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Preliminary Guide to the Paul M. Gross papers, 1939-1979

Abstract

Contains the personal and professional records of Paul Magnus Gross, a Duke University administrator, researcher, educator, and scholar. Gross was an Assistant Professor of Chemistry (1919-1920), William H. Pegram Professor of Chemistry (1920-1965), Chair of the Chemistry Department (1921-1948), Dean of the Graduate School (1947-1952), Dean of the University (1952-1958), and Vice-President in the Educational Division (1949-1960). The Paul M. Gross Chemistry Laboratory was named in his honor. Gross was also an independent consultant with the United States Army and various commercial companies. Types of materials include correspondence, clippings, reports, research papers, meeting notes, conference materials, contracts, speeches, dedications, eulogies, lecture notes, financial information, postcards, and building plans. Major subjects include Duke University, the Graduate School, the Department of Chemistry, University Council, the Board of Trustees, University Research Council, Duke University administration, University Committee on Long-Range Planning, Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies, study and teaching of physical sciences, military training, war education, munitions development, United States Navy, United States Army, Office of Ordnance Research, universities in the southern United States, and the Gross-Edens controversy. Major correspondents include J. Deryl Hart, Robert Lee Flowers, Douglas M. Knight, Marcus Hobbs, Charles E. Jordan, and Arthur Hollis Edens. Materials range in date from 1935-1979.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Paul M. Gross papers, 1939-1979
Creator
Gross, Paul Magnus, 1895-1986.
Extent
60 Linear Feet
Repository
University Archives, Duke University.
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult University Archives, Duke University.
Language
English.

Collection Overview

Contains the personal and professional papers of Paul M. Gross. Gross served as a leader of many national scientific organizations. At Duke University, he was Assistant Professor of Chemistry (1919-1920), William H. Pegram Professor of Chemistry (1920-1965), Chair of the Chemistry Department (1921-1948), Dean of the Graduate School (1947-1952), Dean of the University (1952-1958), and Vice-President in the Educational Division (1949-1960). Types of materials include correspondence, clippings, reports, research papers, meeting notes, conference materials, contracts, speeches, dedications, eulogies, lecture notes, financial information, postcards, and building plans. Materials range in date from 1935-1979. Box 43 was added to the finding aid 8 March 2007 and is unprocessed.

Administrative Information

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warning Access Restrictions

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In off-site storage; 48 hours advance notice is required for use.

warning Use Restrictions

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Contents of the Collection

Speeches, 1945-1979

Topics include the importance of graduate schools, specialization in science, and the environment. Includes addresses, dedications, eulogies, lectures, panel discussions, and retirement and testimonial dinner addresses.

Box 1
Gross-Edens Controversy, clippings, 1960
Box 1

Topics include the importance of graduate schools, specialization in science, and the environment.

Addresses, dedications, eulogies, lectures, panel discussions, and retirement and testimonial dinner addresses.
Box 2

Includes science-related advisory committees for military agencies.

Army Scientific Advisory Panel (ASAP), 1963-1973

Includes meeting files of note include a 1965 meeting with visitor packet for the new US Army John F. Kennedy Center for Special Warfare (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C. Also included are two folders of correspondence, lists and biographical sketches of panel members, organizational charts, ASAP newsletters (1965-1968) published by the Research and Development branch of the Army, and chemical war service files.

Box 3

The Frangible Bullet Project was the largest military research project at Duke centered on gunnery training ammunition for aircraft bombers. Also includes "History of the Frangible Bullet Project" which is Gross' account of his involvement in the project.

Correspondence, financial information, and reports
Box 3
Frangible Bullet Project, 1941-1951
Box 4
Frangible Bullet Project, 1941-1951
Box 5
Munitions Advisory Group, 1963-1970

Contains agendas and minutes, correspondence, memoranda, and lists of participants. Includes inaugural meetings of the Munitions Advisory Group and U.S. Army Munitions Command.

Box 6

Contains annual reports, progress reports, correspondence, and budgetary information documenting research on organic fluorine compounds and batteries carried out by the Duke Chemistry Department under contract with the U.S. Office of Naval Research.

