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William R. Ramsay Collection

Identifier: Mss.Coll.036

Scope and Contents

William R. Ramsay became Director of the Resource Development Internship Project at the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) in 1967 and this collection is composed of the reports he personally received throughout his tenure. This Board is a public agency of 15 southern states created to assist in the development of higher education and the fostering of social and economic growth in the southern region of the United States. The Board also administers the internships of the program for students desiring experiential learning in today’s society and aiding communities in the United States. The project itself began in 1964 with four students and through the years grew to 149 in 1968 and almost 500 in 1969. Student reports generated from these projects represent the work of a college student serving as an intern in resource development for 12 weeks. The intern, with the assistance of agency officials, local citizens and a university professor carry out studies and action programs concerned with areas such as sanitation, housing, industrial development, education, environment, employment, community organization, consumer finance, juvenile law, tourism, land use, water distribution, recreation and legal services to name just a few of the topics included in this collection. The main function of the student report is to provide the local organizations and governments the information gathered for its use and development. Interns are encouraged to include their own opinions and suggestions; therefore, the reports do not necessarily reflect the attitudes, plans or policies of the local organizations, and participating universities and colleges or the sponsoring agencies. States were divided into developmental areas to which the interns were assigned for their research and work. They received varying degrees of help from those who were supervising. Some worked entirely with the district office while others went into the district itself to get their data and information. The student interns came from southeastern institutions of higher learning, those belonging to the Southern Regional Education Board and worked primarily in those states. However, as the project grew, the areas of interest and work grew to cover most of the United States. Through William R. Ramsay’s industrious efforts and leadership, the internship program for the Southern Regional Education Board was successful. It sparked interest and caring in the younger generation through the job experiences which they carried on into their working careers. Boxes one through eight contain student reports about their internship experiences, their research, discovery, needs, and recommendations for implementation of the goals set forth. These reports are arranged chronologically and then alphabetically by student’s last name. Boxes nine through eleven contain the reports, essays, notes, clippings, periodicals, and other materials pertaining to the internships. These are arranged chronologically and then alphabetically by type of material. For a more detailed listing of what is included in each box, please refer to the series note and container list below.


  • 1961 - 1995


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Archives and Special Collections of Belk Library means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Archives and Special Collections of Belk Library claims only physical ownership of most materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to the U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research of otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical / Historical

William Romig Ramsay was born on August 19, 1931 in Bethlehem, PA. He attended high school in Douglasville, GA, and went to Berea College in Berea, KY where he majored in history and political science. He was briefly in the U.S. Merchant Marines in 1951 and then went into the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1952 to 1954. From 1955 to 1967 he was employed by the Oak Ridge Associated Universities in Oak Ridge, TN where he held three different positions dealing with university relations, personnel and resource development. In 1967 he was appointed Director of the Resource Development Internship Project which he held until 1970. He then finished his distinguished career in working with students and promoting experiential learning at Berea College where he stayed until 1994. While there he held the titles of Dean of Labor, Vice President of Labor and Student Life and Vice President of Policy Analysis and Planning. Ramsay also was a consultant for the Oak Ridge Associated Universities Manpower Programs; ACTION, National Center for Service-Learning; CAEL Project, Educational Testing Service; and Work Colleges Consortium Research Project for most of his working career. Throughout his life, Ramsay was active in community service activities as well as professional associations and received many awards for his work in the field of experiential and service-learning. Some of the community services he was involved with included the Pine Mountain Settlement School, the Berea Independent Schools, the Folk Circle Association, Community Relations Council, Council of the Southern Mountains, Clinch-Powell River Valley Association and the Edisto Island United Methodist Church. He belonged to the American Society for Public Administration, the National Service Secretariat, the National Student Employment Association, the National Society for Internships and Education, the Study Group on Service-Learning in Kentucky, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators and the Kentucky Manpower Development Corporation. He held positions of administration in most of these listed organizations. Ramsay has a long list of publications and papers which have been published and presented, all involving student service-learning and work experience in higher education. A complete list can be found within this manuscript collection. Biographical Sources: Vita from William R. Ramsay


13 Linear Feet (11 archival boxes)

Language of Materials



William R. Ramsay pioneered in the field of experiential learning and worked closely with student interns and the other associated universities and businesses involved through his interest and work experience. From 1955 to 1967, Ramsay was employed with the Oak Ridge Associated University who administered a wide variety of educational and research programs under a direct contract with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Under this program, the Resource Development Office was established to explore creative ways of combining educational, industrial, governmental and other resources for social and economic development and Ramsay served as its Director from 1967 to 1970. This office was responsible for the Training and Technology Manpower Training Project, student internships in development, and other activities related to the social and economic needs and potentialities of the region and nation. This collection represents the training and work of the interns as well as the work going on around the nation by governments involved in the upgrading of American society.


The collection is arranged in eleven boxes. Boxes one through eight contain student reports that are arranged chronologically and then alphabetically by the student's name (last name and then first). Boxes nine through eleven contain other documents relating to student internships. These are arranged first chronologically and then alphabetically by type of material.

Physical Location

The collection is located in Belk Library Archives Satellite Shelving at Elon University. Please contact the Archivist and Special Collections Librarian for further details about the location.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift. Please refer to the Correspondence Legal file for more information.

Accession Number


Related Materials

There are no related materials to this collection at this time.

Processing Information

Processed by Lucy Burgess, July, 2010

Encoded by Katie Nash, August, 2010
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Belk Library Archives & Special Collections Repository

100 Campus Drive
2550 Campus Box
Elon North Carolina 27244 USA