Guide to the Nannerl O. Keohane Reference Collection, 1993 - 2004


Nannerl O. Keohane served as Duke University's eighth president, from 1993 to 2004. The Nannerl O. Keohane Reference Collection consists of publicly-distributed speeches, writings, general letters, memoranda, reports, and policies collected by University Archives staff for general reference and research. English.

Collection Details

Record Group
Nannerl O. Keohane Reference collection
1993 - 2004
Keohane, Nannerl O., 1940-
0.5 Linear Feet, 300 Items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Collection Overview

The Nannerl O. Keohane Reference Collection consists of publicly-distributed speeches, writings, general letters, memoranda, reports, and policies collected by University Archives staff for reference and research. An index of the full texts of Keohane's speeches is available online:

While the materials in the Nannerl O. Keohane Reference Collection are open for research, the official records of President Nannerl O. Keohane are restricted. For a period of twenty-five years from the origin of the material, permission in writing from the office of origin and the University Archivist is required for use. After twenty-five years, records that have been processed may be consulted with the permission of the University Archivist.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Using These Materials

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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.

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How to Cite

[Identification of item], Nannerl O. Keohane Reference Collection, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

1. Speeches and writings, 1993-2004

This series contains a sampling of Keohane's writings and addresses, including articles, convocations, and other speeches created in her role as President of Duke University. The contents of the series are not exhaustive, and they also do not include her professional or academic writings. In addition, the University Archives maintains an index of many of Keohane's speeches online:

Columns and articles, 1994-2004
Box 1
Convocations, 1993-1997
Box 1
Speeches, 1993-2004
([2 folders])
Box 1

2. Letters and memoranda, 1995-2002

This series contains letters and memoranda issued by the President's Office to the Duke community. Included are letters to alumni, Duke Student Government, and the general university. The Washington Monument tribute file contains correspondence, photos, and an artifact related to an alumnus honoring Nan Keohane and Duke University during the renovation of the Washington Monument.

Alumni mailing, 1995
Box 1
Higher Education Reauthorization Bill, 1998
Box 1
Memoranda to the University, 1995-1998
Box 1
Memorandum to Duke Student Government, 1995
Box 1
Washington Monument tribute, 2001-2002
Box 1

3. Reports and policies, 1994-2001

This series contains publicly-distributed reports and policy documents published during Keohane's tenure as President of Duke University.

Reports to the Board of Trustees, 1994-1998
Box 1
Annual Reports to the Faculty, 1994-1999
Box 1
Harassment Policy, 1995
Box 1
Old Duke--New Duke by William H. Willimon, 2000
Box 1
Plan for the Enhancement of Residential and Co-curricular Life, 1994
Box 1
Progress Report on Race Relations, 2001
Box 1
Recommendations to the President Concerning Cultural Space, 2001
Box 1
Final Report to the Board of Trustees, 2004
Box 1

Historical Note

Nannerl O. Keohane served as Duke University's eighth president, from 1993 to 2004. She was born in Blytheville, Ark., and grew up in Arkansas, Texas, and South Carolina. Her parents, who were great music lovers, named her after Mozart's musically talented sister, Nannerl. Her father, James Overholser, a Presbyterian minister, went on to earn a doctorate in theology and taught religion and theology at St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, North Carolina. Her mother, Grace Overholser White, worked as a reporter before marriage and then, later in life, taught English and served as dean at St. Andrews.

Nan Keohane was valedictorian of her Hot Springs (Ark.) High School. She is a 1961 graduate of Wellesley College, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors in political science. Following graduation from Wellesley, she was awarded a Marshall Scholarship to Oxford University, where she earned the B.A.-M.A. with First Class Honors in philosophy, politics, and economics. She received her Ph.D. in political science in 1967 from Yale, where she was a Sterling Fellow and, later, was awarded the Wilbur Cross Medal in recognition of her distinguished service as an alumna.

Before assuming the presidency of Wellesley in 1981, she taught at Swarthmore College, the University of Pennsylvania, and Stanford University, where she was chair of the faculty senate and won the Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Keohane has written extensively in the fields of political philosophy, feminism and education. She is the author of Philosophy and the State in France: The Renaissance to the Enlightenment (Princeton University Press, 1980) and co-editor of Feminist Theory: A Critique of Ideology (University of Chicago Press, 1982). She was vice president of the American Political Science Association from 1988 to 1990.

Keohane has served on the boards of IBM, the National Humanities Center, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and chairs the Overseers Committee to Visit the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

She has been awarded honorary doctoral degrees by numerous colleges and universities. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in October 1995, and won the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement in 1998.

Related Material

  • Nannerl O. Keohane Records. (University Archives, Duke University.)
  • Duke University President Records. (University Archives, Duke University.)

Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.


The Nannerl O. Keohane Reference Collection was acquired by the University Archives 1993-2004.

Processing Information

Processed by Jill Katte

Completed November 2004

Encoded by Jill Katte, December 2004

Updated by Molly Bragg, July 2011