Gerald Edward Parsons papers
Scope and Content
This collection (1957-1996) contains material related to Jerry Parsons' professional career. The records include biographical materials and also papers written by Parsons concerning adult education and 4-H and youth programs. The collection also contains national and Iowa 4-H publications, several of which were authored by Parsons. Some materials of interest are a set of publications created by Parsons for the National 4-H Recognition Program and sent to state 4-H youth staff members. These particular materials are intended to help train 4-H volunteers and staff on how to use recognition to enhance the development of young people.
Language of Materials
Open for research.
Consult Special Collections and University Archives
Gerald "Jerry" Edward Parsons was born July 7, 1931, in Iowa City, Iowa. He completed his high school education at the Tipton Consolidated School District in Iowa. Parsons received his B.S. (1952) in agricultural education, his M.S. (1959) in rural sociology, and his Ph.D. (1970) in adult education from Iowa State University. He also studied at the Merrill-Palmer Institute in Detroit, Michigan, in 1968.
Parsons served in the United States Navy (1952-1954) after completing his bachelor's degree at Iowa State. He then took a position with the Cooperative Extension Service at Iowa State University as a County and Area 4-H Staff Member (1954-1961). Parsons was then promoted to Assistant State Leader (1961-1968) for 4-H and Youth Programs. In 1968, he became the Campus Coordinator (1968-1970) for Foreign Contracts and an Instructor (1968-1970) in the Department of Family Environment at Iowa State University.
Parsons left Iowa State University and joined the staff at North Carolina State University as Associate Professor (1970-1977) of Adult and Community College Education and State Training Leader (1970-1977) for the Agricultural Extension Service. During his time at North Carolina State University, Parsons directed a national research and development project, "Incentives in 4-H," served as Editor of the Journal of Extension, and for three years was Graduate Administrator for the Department of Adult and Community College Education.
Kansas State University offered Parsons the position of Professor (1977-1980) of Adult and Continuing Education, which he accepted. At Kansas State, Parsons taught graduate and undergraduate courses, advised doctoral and master's students, served as Director of the National Adult Education Institute, and participated in numerous extension and adult education activities and associations.
Parsons returned to Iowa State University in 1980 as State Leader (1980-1988) for 4-H and Youth Programs. In this position, Parsons was the chief administrative officer for the Iowa 4-H and Youth Program which reached 132,000 young people and 10,000 volunteers in 1988. His duties included supervising staff, managing annual budgets, supervising fund raising activities, coordinating curriculum development, and overseeing a 1000-acre camp facility. Parsons also served on state 4-H program review committees in Wisconsin and Kansas, directed a national 4-H research and development project on incentives and recognition, chaired a national 4-H task force and two national 4-H staff development workshops, presented staff training workshops in three states, and served as a trustee on the Iowa 4-H Foundation board. He retired on May 15, 1988.
Parsons married Diane Hollingsworth of Oelwein, Iowa in 1955. They had three children.
1.05 Linear Feet (2 document boxes and 1 half-document box)
The collection is organized Alphabetically.
Released on 2018-11-01.
- 4-H Youth Development Program (U.S.)
- 4-H clubs--Iowa--Story County Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Agricultural education--Societies, etc. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Agricultural extension workers--Training of Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Biographies (literary works) Subject Source: Unspecified ingested source
- Iowa Agricultural College--Alumni and alumnae Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Iowa State College--Alumni and alumnae Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Iowa State University--Alumni and alumnae Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Iowa State University. Cooperative Extension Service
- Manuals (instructional materials) Subject Source: Local sources
- Manuals (instructional materials) Subject Source: Unspecified ingested source
- Publications (documents) Subject Source: Unspecified ingested source
- Writings (documents) Subject Source: Unspecified ingested source
- RS 16/3/63. Gerald Edward Parsons papers, 1957-1996
- January 23, 2019
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note