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.01 Allan A. Kuusisto papers, 1969-2000

 Collection — Box: 1

Scope and Contents

The papers of Allan A. Kuusisto, President of Hobart and William Smith Colleges from 1970-1982, are contained in 1 box and arranged in 6 series in 26 folders. The papers include materials of professional as well as personal significance, in correspondence, biographical information, colleges related documents, published materials, and photographs, as well as material added at a later date that contains additional correspondence, published materials, Colleges related documents, material regarding the Kuusisto inauguration, personal items, and Middle States Association materials. All material dates from between 1969 and 2000. Series 1-5 were given to the Archives by Virginia Spooner sometime before 1991. The collection was inventoried, arranged, and described in 1995. Series 6 was received on October 4, 1996 and added to the collection at that time.


  • 1969-2000


Biographical Note

From a Hobart and William Smith press release, undated:

"Allan A. Kuusisto, B.A. Wittenberg, 1942; Harvard, 1948; Ph. D, 1950; LL.D Wittenberg, 1963, born in Kaleva, Michigan, brought up in New England, saw World War II duty overseas in the Army Air Corps, then entered the teaching profession at the University of New Hampshire. Rising steadily to full professor during 15 years of teaching, he headed the Faculty Council, became author of "The Kuusisto Report," a survey of the university and its future, did advanced research in Finland. Named Dean of the Graduate School Department of Education as Director of its Division of Higher Education, moved up to Assistant Comissioner, then on to the Vice President for Academic Affairs of the State University of New York at Albany. Chosen Acting President of that institution, he was elected the 23rd president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in January, 1970, and took office July 1. A family man, he is married to the former Evelyn J. Marsh of Laconia, N.H., and they have two children, Stephen Allan and Carol. Member of many professional organizations, he is a member of the board of directors of the Commission of Independent Colleges and Universities of New York State."

President from 1970-1982, Kuusisto guided the Colleges during a time of student unrest and curriculum changes. In the spring of 1970 a group of students bombed the R.O.T.C. office in Sherrill Hall as a protest against the army and the Vietnam War. In June there was a riot on campus, resulting in some student arrests. A traveling salesman names Thomas Tongyai, who posed as a student movement organizer, was accused of inciting the students to violence and teaching them how to build bombs. After the riot he was found to have been working undercover for the Ontario County Sheriff's Department. Tongyai was involved in student anti-war movements at other campuses in New York, and was known as Tommy the Traveler. President Kuusisto came to HWS right when these events were unfolding, and took over the leadership of the Colleges at a very turbulent time in HWS history. Much of the correspondence in this collection deals with the Tommy the Traveler incident.

Kuusisto also oversaw some of the largest building projects at the Colleges. During his tenure the Warren Hunting Smith Library and the Winn-Seely Gymnasium were built. After retirement, he lived in Phelps, New York and devoted his energies and time, among many other activities, to fundraising for the Geneva Free Library and other causes.

Kuusisto died on April 23, 2000 at his home in New Hampshire.


From the Collection: 1 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


The papers of Allan A. Kuusisto, President of Hobart and William Smith Colleges from 1970 to 1982, contain materials from 1969 to 2000. The majority of these materials originating during his presidency, they include correspondence, biographical information, Colleges related documents, published materials, photographs, and personal files. The collection covers a variety of professional as well as personal matters during Kuusisto's presidency, including the Tommy the Traveler incident, the bombing of the ROTC office in Sherrill Hall, and the construction of the Warren Hunting Smith Library. A large collection of photographs included in the collection illustrates Kuusisto's 12-year presidency.


The collection is arranged in the following series and sub-series:

I. Correspondence


  1. To Kuusisto
  2. From Kuusisto
  3. Regarding Kuusisto
  4. To and from family members

II. Biographical information

  1. From the Colleges
  2. Resumes

III. Colleges related documents

  1. Speeches
  2. Memorandum from 1970 to 1982
  3. Annual Reports to the Alumni, Alumnae and Trustees from 1971 to 1980
  4. News Releases, from 1970 to 1982

IV. Published materials

  1. Newspaper articles by Kuusisto
  2. Newspaper articles regarding Kuusisto
  3. Publications from the Colleges regarding Kuusisto, from 1970 to 1982

V. Photographs

  1. Colleges related
  2. Picture portraits
  3. Personal

VI. Added material, October 4, 1996

  1. Correspondence
  2. Published materials
  3. Colleges related documents
  4. Kuusisto inauguration 1971
  5. Personal items
  6. Middle States Association materials


The original donation of the Allan A. Kuusisto papers was given to the Archives by Virginia Spooner sometime before 1991. The exact date of the donation is unknown. According to the original finding aid, the collection was inventoried, arranged, and described in 1995. This is when the copies of The Herald, Pulteney St. Survey, and HWS Quarterly that came with the collection were removed. The collection was given the call number G Mss file 92 K 964 and housed in the Mss files.

A second donation was received by the Archives on October 4, 1996. There are no records to indicate who donated this second portion of the collection. An inventory of the second donation was made on November 2, 1996. A copy of this inventory, and a copy of the original finding aid made in 1995, are located in folder 27. This second donation is in Series VI: Added material, October 4, 1996.

Related Materials

The Allan A. Kuusisto papers, 1969-2000 collection is part of the Archives Record Group (RG) 02.09, Records of the Presidents.

Separated Materials

Copies of The Herald, Pulteney St. Survey, and HWS Quarterly were originally included in this collection. They have been removed and placed with the rest of the college publications in the Archives. For a list of the items removed from the collection please consult the original finding aid for the first donation, located in folder 27.

Repository Details

Part of the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Archives and Special Collections Repository

Warren Hunting Smith Library
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva New York 14456 U.S.A. US (United States)