Stucky’s papers second-largest personal collection in archives
David A. Haury ’73, former Mennonite Library and Archives director and current MLA volunteer, completed a detailed listing for the roughly 200,000 (divided into over 900 folders) of Harley J. Stucky’s papers donated by Stucky’s son Frank ’71 to the MLA in 2010.
Stucky’s papers document his leadership in church, historical and academic organizations, and will provide insights for researchers studying a wide variety of topics.
After graduating from Moundridge High School (1937) and Bethel College (1941), Stucky obtained graduate degrees from the Garrett Biblical Institute (BD, 1944) and Northwestern University (Ph.D., 1949). He taught history and political science at Bethel from 1949 through 1959, and his papers provide an inside view of life at Bethel during this period. Many of Stucky’s lecture notes and most exams have survived. Perhaps most unique are the hundreds of student papers he retained, and the list of their names in the finding aid make interesting reading as do many of the papers, wrote John Thiesen ’82, archivist and co-director of libraries, MLA. After stints at Bethany College, Tabor College and Central State University in Edmond, Stucky worked as the academic vice president of Friends University until 1972.1
While he was a student and then a teacher, Stucky also was involved in the work of the church, being a leader of the Western District Conference Christian Endeavor and later a member of the Social Concerns Committee of the General Conference Board of Christian Service. His academic and church service overlapped as he was a prolific author and speaker at conferences on topics such as nuclear disarmament, conscientious objection and universal military training. His correspondence and notes from meetings provide documentation unlikely found elsewhere.
Stucky perhaps is best known for his role in the Mennonite Centennial and Wheat Centennial in 1974. He directed and provided much of the energy for both events. Thousands participated in the Mennonite Festival at Century II in Wichita and attended the drama and Mennonite Men’s concert at the Kansas State Fair, but many more picked up literature and learned about the Mennonite migration and Turkey Red Wheat through the trailer and float that visited dozens of county fairs and parades that summer.
For more information on this topic, visit the Bethel College website.