Office of Ordnance Research, 1951-1963

Contains meeting files, research reports, and correspondence pertaining to the U.S. Army's Office of Ordnance Research (OOR), established at Duke University in 1951. Includes a 1959 building dedication and a 1951 proposal for establishing an Ordnance Institute of Chemical Physics at Duke.

Box 6
Senior Scientific Steering Group (OOR), 1958-1970

Contains correspondence, meeting files and reports (1969-1970) pertaining to SSSG, the advisory group to the OOR. Materials pertain to munitions malfunction during testing.

Box 6
Topic files: Chemical Warfare Service, National Materials Advisory Board, National Academy of Sciences, supply inventories
Box 6
Correspondence, 1933-1970

Contains personal correspondence, memoranda, postcards, calendars, invitations, and financial material (1947- 1963) Includes correspondence related to travel, his beach house on the coast of North Carolina, and boating. Also included are letters of congratulations and invitations to speak or attend events. Correspondents include his family members and University administrators Deryl Hart and Arthur Hollis Edens. Also contains consulting correspondence (1933-1943) regarding evaluation of the chemical composition of products like beer, cosmetics, film, and fire extinguishers

Box 6
Professional organizations, 1935-1979

Includes correspondence with some professional organizations, mostly American Chemical Society and UNESCO-related

Box 7
Professional organizations, 1935-1979

Includes meeting notes, lectures, speeches, correspondence, reports, member lists, and general material regarding Gross and the American Chemical Society and UNESCO.

Box 8
Professional organizations, 1935-1979

Includes meeting notes, lectures, speeches, correspondence, clippings, and reports of the National Science Foundation and the National Science, Board Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Science Committee

Box 9
American Association of University Professors (1953-1956), reports, meeting notifications, clippings, correspondence
Box 10
Association of Graduate Schools, reports, notes, correspondence, pamphlets, 1950-1958
Box 10
Criticism regarding Gross' retirement
Box 10
Carnegie Corporation, correspondence, reports, applications, 1950-1953
Box 10
Rockefeller Foundation materials
Box 10
Conference on Dean of Graduate Schools, Council of Southern Universities, 1969-1979
Box 10
Council of Southern Universities, general meeting notes, reports, and correspondence, 1969-1979
Box 11
Southern Fellowship Fund, Executive Committee and Board of Director meeting notes.
Box 12
Council of Southern Universities, general meeting notes
Box 12
Ford Foundation Institute of International Education

Includes grant proposals, reports on higher education funding, behavioral studies, and occupational retirement.

Box 12
Graduate School, correspondence, 1947-1950
Box 13
Graduate Council notes
Box 13
Menhaden oil (in fisheries), studies, correspondence
Box 13
Marine Laboratory studies and projects, proposals to National Science Foundation
Box 13
Cooperative Research Vessel Program in Biological Oceanography
Box 13
National Institute of Health meeting at Duke University, 1958
Box 13
President M. Toure of Guinea, 1959
Box 13
President's Reports, report of the VP in charge of the Educational Division, 1949-1959

