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Don Woodrow papers, 1963-1988

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: SC-57

Scope and Contents

The materials in this collection document a number of campus events and initiatives from the period of Don Woodrow's tenure as a faculty member in the Geoscience Department. Many of the documents relate to the geoscience program and its evolution and growth over time, including reports, memos, grant proposals, and planning studies. A sizeable portion of the collection, however, deals with larger campus issues such as the resignation of President Albert E. Holland in 1968, the tussle between students and the administration and Board of Trustees over regulations and in loco parentis rules, and the status of the R.O.T.C. program on campus. These issues are represented by documents such as faculty meeting minutes, faculty committee reports and memos, letters to and from students and members of the administration, and college reports.

There are also a number of documents related to space planning and course offerings for the Geoscience program, as well as correspondence between Woodrow and colleagues in his field. Included are department reviews, building planning studies, and a use policy for the Henry W. Hanley Biological Field Station and Preserve.

Orginally these papers were included in the Seneca Lake Waterways Association collection, which also has papers from Seneca Pure Waters Association (an organization Donald Woodrow helped create).


  • 1963-1988


Biographical Note

Donald "Don" Woodrow came to Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 1965 and was promoted to full professor in 1975. When he arrived, geoscience was taught in the biology department. He served as a campus leader during his time at the colleges where he co-founded the Environmental Studies program, co-founded the Department of Geoscience, helped establish the current faculty governance structure, and co-designed the Science-on-Seneca Program which allows local high school students and teachers to explore the lake's living environment. Woodrow was a frequent user of HWS's research vessel, the H.W.S. Explorer (now the William Scandling). He published several articles on the Great Lakes in the Americas and Europe. He was active in the local community and served as a member of the Geneva planning board for years. He also helped found a citizen group called the Seneca Pure Waters Association to help preserve the lake. He gained international recognition as an expert in Devonian clastic sedimentation and was known for championing the role of undergraduate education as an important part of a science education. Woodrow served as Associate Dean of Faculty from 1991-1994, and after 35 years of teaching retired in 2001.

He received several of the faculty's scholarship and teaching prizes during his time on campus. In 2010 he received the Distinguished Faculty Award. He was also awarded the Outstanding Educator Award by the Eastern Section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists for being a dedicated educator "with quiet dignity and humor." He has also held scholarly appointments at various institutions including Penn State, the University Reading, England, SUNY Binghamton, the University of Rochester, and the Open Univeristy in England.

After his retirement, Woodrow moved to California and has been a consultant with the Coastal and Marine team of the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, CA. There he worked on sedimentary cores from San Francisco Bay and an Alaskian fjord. He, along with others, also completed a study on heavy minerals in the Sands of San Francisco Bay, its tributaries, and nearby coastline. Woodrow countinues teaching at the community colleges in Berkeley and Oakland. He also serves the Richmond, CA community and is on several planning and coordinating committees. Don also is the parent of a 1983 HWS graduate and grandparent of a 2015 graduate.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 document case box)

Language of Materials



Box 1: Archives Storage, Range 22B, Section 6


There is no documentation to indicate who donated these materials or when they were received, but they were originally part of the Seneca Lake Waterways Association records. That collection is believed to have been donated by Donald Woodrow, who was involved in that group and the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association.

Don Woodrow papers, 1963-1988: A Finding Aid
Bryanne McArdle with the Archivist Katie Lamontagne
April 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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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)