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Charles Sappenfield Papers and Records

Identifier: RG-11-01-05

Scope and Contents

This collection includes the papers and records of Charles M. Sappenfield, who served as Ball State University’s Dean of the College of Architecture and Planning from 1965 to 1981 and then as a professor until 1994.

Series 1: Charles Sappenfield Personal Correspondence and Research Files, 1963-1995. This series is comprised of Sappenfield's personal papers and includes reccomendation correspondence and career posting inqueries.

Series 2: College of Architecture and Planning Departmental Files, 1956-1994. This series contains correspondence, memoranda, and accreditation files from the College of Architecture and Planning. The series is subdivided into five subseries. The College Accreditation Files include proposals and acceptance of different majors and fields of study for the College of Architecture and Planning. Building Addition Files deal with the construction of the first building for the College of Architecture and Planning in the early 1970s and then the renovation of the building in the 1980s. Correspondence and Memoranda spans the College's inception in 1965 to the mid-1990s. It includes, but is not limited to, correspondence and memoranda related to building maintenance, project opportunities, and general housekeeping for the College of Architecture and Planning. Course and Internship Papers comprises materials related to specific course offerings, including class lists to course syllabi. Re:CAP and Annual Reports contains both annual reports and copies of the College of Architecture and Planning annual publication.

Series 3: College of Architecture and Planning Project Files, 1962-1989. This series comprises the various projects and conferences organized or overseen by Charles Sappenfield during his time at Ball State University. The series is broken down into four subseries. These subseries include a general subseries on smaller projects. There is also a subseries devoted to the correspondence, financial records, and projects of Design Indiana a organization. Another subseries comprises correspondence and reports from Design Michingan a related program. Followed by the correspondence and reports of Good Design Good Business a conference organized by Sappenfield in cooperation with other architects throughout the state and abroad in the mid-1980s.

Series 4: Architecture Abroad, 1953-1994. This series houses the various correspondence and projects Sappenfield and the College of Architecture and Planning were involved in Europe and Asia. The series is then broken down into four subseries, beginning with a general subseries that contains correspondence and publications from several different nations. This subseries is followed by three more specific subseries dealing with the College of Architecture and Planning trip to China, the numerous trips to and visitors from Denmark, and culminating in a similar subseries on Sweden.

Series 5: Architectural and Artistic Organizations Correspondence and Records, 1963-1994. This series deals with the correspondence, reports, and conferences of different architectural or artistic organizations from across Indiana, America, and abroad. It is broken down into six subseries beginning with a general section devoted to organizations for which there are fewer files. Followed by a subseries on the American Institute of Architects which includes a large amount of correspondence, publications, and conference information from the organization. The remaining subseries carry a similar scope and are devoted to the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, Indian Architectural Foundation, Indiana Arts Commission, and the Indiana Society of Architects respectively.

Series 6: Multimedia Materials, 1962-1991. This series comprises the photographs, floppy disks, cassette tapes, artifacts, and VHS tapes that occured throughout the original collection. They are all divided and organized according to material type. Subseries within the series include floppy discs, photographs, video cassettes, artifacts, and cassette tapes respectively.

Series 7: Oversize Records, 1972-1989. This series contains the various oversized materials.

Series 8: Publication Clippings and Research Materials, 1960-1994. This series is comprised of five boxes and is not divided into subseries. The materials within the collection include newspaper clippings, photocopied books, whole journals, and unpublished reports. These are all arranged chronologically and by title.

Series 9: Books, 1973-1994. This series contains the different monographs and text books contained in the original collection. They have been divided into two series. The books that were already in general collection, at the time this collection was processed, were kept within the archival collection. Books that were found not in a circulating collection are included within this finding aid, but are actually housed within a ciculating collection of Ball State University Libraries.

Series 10: Architectural Drawings and Posters, 1978-1989. The Architectural Drawings and Posters series include drawings and posters of various Architecture projects that Sappenfield oversaw during his time as professor and Dean of the College of Architecture and Planning.


  • Creation: 1953-1995


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research. The exception being the Promotion and Tenure Files subseries within Series 2 of the collection.

Biographical Note

Charles M. Sappenfield was appointed as the first Dean of the College of Architecture and Planning, after the Indiana State Legislature selected the university as the only publicly supported school of architecture. Under Dr. Sappenfield’s direction, the college grew from three professors and 50 students in 1966 to 41 professors, 10 staff, and over 500 students upon his resignation as Dean 15 years later. Sappenfield’s leadership also saw the construction of the Architecture Building, which was dedicated in 1972. In 1981, he resigned as Dean of the College of Architecture and Planning, and returned to teaching. In 1991, he was honored for 25 years of service to the University at the Omega Faculty Recognition Banquet. The Charles M. Sappenfield Award of Excellence was established in 2001 to recognize outstanding faculty in the College of Architecture and Planning.

Historical Note

For many years, the collective architects of Indiana felt that the state needed a school of architecture, believing that the absence of such a school revealed a weakness in the state’s system of professional education. On November 20, 1963, twenty-five architects traveled to the State Capitol Building in Indianapolis to petition the Indiana State Legislature Advisory Commission to consider establishing a state supported school of architecture. Their plea was approved and a committee was appointed by Lieutenant Governor Richard O. Ristine. The committee concluded that the state of Indiana needed its own publically supported school of architecture. At the time, there were five interested parties in the running for the new school: Indiana State College, Ball State Teachers College, Purdue University, Indiana University, and the city of Indianapolis. Competition was intense. On June 8, 1964, Muncie Mayor John V. Hampton appointed a local committee to help sway the committee to select Ball State Teachers College as the site for Indiana’s new school of architecture. When the legislative delegates arrived in Muncie on June 30, Ball State was prepared. At the end of the presentation, Chairman Representative M. Maurice Goodnight pronounced, “Muncie was the first city that they had visited where business and industrial leaders also took part in the bid for the school’s location.” After nine months, on June 24, 1964, it was recommended that Ball State Teachers College be the site of the first state funded school of architecture in Indiana. On January 20, 1965, Representatives David Metzer of Muncie, and Elmer MacDonald of Fort Wayne, introduced House Bill #1170 establishing the school of architecture at Ball State Teachers College. Following passage in the House of Representatives and the Senate, Governor Roger Branigin signed the bill on March 11, 1965, to take effect July 1, 1965.

