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"The First Fifty Years:

Western Michigan College 1903 - 1953"
by James O. Knauss

Published by Western Michigan College of Education, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1953.
Book Cover designed by John Kemper
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Book cover for "The First Fifty Years"

Text from back cover:
Dr. James O. Knauss joined the faculty of Western Michigan College in 1926 and soon after was asked to write the 25-year history of the college. As the 50th anniversary year neared he was again asked to contribute an historical sketch.

'This book is the result of his handiwork and represents long hours of tedious and patient research, carried on in the best tradition of the historical scholar.

'Dr. Knauss graduated from Lehigh University in 1910 and for two years taught in the high school at Catasauqua, Pa. After receiving his master of arts degree from Harvard University in 1913 he joined the faculty of Pennsylvania State College and in 1918 received the doctor of philosophy degree from Cornell University. In 1921 he left his native state for Florida, joining the faculty of the Florida State College for Women at Tallahassee.

'He has written frequently for many periodicals, such as the Michigan Education Journal, Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, Florida Historical Review, South Atlantic Quarterly and the American Historical Review. He has published also five biographical articles in the Dictionary of American Biography.

'His books, besides the Western histories, include "Social Conditions Among the Pennsylvania Germans in the 18th Centery as Recorded in the German Newpapers Published in America" (1922), and "Territorial Florida Journalism" (1926).

'Dr. Knauss is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, a life member of the American Antiquarian Society, a former trustee of the Michigan Historical Society and former president of the Michigan Historical Commission.'


Text from flyleaves:
'The history of Western Michigan College, although brief, has been an eventful period, filled with a spirit of growth which shows through all phases of its existence.

'Despite its recent and humble origins, it has been a history packed with outstanding personalities, devoted people giving their very lives for the furtherance of the education of America's young people.

'It is of such things that Dr. James O. Knauss writes in "The First Fifty Years."

'This new volume follows the growing pains from the tiny normal school at Kalamazoo up until the time it has become a great college of education, one of the largest and most prominent in the United States. But perhaps the story is best told in the many persons who have served on its faculty and have fostered the many ideas from which the school drew nourishment.

'It is a thrilling story of American opportunity and of the forward looking attitude which has pervaded its officialdom, its teachers and its students.

'Dr. Knauss traces both the physical and the spiritual growth of the school with a careful pen, noting those little incidents in the eyes of history which meant so much at the time, the many bricks which go to make a great building.

'This is a story of vision and of service, of an idea for the improvement of education for the young people of America and for improving the teachers sent forth to its many schools, and a story of devotion to an ideal which would not be swayed over 50 years of time.

'This is "The First Fifty Years," a history of Western Michigan College.'