Includes Arthur Hollis Edens correspondence

Box 13
President's Science Advisory Committee, 1963-1965
Box 14
Southern Association of College and Secondary Schools, 1949
Box 14
Southern Association of Science and Industry, Inc., 1949
Box 14
Southern University Conference, 1955
Box 14
U.S. Atomic Energy contract, teaching and study Atomic Energy in the South, 1956, meeting notes
Box 14
Fallout preparedness at Duke University, seminar notes, schematics for buildings, 1963
Box 14
Woodrow Wilson fellowships, 1965-1966
Box 14
Office of Ordnance Research at Duke University, publications, research notes
Box 15
Laboratory Conference for Science and Math Teachers, held at Duke University, 1954
Box 15
AAUP report "The Rights and Responsibilities of Universities and Their Faculties"
Box 15
Correspondence, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and the U.S. Army (regarding environmental health)
Box 15
Civil Defense
Box 15
Lectures, Sigma Xi (1951) and memorial for Dr. F. London (1963)
Box 15
Council on Aging
Box 15
University Research Council Grant, 1961-1965
Box 15
Marine Laboratory in Beaufort, N.C
Box 15
Accelerated Program at Duke University, 1942-1943
Box 15
Duke Council for American Defense University Defense Committee, 1941
Box 16
Research Associate material, 1960-1961
Box 16
Science Teachers Workshop, 1952
Box 16
Duke University N.A.S.A. Space Committee, 1963-1964
Box 16
Proposal for a space studies program at Duke University Duke Endowment, 1962-1968, meeting notes
Box 16
"The Status and Needs of the Private University for Meeting the Task Ahead, with Special Reference to Graduate Education", author unknown, ca. 1960
Box 16
Aging Center plans, 1958
Box 16
Biology building, Zoology, Forestry, and Botany Departments, ca. 1956
Box 16
Emeritus payments, correpsondence, general correspondence
Box 17
Administrative Committee, minutes and meeting notes
Box 17
Duke Endowment
Box 17
50th Anniversary materials
Box 17
Speech by Gross dedicating the Fritz London auditorium
Box 17
General study materials
Box 17
Committee on Educational Institutions
Box 17
Paul Clyde correspondence, mostly concerning faculty compensation, general university matters, 1962-1967
Box 17
Memo to President Arthur Hollis Edens regarding faculty salaries, 1953
Box 17
General correspondence and reports
Box 17
Ratings of universities in the U.S.
Box 17
Graduate papers, 1927-1940
Box 18
Correspondence, 1933-1934
Box 18
General materials, 1949-1960
Box 18
Phi Lambda Upsilon (chemistry honor fraternity)
Box 18
Sigma Xi materials
Box 18
Chemistry Department, general files, 1960-1964

Includes correspondence, notes, reports, and minutes from various Duke University committees, professional organizations, and other university chemistry departments.

Box 19
Chemistry Department, general files, 1964-1967

Includes correspondence, notes, reports, and minutes from various Duke University committees, professional organizations, and other university chemistry departments.

Box 20
Woodrow Wilson fellowship meetings, 1968-1969
Box 20
Woodrow Wilson fellowship meetings, 1970-1973
Box 21
U.S. Army award, 1963
Box 21
Herty Award correspondence, 1945
Box 21
Southern Association of Science and Industry, 1951
Box 21
Lecture/talk to the American Chemical Society, Florida section, 1952
Box 21
American Council on Education, 1963
Box 21
University Council, 1960-1961
Box 21
Executive Committee of Academic Council
Box 21
Chemistry Library
Box 21
Paul Gross Symposium, 1965
Box 21
Retirement dinner of Paul Gross
Box 21
Dr. Henry Heald's speech, 1965
Box 21
Letters of congratulations, 1949-1950
Box 21
Graduate records, 1941-1946 Joe Taylor Adams, correspondence and subject files
Box 22
Selective service, correspondence and subject files, 1940-1949
Box 22
Joseph Allen, correspondence and subject files
Box 22
CRESAP report on organization and administration of Duke University
Box 22
Gross speech
Box 22
Founder's Day 50th Anniversary, 1975
Box 22
Southern Association of College and Secondary Schools, 1947-1950
Box 22
Association of American Universities, 1948-1949
Box 22
Graduate School, correspondence and subject files, 1951-1952
Box 22
Undergraduate Affairs Committee
Box 23
Faculty Advisory Committee
Box 23
University Planning Committee
Box 23
University Council
Box 23
New science building
Box 23
Correspondence, 1969
Box 23
Duke Endowment, 1968-1969
Box 23
Senator Lister Hill's Testimonial, 1961
Box 23
Various reports on environmental health, radiological health, and toxicology, ca. 1961
Box 23
Environmental Health Committee
Box 24
President's Science Advisory Committee
Box 24
Various reports for Gross Committee, ca. 1961
Box 24
Development Program at Duke University
Box 24
Claude Cary Gravatt, Jr., Ph.D. student, writings and correspondence committee materials
Box 24
Departmental reports, ca. 1959
Box 24
Medical Center Building Committee reports, ca. 1959-1960
Box 25
President R.L. Flowers
Box 25
Dean Wannamaker
Box 25
Social Science Research Council
Box 25
Gross-Edens reports and correspondence
Box 25
Apparatus research Atomic Industrial Forum Conference Award, 1969
Box 25
Subject files on furniture manufacturing and textiles
Box 25
Testimonial dinner for Paul M. Gross, 1959
Box 25
Paul M. Gross Chemical Laboratory dedication, 1969
Box 25
U.S. Atomic Energy Award, single
Box 25
University Council on Aging and Development
Box 25
President Arthur Hollis Edens correspondence, reports, subject files, ca. 1959
Box 25
General University organization
Box 25
Faculty Senate, ca. 1951
Box 25
Navy contract, superconductivity, 1947-1948
Box 25
Committee on Development
Box 26
Educational Committee
Box 26
Committee on Faculty Reorganization
Box 26
Long-Range Planning and Development
Box 26
Departments and Schools reports
Box 26
Travel abroad, 1958-1969
Box 26
Northwestern University National Academy of Sciences
Box 26
Chemstrand Research Laboratories Dedication, 1961
Box 26
American Association for the Advancement of Science, congratulations on being selected to serve as President-Elect
Box 26
Duke Symposium (Gross was a panel speaker)
Box 26
Dinner in honor of Dr. Lucius Bigelow, 1961 (speech in box 2)
Box 26
Conference given in honor of Dr. W.C. Davison, 1961 (speech in box 2)
Box 26
Bylaws of Duke University, revisions, ca. 1961
Box 27
Salary increase discussion, 1961-1962
Box 27
President Douglas M. Knight
Box 27
Thomas L. Perkins, ca. 1961-1971
Box 27
Commercial vendors
Box 27
UNESCO-related
Box 27
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Box 27
Academic Standards Committee - Committee Appointments
Box 28
Paul Hibbert Clyde
Box 28
Columbia University
Box 28
Duke Mathematics Journal
Box 28
Computation Center - Engineering, 1954-1955

