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Douglas M. Knight, born in 1921, served as president of Duke University from 1963 to 1969. Knight was educated at Yale and served as president of Lawrence University prior to becoming president of Duke. After leaving Duke in 1969, he worked as an industry executive at several firms. Records include correspondence, memoranda, proposals, surveys, reports, writings and speeches, minutes, audio-visual media, honorary citations, clippings, and printed matter. Major subjects include the administration of Duke University, the planning of a new art museum, university development, Duke's Fifth Decade Campaign and fundraising, the Duke Board of Trustees, Knight's inauguration, the School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Forestry, the Graduate School of Business, student protest, African-American students at Duke, the takeover of the Allen Building by members of the Afro-American Society, and student rights. Major correspondents include R. Taylor Cole, E.R. Latty, Lath Meriam, Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans, R. Philip Hanes, Nancy Hanks, R. Patrick Ransom, George V. Allen, Charles B. Wade, Henry Rauch, Edwin L. Jones, Wright Tisdale, Les Brown, Ellen Huckabee Gobbel, Mark Pinsky, Graddon Rowlands, and Floyd B. McKissick.

The records from the Douglas M. Knight administration form part of the Duke University President Records and span the years between 1952 and 1971, with the bulk occurring between 1963 and 1969. Records created during the administrations of Hollis Edens, J. Deryl Hart, and Terry Sanford are included. The records are comprised of correspondence, memoranda, proposals, surveys, reports, writings and speeches, minutes, audio-visual media, honorary citations, clippings, and printed matter.

The records of the Knight administration are useful for the study of policies and actions regarding academic planning, student life, development and alumni affairs, campus planning, the university's interaction with both local and regional communities, faculty development, and athletics during the 1960s. With the exception of fund-raising and development, the records do not provide extensive documentation on the aforementioned areas of university life. Rather, the records often introduce the primary concerns in an issue or area as well as portray Knight's views and actions. Therefore, researchers may wish to consult an archivist about related record groups and papers, including records from the Deans of the Woman's College and Trinity College, the Provost, the Office of Student Affairs, the Graduate School, and the papers of Eddie Cameron, Athletic Director.

The Douglas M. Knight Papers comprise seven series. The first series, Subject Files, is alphabetically arranged by topic, and covers a broad range of issues during Knight's term. The next series, Development Files, are also arranged alphabetically, and pertain to university advancement. The third series, Correspondence, is arranged alphabetically by the last name of the correspondant. The Reports series is also arranged alphabetically, and consists primarily of annual reports. The fifth series, Surveys, includes a variety of Duke-related surveys on a variety of topics. The next series, Inauguration and Videorecordings, includes photographs and tapes. The last series, Student Files, includes restricted student information.

Some files are restricted and labeled as such. Please consult an archivist concerning these files.