Paul Swain Havens Personal Papers


Paul Swain Havens Personal Papers


Wilson College (Chambersburg, Pa.); College presidents.


Paul Swain Havens served as president of Wilson College from 1937-1970, leaving a notable impression on the institution and its surrounding community. Born the son of Wilson alumna, as well as an instructor of classical language and former university president, Havens's passion for learning began at a young age. He excelled in primary school, earned a B.A. degree at Princeton University, and attended the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.

Before ascending to Wilson’s presidency at the age of 33, Havens taught courses in English literature and the humanities at Princeton, George Washington University, and Scripps College. President Havens, who was affectionately known to students as “Prexy,” oversaw numerous improvements to Wilson College, entertained prominent visitors to the campus, and advocated for the advancement of women’s education. Along with his wife, Lorraine Hamilton Havens, Paul generously welcomed Wilson students into his household for guidance and help with coursework, and taught a popular class in his living room titled "The Life of the Mind."


Havens, Paul Swain, 1903-1980


C. Elizabeth Boyd '33 Archives, Wilson College.


For information on copyright or permissions for this collection, contact the C. Elizabeth Boyd '33 Archives.

Collection Items

Class photograph showing Paul Swain Havens as a child
Havens appears in the front row on the far left.

Anne Elizabeth "Bess" Swain
Photograph of Anne Elizabeth “Bess” Swain, Wilson College alumna and mother of Paul Swain Havens.

Wilson College Alumnae at Mont Alto Park
Photograph of Wilson College alumnae at Mont Alto Park, Mont Alto, Pennsylvania.

Left to right: Mary Belle McElwain; Oda M. Nicklas Stewart; Anne Elizabeth “Bess” Swain.

Anne Elizabeth "Bess" Swain and Classmates at Wilson College Washington’s Birthday Celebration
Photograph of Anne Elizabeth “Bess” Swain and classmates participating in a Washington’s Birthday celebration at Wilson College.

Henry Clay Havens
Photograph of Henry Clay Havens, father of Paul Swain Havens. A graduate of Princeton University, Henry Clay Havens served as vice principal and principal of the American University of Beirut, Syria from 1892-1895, and taught Latin and Greek at the…

Swain Family
Photograph of the Swain Family, showing Paul Swain Havens's mother and maternal grandparents.

Back row, left to right: Mary Swain; James Ramsey Swain; Sarah Swain; Anne Elizabeth Swain.
Front row, left to right: George Swain Jr.; Anne Elizabeth…

Lawrenceville School Mandolin Club
Page from the Lawrenceville School Yearbook, showing the school’s mandolin ensemble, of which Paul Swain Havens was director.

Paul Swain Havens Yearbook Photograph and Biography
Page from Olla Podrida, the Lawrenceville School Yearbook, showing Paul Swain Havens’s academic achievements and interests during his primary education.

The Olla Podrida Board
Page from Olla Podrida, the Lawrenceville School Yearbook, showing the yearbook editing staff. Paul Swain Havens was editor-in-chief.

Poem written by Paul Swain Havens in the style of Geoffrey Chaucer, describing the challenges and hardships of student life.

The Forts of Antwerp
Poem found in the papers of Paul Swain Havens, reflecting upon the tragedies of war.

This was his Cricket-Bat
Poem found in the papers of Paul Swain Havens, reflecting upon a wife's mourning following the death of her husband at war.

The Soul of Loveliness
Poem found in the papers of Paul Swain Havens reflecting upon beauty and the natural world.

Drawing of Paul Swain Havens’s Study
Drawing of a study room in the Claremont, California, home of Paul and Lorraine Havens.

Freshman Humanities Final Examination
Instructions for the final exam of a Freshman Humanities course taught by Paul Swain Havens at Scripps College.

Comprehensive Examination for Students in Language and Literature
Instructions for a comprehensive exam for undergraduate students studying language and literature. This exam was issued by Paul Swain Havens during his time teaching at Scripps College.

Letter of Congratulations from T.S. Eliot
Letter written by T.S. Eliot congratulating Paul Swain Havens for his appointment to the presidency of Wilson College. Eliot and Havens were both American-born Oxford alumni.

Letter from Mary Ellen Chase
Letter from author and educator Mary Ellen Chase expressing her gratitude towards Paul Swain Havens.

Memorial Tribute to President Emeritus Paul Swain Havens
Eulogy for Paul Swain Havens written by Wilson College alumna Jane Taylor Fox.

Dr. Havens: An Appreciation by One Alumna – For Many
Eulogy for Paul Swain Havens written by Wilson College alumna Nan Hudnut Clarkson.

He was destined for greatness: A Tribute to Paul Swain Havens
Eulogy for Paul Swain Havens written by Wilson College alumnae Joanne Martin and Pat Shollenberger Bear.

Paul and Lorrain Havens at Scripps College
Photograph of Paul Swain Havens and Lorrain Havens outside of Ellen Browning Hall at Scripps College.

Women’s Place is in the World
Article written by Paul Swain Havens for the Wilson College Bulletin describing the importance of education in preparing women for the responsibilities of work, citizenship, and domestic life.

America Needs the College for Women
Article written by Paul Swain Havens arguing that colleges for women offer educational advantages not found at coeducational institutions.

Here’s to Scripps's Faculty
Lyrics to a humorous song extolling the faculty of Scripps College.

Lecture notes from a Freshman Humanities course
The first page from notes for a lecture delivered by Paul Swain Havens while he was teaching at Scripps College. This lecture was given at the end of a humanities course for first year students at the college.
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