Includes Divinity School and Department of Education

Box 29
Engineering, 1956-1975 - Faculty

Includes Department of English and enrollment statistics

Box 30
Faculty member lists - Graduate School

Includes German Department and School of Forestry

Box 31
Graduate School, foreign language requirement - Libraries, Flowers Collection

Includes History Department and Law School

Box 32
Mathematics Department - Medical Center
Box 33
Medical Center, staff, correspondence, subject files
Box 34
Medical Center - Parapsychology Laboratory

Includes Nursing School

Box 35
Parking and Traffic - Psychology Department

Includes Physical Education (from Women), Physics, and Political Science

Box 36
Psychology Department - Romance Languages Department

Includes Registrar, Religion Department, and Research Council

Box 37
Romance Languages Department - Sociology and Anthropology Department

Includes space allocation, and summer session

Box 38
Sociology and Anthropology Department - Zoology Department

Includes University Council and Woman's College

Box 39
Duke University Press
Box 39
DuPont Grants for Advancing Undergraduate Teaching
Box 39
President Arthur Hollis Edens correspondence, 1949-1958
Box 39
Fidelity Bank branch establishment
Box 40
Ford Foundation
Box 40
Herbert Herring
Box 40
John J. Gergen
Box 40
Edwin Hobbs
Box 40
Charles E. Jordan
Box 40
Alan K. Manchester, 1949-1959
Box 40
Miscellaneous correspondence, 1949-1958
Box 40
Highland Biological Station
Box 40
Miscellaneous correspondence, 1954-1957
Box 41
Southern Regional Education Board files, 1949-1954
Box 41
Southern Regional Education Board files, 1954-1959
Box 42
National Defense Education Act, 1958-1959
Box 42
Fulbright scholarships, 1950-1959
Box 42
Yale University teaching
Box 42
This box is unprocessed.
Box 43

Historical Note

Paul M. Gross was born in 1895. He received degrees from the City College of New York (B.S., 1916) and Columbia University (M.S., 1917 and Ph.D. 1919) in physical chemistry. He arrived at Trinity College in 1919, and began his tenure as Assistant Professor of Chemistry, teaching physical, organic, and fluorine chemistry. He led the Chemistry Department as Duke University underwent the transformation from regional college to research university. Gross served Duke University as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry (1919-1920), William H. Pegram Professor of Chemistry (1920-1965), Chair of the Chemistry Department (1921-1948), Dean of the Graduate School (1947-1952), Dean of the University (1952-1958), and Vice-President in the Educational Division (1949-1960). Gross was a proponent of scientific research and its value for education and society and held many seminars for science educators in North Carolina.

