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John R. Emens papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RG-03-01-10

Scope and Contents

This collection includes the papers and speeches of Ball State University President John R. Emens.


  • 1926-1981


Biographical / Historical

John R. Emens was born on a farm near Prattville, Michigan, on October 10, 1901. He became the principal of the Defer Road Junior High School in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, in 1920. Three years later, he was named principal of East Detroit High School in East Detroit, Michigan.

In 1926, Emens received a bachelor's degree from Eastern Michigan University. The next year, he received a master's degree from the University of Michigan, and served as an instructor at Eastern Michigan. In 1928, Emens was principal and athletic coach at Plymouth High School in Plymouth, Michigan. He held these posts until 1930 when he was named assistant principal and director of vocational and educational guidance at Jackson (Michigan) High School.

In 1935, Emens served as director of teacher education and certification in the Michigan state department of public education. The next year, he received his doctorate from Michigan and became Assistant of Public instruction in Michigan. From 1938 to 1945, Emens held the positions of Deputy Superintendent of Michigan's schools, associate professor of Secondary Education at Wayne State University, and the Director of Personnel in the Detroit Public Schools.

On August 1, 1945, Emens was inaugurated as President of Ball State Teachers' College. During Emens' tenure as president (1945 to 1968), enrollment at Ball State grew from 1,000 to over 13,000; colleges in architecture, business, fine arts, education, and science and humanities were established. Through an act of the Indiana General Assembly, Ball State became a university in 1965. Besides serving as President of Ball State, Emens was President of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in 1947 and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education in 1967. After his retirement in 1968, Emens helped form the Stock Watchers of Muncie, an investment club, and also was a fund raiser for the Muncie Civic Theater from 1974 to 1976. Emens died in Muncie on October 25, 1976.


10 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged alphabetically.

John R. Emens papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Ball State University Archives Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA