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Maurice B. Mitchell Civil Rights Commission Papers

Identifier: M176


  • 1968-1975


Biographical / Historical

Born in New York City on Feb. 9, 1915, Maurice Mitchell attended New York University and began his career in advertising working for the New York Times in 1935. He also served as advertising director and managing editor of the Gouverneur Tribune Press (NY). From that position, he continued working as advertising director for three upstate New York daily papers. After his service with the Army Tank Corps in World War II, Mitchell’s interest in communications turned to the electronic field. Mitchell joined the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) as manager of the Washington, D.C. Station, WTOP. In 1948, he assumed an executive position with the National Association of Broadcasters and in 1950 joined the Muzak Corporation as vice-president. His success in that post led to his selection as President of Encyclopedia Britannica Films, Inc., in 1962. Through his job at the National Association of Broadcasters, Mitchell taught several summer seminars (1948-1950) in broadcasting and communications management at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado. He resigned in 1967 to become Chancellor of the University of Denver.

Maurice Mitchell was inaugurated Chancellor of the University of Denver on October 20, 1967. He served as the thirteenth Chancellor of the University of Denver from 1967 to 1978. He brought experience in business, education, and national affairs to the post. He served as Chancellor for eleven years, leaving in 1978 to become President of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, located in California. During his tenure at the University of Denver a host of new programs began, such as the annual Publishing Institute. Gifts also made several new buildings possible. The buildings constructed under his leadership include Penrose Library and the Shwayder Art Building. A noteworthy incident that occurred during his tenure was Woodstock West, a student protest against the Vietnam War. Due to his firm resolve, peace returned to campus and classes continued during the height of student protests across the United States.

He then left to work as President of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions. Mitchell resigned from the Center when it merged with the University of California. In 1983, he became President of the Washington program at the Annenberg School of Communications. Mitchell served on the boards of many professional corporations and civic organizations including Colorado and Southern Railroad, the Federal Reserve Bank (Denver Branch), the Colorado State Historical Society, the United States Commission on Civil Rights, and the Colorado Springs Saving Bonds Committee. He received numerous awards for his hard work and dedication, including the Brotherhood Award, National Conference of Christians and Jews (1968); the George Washington Medal, Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge (1969); the Service to Mankind Award, Mile High Sertoma Club (1970); the Golden Plate Award, American Academy of Achievement (1972); and the Malcolm Glenn Wyer Award of the Adult Education Council of Metropolitan Denver (1975). He married Mary V. Rowles in 1951. They had three children, Lee, Keith, and Deborah. Mrs. Mitchell was active in the University of Denver Women’s Association, the Kent School for Girls, and several other organizations. She passed away in 1991. Maurice Mitchell died in 1996.


14 Linear Feet (12 record boxes, loose material)

22.25 Linear Feet (23 containers)

Scope and Contents

The Maurice B. Mitchell Civil Rights Commission Papers contain the papers, reports and books relating to Mitchell's work on the United States Civil Rights Commission.


This collection is unarranged.

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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

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