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The Robert S. Capin Papers, 1960-1987

 Collection
Identifier: 02-03-001

Scope and Contents

The Robert S. Capin Papers contain an assortment of materials from Dr. Capin’s tenure in administration, such as personal and general correspondence, memorandums, various committees and policies, event planning, speeches, commencement, and files concerning different academic institutions and Wilkes University departments. This collection is a mixture of original and/or handwritten or photocopied documents. There are also several original newspaper articles, christmas cards, invitations, and one cassette tape.
Series Description: The Robert S. Capin Papers are organized into three series: the first one is Administration, the second is Correspondence, the third is Departments. These series are divided by the content of the folders to make it easier to find specific materials.

Series I: Administration

This series (Boxes 1-6) is arranged into two subseries: President’s Office and Events. The President’s Office subseries includes materials from the President’s Office and Administration during Dr. Capin’s role as President. This includes materials concerning the Board of Trustees, various committees (includes general correspondence, meeting schedules, studies/reports), building plans, and tenure policies. The second subseries covers Events, specifically Commencement and Speeches that Capin gave, as well as other important events (Rosenn Lectures, Wilkes’ 50th Anniversary, America’s Bicentennial). The scope of the Event subseries includes memorandums, various policies, event coordination, and some specific personal correspondence. This series is a mixture of original and/or handwritten or photocopied documents. There are also several original newspaper articles, and one cassette tape within the Commencement folders.

Series II: Correspondence

This series (Boxes 7-8) is divided into general correspondence with individuals, organizations, and other academic institutions. Each of these divisions is arranged in alphabetical order. The scope of this series is a mixture of original and/or handwritten or photocopied documents. There are also original christmas cards and recommendations.

Series III: Departments

This series (Boxes 9-11) has two subseries: Nursing and the Art department. The Nursing subseries has extensive materials due to Capin’s expansion of the program during his presidency, various arranged alphabetically. The second subseries is the Art department (1967-83). This portion contains materials related to the Sordoni Art Gallery, such as exhibition inventories, acquisitions, expense reports, and memos relating to the gallery. This collection is a mixture of original and/or handwritten or photocopied documents.

Restricted

Box 12 contains materials from the series that cannot be accessed or used for open research purposes. The folders within this section contain legal matter, incidents, and student complaints. After the required passage of time, these items will be returned to their original series as specified on their labels.

Dates

  • 1960-1987

Conditions Governing Access

Access: Open for Research unless marked restricted.

Box 12 contains materials from the series that cannot be accessed or used for open research purposes. The folders within this section contain legal matter, incidents, and student complaints. After the required passage of time, these items will be returned to their original series as specified on their labels.

Biographical / Historical

Biographical Sketch: Robert Capin was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on Feb. 6, 1926 to parents of Jewish heritage. He served in the U.S. Navy towards the end of World War II. After the war in 1947, he enrolled at Bucknell University Junior College, which would shortly become Wilkes College. In 1950, Capin earned a bachelor’s degree from Wilkes College in economics and in 1955, he became a public accountant and an adjunct professor of accounting at Wilkes. By 1959 he became a full-time faculty member. From 1959 to 1974, he ran his own business as a certified public accountant, operating from Kingston, PA as well as teaching accounting as a Wilkes College faculty member. His career included positions with the firm Laventhol & Horwath and as comptroller for Sitkin’s Metal Trading. In 1969, he earned a master of business administration degree in labor management from Lehigh University and was later granted Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Misericordia University and Wilkes University. He was given full-time professorship in the commerce and finance department at Wilkes College in 1972. His involvement with administration began in 1965 as director of the evening and summer college. Later, he served as dean of academic affairs from 1974 to 1975, under then-President Francis Michelini helping Wilkes College recover from the costly damage of the 1972 Flood Agnes. While dean, Dr. Capin was named acting president in 1974 and received permanent appointment as president in 1975. He was the third President of Wilkes University from 1974 through 1984. Many milestones occurred over the course of his presidency include development of the master of business administration program, the start of the accounting specialization, and growth of the Wilkes University-Hahnemann medical program and nursing program. Wilkes also received re-accreditation by the Middle States Association of College and Universities. He served on numerous boards of directors for charitable and not for profit organizations in the greater Wilkes-Barre area including: Board of The National Institute of Health, Jewish Community Center where he also served as Executive Director, The Hoyt Library, Osterhout Free Library, The United Way, Executive Director of Jewish Family Services, Ecumenical Enterprises, President Emeritus of Wilkes University, President of Congregation Ohav Zedek and many more. He continued to teach classes at the JCC until 2014 after his departure from Wilkes where he stayed active until his passing on June 22, 2015 at his residence in Kingston. Patrick Leahy, president at the time of Dr. Capin’s death stated, “His presidency was marked by financial stability and growth that provided a strong foundation for the university we know today. We who serve Wilkes are indebted to him for his legacy.”
References/Further Resources: Dr. Capin’s obituary https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/robert-capin-phd-obituary?pid=175132406 https://www.wilkes.edu/dr_robert_s_capin/ https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/robert-capin-former-wilkes-university-president-dies-1.1901898 https://www.timesleader.com/news/288095/wilkes-university-mourns-loss-of-former-president-robert-s-capin-2

Extent

12 boxes (12 document boxes, 5.004 linear feet. )

Language of Materials

English

Custodial History

Provenance: While these materials are from the President’s Office during Dr. Capin’s tenure and have always been owned by Wilkes University, the provenance and the original order are unknown. This is an artificial collection created off of the order of the inventory that Elizabeth Sullivan created in 2012.

Appraisal

Acquisition: It is unknown when the University Archives received these materials. The first documentation of them in the collections is an inventory created in 2012 by Elizabeth Sullivan.

Physical Description

Condition Note: The materials are in good condition. Some documents created before 1972 may have some water damage.
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Wilkes University Archives Repository

Contact:
84 W South St.
Wilkes-Barre PA 18701 US
570-408-2000
570-408-7823 (Fax)