As soon as the announcement was made that the college would be located at Ball State, the search began for the dean for the new college. On July 10, 1965, Ball State announced that the man with “the rare opportunity” to head the fledgling department was Charles Madison Sappenfield, an Asheville, NC, architect and professor at Clemson University. At the age of thirty-five, Sappenfield was the youngest college dean in the United States. He arrived on campus full-time in January, 1966, to begin formulating his plan for the college. At the time the “college” consisted of a desk and a chair in a tiny office in the Administration Building. Dean Sappenfield wasted no time. He took the criteria and developed them into a blueprint for a program, started looking for faculty, and began interviewing prospective students.

Facilities for the new college consisted of three quonset huts previously used by the former U.S. Naval Reserve, located on the corner of McKinley and Neely. The structures were remodeled to meet the initial needs of the college until a proper building could be built. They consisted of four drafting rooms capable of holding two classes of 25, a workshop with equipment, faculty offices, a library, and a student lounge. There were also two upstairs classrooms and a former gym used as a multi-purpose room with a capacity of 400 people. The later was used for exhibitions of student works and hosting the Monday Night Lecture Series.

The initial CAP faculty consisted of Dean Sappenfield and three teaching faculty. The curriculum of the new program required five academic years of study and three ten week sessions working in an architecture office, in related construction or planning offices, or in documented travel. The coursework consisted of a broad range of classes with a strong emphasis on design and the humanities. Architectural courses included design, history, structures, building technology, graphics, construction, environmental systems, seminars and independent research. During the 1968-1969 academic year, the College of Architecture and Planning curriculum expanded to include a formal program in landscape architecture. In the fall of 1966, two years ahead of the original schedule, the first class of 165 students were admitted to the Ball State University College of Architecture and Planning. In 1971 the college produced its first graduates, 16 in total. That same year, the school was fully accredited by the National Architectural School Accrediting Board.


42 Cubic Feet (42 Boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged in the following series and subseries:

Series 1: Charles Sappenfield Personal Correspondence and Research Files, 1963-1995

Series 2: College of Architecture and Planning Departmental Files, 1956-1994

Subseries 2.1: College of Architecture and Planning Accreditation Files, 1971-1983

Subseries 2.2: College of Architecture and Planning Building Addition Files, 1966-1983

Subseries 2.3: College of Architecture and Planning Correspondence and Memoranda, 1962-1992

Subseries 2.4: College of Architecture and Planning Course and Internship Papers, 1956-1994

Subseries 2.5: College of Architecture and Planning Re:CAP and Annual Reports, 1966-1994

Series 3: College of Architecture and Planning Project Files, 1962-1989

Subseries 3.1: College of Architecture and Planning Project Files, 1966-1989

Subseries 3.2: Design for the Aged and Aging Files, 1962-1993

Subseries 3.3: Design Indiana Files, 1966-1989

Subseries 3.4: Design Michigan Files, 1975-1988

Subseries 3.5: Good Design Good Business Files, 1971-1987

Series 4: Architecture Abroad Materials, 1953-1994

Subseries 4.1: Architecture Abroad-General, 1971-1987

Subseries 4.2: Architecture Abroad China, 1978-1981

Subseries 4.3: Architecture Abroad Denmark, 1960-1994

Subseries 4.4: Architecture Abroad Sweden, 1975-1993

Series 5: Architectural and Artistic Organizations Correspondence and Records, 1963-1994

Subseries 5.1: General Architectural and Artistic Organizations Materials, 1963-1991

Subseries 5.2: American Institute of Architects (A.I.A.) Correspondence and Records, 1965-1994

Subseries 5.3: Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (A.C.S.A.) Correspondence and Records, 1970-1990

Subseries 5.4: Indiana Architectural Foundation (I.A.F.) Correspondence and Records, 1965-1980

Subseries 5.5: Indiana Arts Commission (I.A.C.) Correspondence and Records, 1968-1987

Subseries 5.6: Indiana Society of Architects (I.S.A.) Correspondence and Records, 1965-1990

Series 6: Multimedia Materials, 1962-1991

Subseries 6.1: Floppy Discs, Undated

Subseries 6.2: Photographs, 1962-1991

Subseries 6.3: Video Cassettes, Undated

Subseries 6.4: Artifacts, 1979

Subseries 6.5: Cassette Tapes, 1986

Series 7: Oversize Records, 1972-1989

Series 8: Publication Clippings and Research Materials, 1960-1994

Series 9: Books, 1973-1994

Subseries 9.1: In Archival Collection, 1976-1992

Subseries 9.2: In General Collection, 1973-1994

Series 10: Architectural Drawings and Posters, 1978-1989

Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a donation from Charles M. Sappenfield on 2008/06/12.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2012/03/16 by Tye Winker. EAD finding aid created 2012/03/16 by Tye Winker.

Charles M. Sappenfield papers and records, 1953-1995
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Ball State University Archives Repository

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