Gross directed Duke University's scientific research for both the U.S. Army and Navy during wartime. Naval Research on organic fluorine gases, compounds, and batteries was carried out by the Chemistry Department under contract with the Office of Naval Research. As part of the Army Scientific Advisory Panel, Gross advised top U.S. Army researchers on scientific matters. Gross was also involved in the Frangible Bullet Project, the largest military research project at Duke University. The frangible bullet, developed in 1942, was a plastic explosive that behaved like a bullet and enabled accurate training practices. The project earned Gross the President's Medal of Merit.

While a successful scientist, Gross is perhaps best known at Duke University as an administrator. Gross' administrative career at Duke University began in 1934 when he was named Chair of the University Research Council, a position he held until 1949. The Research Council helped to guide the University as it developed into a respected research institution. He also chaired the University Committee on Long Range Planning from 1959-1960. His opinions on administrative matters, along with his Vice President of Educational Division status, led to conflicts with President A. Hollis Edens around 1960, in what came to be known as the Gross-Edens Affair. The conflict mostly concerns the debate over whether Duke University should become a regional or national university, and to what degree the institution should be known for its devotion to research or teaching. Edens resigned from his position as University President, and Gross was removed from his administrative position as a result of the conflict.

In addition to his university positions, Paul Gross also served on numerous state, regional, and national boards relating to scientific research. In the late 1940s, he was a founder of the Oak Ridge Institute for Nuclear Studies (later Oak Ridge Associated Universities) and served as its President until 1949. President Harry S. Truman appointed Gross to the original National Science Foundation board in 1950, a position he held for 12 years. Gross held other administrative positions within the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the United States Health, Education, and Welfare Committee on Environmental Health, the Council of Southern Universities, the North Carolina Board of Science and Technology, Research Triangle Institute, Governor's Research Triangle Committee, and the North Carolina Atomic Energy Advisory Committee.

As an independent contractor, Gross was called upon to evaluate the composition of products including beer, cosmetics, film, and fire extinguishers. He was a sought-after speaker among his colleagues, giving many dedications, eulogies, lectures, panel discussions, testimonials, and dinner addresses during his career. When Gross retired from teaching at Duke University in 1965, the Gross Chemical Laboratory on Duke University's West Campus was named in his honor. Paul M. Gross died in 1986 at the age of 91.

Paul M. Gross was the son of Magnus and Ellen Sullivan Gross of New York. He married Gladys Cobb Peterson in 1918. They had two children: Paul M. Gross, Jr. and Beatrix Gross Ramey.

Subject Headings

Related Material

  • Duke University. President. Douglas M. Knight records, 1963-1969. (University Archives, Duke University. )
  • Duke University. Office of the President. Robert Lee Flowers records, 1940-1948. (University Archives, Duke University.)
  • Duke University. Office of the President. A. Hollis Edens records, 1949-1960. (University Archives, Duke University.)
  • Duke University. Office of the President. J. Deryl Hart records, 1960-1962. (University Archives, Duke University.)
  • Duke University. Department of Chemistry records. (University Archives, Duke University.)
  • James R. Dean. Paul M. Gross : Leading the Good Against the Best, 1994 (University Archives, Duke University.)

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Paul M. Gross papers, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

Gift; 1993; A93-43 (Boxes 1-6, 10-27)

Gift; 1965; 65-122 (Boxes 7-9)

Gift; 1965; 65-28 (Boxes 28-42)

Transfer; 1986 (no accession number)

Processing Information

Processed by Emily J. Glenn

Completed January, 2003.

This collection is partially processed: materials may not have been ordered and described beyond their original condition.

Encoded by Emily J. Glenn, March 2003

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.