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Gordon P. Eaton papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 2/12

Scope and Content

This collection (1973-2002, undated) contains biographical information, correspondence with university departments, colleges and deans, correspondence with the ISU Foundation and external organizations, committee records, speeches, and clippings. Of particular interest are the materials created during the Peat Marwick review of ISU and strategic planning endeavors of Eaton’s presidency.

Dates

  • 1972-2002, undated

Language of Materials

English

Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives

Biography/Profile

Gordon Pryor Eaton was born March 9, 1929, in Dayton, Ohio. He received a B.A. in geology from Wesleyan University in 1951 and an M.S. in geology (1953) and a Ph.D. in geology and geophysics (1957) from the California Institute of Technology. Eaton served on the faculties of Wesleyan University (1955-59) and the University of California at Riverside (1959-67). During a period of academic leave from UC-Riverside, he served as Project Chief (1963-1965) for the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver, Colorado. Upon his return to the university, Eaton served as chair of the Department of Geosciences and Associate Professor (1965-67). From 1967 to 1981, Eaton worked for the U.S. Geological Survey in several administrative and scientific positions in the Washington, D.C., area as well as in Denver and Hawaii National Park. He returned to higher education in 1981 as Dean of the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University. In 1983, Eaton assumed the position of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Texas A&M University, which he held until his appointment as President of Iowa State University in 1986.



At Iowa State under Eaton's leadership, faculty salaries increased 46.2 percent; research funding support increased; minority student recruitment was strengthened; and a strategic planning process was established; and nine campus buildings were constructed.



In 1990 Eaton resigned from Iowa State to become director of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. In 1994, President Clinton appointed Eaton as Director of the U.S. Geological Survey, headquartered in Reston, Virginia. Across his career, Eaton was recognized with a number of awards, including Distinguished Alumni Awards from Wesleyan University (1981) and the California Institute of Technology (1995). He was also elected to be a Fellow at both the Geological Society of America and at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.



Eaton retired in 1997 from the U.S. Geological Survey. He has two children with his wife, the former Virginia Gregory.

Extent

19.84 Linear Feet (19 record center cartons, 2 document boxes)

Abstract

Gordon Pryor Eaton, the twelfth President (1986-1990) of Iowa State University, received a B.A. in geology from Wesleyan University in 1951 and an M.S. in geology (1953) and a Ph.D. in geology and geophysics (1957) from the California Institute of Technology. Eaton worked for the U.S. Geological survey as well as various universities before his arrival. This collection contains materials created during the course of his presidency, including biographical information, correspondence with university departments, colleges and deans, correspondence with the ISU Foundation and external organizations, committee records, speeches, and clippings. Of particular interest are the materials created during the Peat Marwick review of ISU and related strategic planning endeavors.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into five series:

Series 1, Biographical Information, 1985-2002 (chronological)

Series 2, Campus Affairs, 1973-1991 (alphabetical)

Series 3, External Affairs, 1986-1992, undated (alphabetical)

Series 4, Correspondence, 1985-1991, undated (alphabetical)

Series 5, Speeches and Publications, 1984-1990, undated (chronological)

Items in related collections

RS 2/0. Iowa State University. Office of the President records, 1959-2014

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

Title
RS 2/12. Gordon P. Eaton papers, 1972-2002, undated
Date
January 22, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Contact:
403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672