third of its existence, so each of their recollections and collections of material have contributed significantly to our knowledge of the department's life. They completed hours of work searching for information in the Gore Center, the Dean's Office, Alumni Affairs Office, catalogues, schedules, Midlanders, artifacts, online sources, photographic services, and through contact with current administrators and faculty as well as retired faculty members. Dr. Maria Clayton also consulted with them, frequently worked with the technical aspects for our website, and uploaded all information. Others in the university have aided in this work. Ms. Kelly Hays organized, scanned, and re-formatted material. Our work-study student Samuel Turner aided in research as did the Gore Center staff. I thank each of them for their diligent work.

Any limitations of this history are due to the lack of available information (especially between the years of 1916 and 1936 and, to a lesser extent, from 1936 to the 60's); any omissions are due to unintentional oversight as the committee compiled a vast amount of information from numerous sources over a relatively short period of time. However, we have nonetheless compiled a vibrant historical record that is cause for celebration of who we are and how we began. I invite you to enjoy this information and recall some of the faculty who were your professors and mentors, as well as some of the events that were designed to stimulate and promote your success as our students.

Cordially,
Dr. Tom Strawman