Wayne State University Office of the Vice President for University Relations George E. Gullen Records

Accession Number: 
WSR000232
Extent: 
6 linear feet (6 SB)
Date: 
1963-1972, bulk 1967-1971

George E. Gullen, an alumnus of Wayne State University, served for ten years as the Vice President of American Motors Corporation. Gullen rejoined Wayne State University in 1966 when he was appointed Vice President of University Relations, during which William R. Keast was the president of the university. Gullen later served as the acting president of the university, and he was officially appointed president in 1972, a title he kept until 1978.

Both Keast and Gullen served on the administration of the university during a particularly turbulent time period in Detroit history, including the civil unrest of 1967 and the early stages of a quick economic decline in the city. This collection consists primarily of correspondence within the university about university policies and general administrative duties, as well as meeting minutes and administrative reports. This collection also notably contains information about students of color, primarily African American students, at Wayne State University during that time period, including publications, statistics, and general data about students and faculty.

Additionally, this collection includes some correspondence about the War Crimes Trial conducted by students in response to the Vietnam War. Many community members spoke out against President Keast and Vice President Gullen for allowing the students to conduct their mock trial on campus. The correspondence contains some of the letters from community members and protest materials both for and against the trial, as well as the letters crafted in response to people by Vice President Gullen.

This collection also covers the outcry against the South End student newspaper in the late 1960s. Some community members and other publications began to speak out against the publication because they felt that the newspaper was breaching its intended scope and becoming radicalized because the reporters were covering events outside of Wayne State University. The folders contain some of the letters and articles speaking out against the South End, as well as Vice President Gullen’s initial response to the issue.

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