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Charles S. Swope Collection

Identifier: 036
This collection is divided into six series.

Series 1: Speeches, Addresses and Event Programs includes mostly outlines and notes used to deliver speeches. Many items in this series appear to be only fragments of fuller outlines either lost or updated over time.

Series 2: Correspondence includes some limited professional correspondence relating to college affairs.

Series 3: Administrative Papers includes memos and documents relating to miscellaneous events and campus matters such as convocations, ROTC, faculty retirement dinners, and visiting lecturers.

Series 4: Scrapbooks, Press Clippings and Obituaries includes an extensive collection of yearly scrapbooks and small folders containing loose press clippings related to Swope’s appointment and inauguration as well as obituaries.

Series 5: Photographs and Memorabilia includes images of Swope and associates.

Series 6: Honors, Awards and Memorials includes certificates, plaques, programs and related items acknowledging Dr. Swope.


  • 1919 - 1959
  • Majority of material found within 1928 - 1959



15 Boxes


Dr. Charles S. Swope (1899-1959) was president of West Chester State Teachers College from 1935-1959. He was a 1921 graduate of West Chester State Normal School and began his career as a teacher and school superintendent in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This collection includes many outlines for speeches Dr. Swope delivered during his career as well as correspondence, administrative papers, and ephemera from his time at West Chester. A large portion of the collection is comprised of yearly scrapbooks filled with press clippings.

Biographical / Historical

Dr. Charles S. Swope (1899-1959) was born in Saltillo, PA. He was a rural school teacher in Beaverstown, PA (1916-18) before enrolling at West Chester State Normal School (WCSNS), where he graduated in 1921. Swope later earned a BA degree from Dickinson College (1925) and an MA from the University of Pennsylvania, and he was later awarded the degree of Doctor of Pedagogy from Dickinson College.

Dr. Swope taught at Pennington School for Boys from 1921 to 1926 under the direction of former West Chester professor and Pennington headmaster Francis Harvey Green. During the 1926-27 school term, Dr. Swope served as superintendent of the public schools in Everett, PA. In 1927, he joined the faculty of West Chester State Teachers College (WCSTC) as a social studies teacher. He remained in West Chester for the rest of his career, becoming President of WCSTC in 1935, the position he held until his death in 1959.

During Dr. Swope’s career as president of WCSTC, the college became the largest undergraduate school of education in the state and witnessed the creation of a graduate school. Dr. Swope also began planning the large campus building project that began shortly after his death.

Outside of his administrative duties at WCSTC, Dr. Swope played a leading role in the West Chester Rotary Club, serving on its board of directors (1936-1942), as its president (1940-41), and also as Governor of the 179th District of the Rotary International (1947-48). Dr. Swope was also involved in many other civic organizations including the West Chester Elks Lodge, Chester County Council of Boy Scouts, National Education Association, and the Methodist Church of West Chester. He delivered dozens of speeches at these and other organizations during his career.

Dr. Swope married fellow WCSNS graduate Edna M. McAllister in 1928. They had two children: Charles E. Swope, President of the Board of Directors of West Chester State Teachers College/State College, and Richard M. Swope.


The archivist organized this collection according to the following scheme because it lacked an original arrangement. The collection is now arranged into series by topic, which are arranged chronologically when possible.
Charles S. Swope Collection
Ron McColl; Jesse Brody
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the West Chester University Archives Repository