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John O. Lewellen papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA-061

Scope and Contents

This collection includes materials spanning from 1918 to 2010. This collection includes manuscripts, correspondences, architectural papers, photographic negatives, photographs, swimming team records, flyers, photographic negatives, news clippings, advertisments, audio tapes, magazines, lineage, microcards, bulletins, awards, memorabilia, pinback buttons, guest books, and scrapbooks from the life of John O. Lewellen and his family. The majority of these materials represent John Lewellen's time at Ball State University.


  • 1918-2010, undated

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Ball State University Libraries make every reasonable effort to provide accurate information regarding the copyright status of materials held by Archives and Special Collections. Patrons may scan items or request a reproduction of one or more items in the collection; however, it is the responsibility of the patron to evaluate whether or not the intended use complies with copyright law.

Biographical Note

John O. Lewellen received his bachelor's degree from Ball State Teachers College in 1937. During his time as a student, Lewellen was an outstanding athlete. A Ball State track star between 1935 and 1937, Lewellen won the Little State crown three years and the Big State title once for his javelin throwing. He even set the school record of 187’2 1/2”, a standard that lasted 17 years, and earned him an invitation to the 1936 Olympic Trials. Lewellen also started as guard for the 1934-35 Cardinal basketball team before turning his attention to swimming and diving, in which he competed in the National Amateur Athletic Union diving competition and the Rocky Mountain diving championships. After graduation, he served for three years in the United States Navy in World War II's South Pacific and Philippine theaters. Following his military service, Lewellen pursued a master's degree at Ohio State University and received his Ed.D. degree from Stanford University.

During his tenure as a professor at Ball State Teachers College (1937-1965) and Ball State University (1965-1980), Dr. Lewellen coached football, golf, cross country, tennis, swimming and diving. In 1965, Ball State University president John R. Emens reorganized the physical education and athletic programs, resulting in Lewellen's appointment as head of the Men's Physical Education department under the Division of Physical Education and Athletics. Lewellen then served as Director of Aquatics from 1970 until his retirement. In 1978, Lewellen was inducted into the Ball State Athletic Hall of Fame in honor of his impressive career as a student athlete and coach. In 1980, the Ball State campus pool was dedicated in his honor as the Lewellen Aquatic Center.


3.4 Cubic Feet (2 Paige records cartons, 1 archival letter box, 1 video cassette archival box, and 1 oversize box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into the following series:

Series 1: Swimming pool contruction and consultation records 1938-1985, undated

Series 2: Aquaticus water performance records 1939-1975, undated

Series 3: Ball State University sports records, 1930-2009, undated

Series 4: Personal Papers, 1918-2010, undated

Series 5: Lewellen Family Papers, 1968-2005, undated

Series 6: Photographs, 1936-2002, undated

Series 7: Awards and Memorabilia, 1937-1985, undated

Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a donation from the Lewellen family in 2009. An addition to this collection was received in 2018.

Ball State Pool Technical Drawing

Donated with this collection was an architectual drawing of the Ball State Swimming Pool. This technical drawing includes balloons and a key. It is now located in the Drawings and Documents Archive at Ball State University.

UA Restructuring

UA.061 was previously RG.04.01.37.

Processing Information

EAD finding aid created 2009/09/15 by Carolyn F. Runyon. Collection processing completed 2015/01/09 by Nicholas Favela. Collection addition and reprocessing completed 2019/02/08 by Brian Faust and Mindy Shull. Collection number updated to UA.061 by Brian Faust on 2021/11/12.

John O. Lewellen papers
Completed by Brian Faust
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