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Alfred C. ''Pete'' Nelson Papers

 Collection
Identifier: M019

Alfred Clarence "Pete" Nelson served as interim Chancellor at the University of Denver, Denver, Colorado from 1948-1949. Alfred C. Nelson served as Interim Chancellor at the University of Denver, Denver, Colo. from 1948-1949. He also served as Professor of Chemistry (1923-1936), Registrar (1929-1937), Dean of Graduate College and Director Summer Session (1937-1948), Vice Chancellor (1949-1952), and Dean of Community College and Director of Summer Session (1951-1960). The majority of materials date from 1948-1949 when Nelson served as interim Chancellor at the University of Denve. Administration papers contain correspondence, annual reports, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, speeches, photographs, memos, maps, periodicals and brochures. The scrapbooks contain newspaper and magazine clippings, programs, photographs from his days as a student at the University of Denver to his early career as a Chemistry Professor at the University.

Dates

  • 1918-1978

Creator

Extent

3.5 Linear Feet (7 letter document boxes)

Scope and Contents

The Alfred C. ''Pete'' Nelson Papers span from 1918 to 1978 with the majority of material dating from 1948-1949, when Nelson was interim Chancellor at the University of Denver. Administration papers contain correspondence, annual reports, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, speeches, photographs, memos, maps, periodicals and brochures. The scrapbooks contain newspaper and magazine clippings, programs, and photographs from his days as a student at the University of Denver to his early career as a Chemistry Professor at the University.

Biographical / Historical

Alfred Clarence ''Pete'' Nelson was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 14, 1898. At the age of two, his family moved to Denver, Colorado. Nelson graduated from Denver's South High School in 1916. He received the nickname ''Pete'' while playing football in high school after a University of Colorado football player whose name was Pete Nelson. At the University of Denver Nelson earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. After two years of graduate study at the University of Illinois, he returned to the University of Denver as an Associate Professor of Chemistry. In 1926, Nelson earned his Doctorate of Philosophy.

Throughout his career at the University of Denver, Nelson held many positions. He began his career as an assistant professor in 1923 and served as interim Chancellor in 1948. He was well liked by the students and faculty. A writer for the Denver Post dubbed him ''The Affable 'Mr. Chips' of Denver University'' in a profile. He received numerous awards throughout his career at the University including the Kappa Delta Pi Fraternity Honor Award for Service in Education (1963), University of Denver College of Engineering Distinguished Faculty Award (1963) and the Evans Award from the University of Denver Alumni Association (1971). The University of Denver awarded the Honorary LLD degree to him in 1964.

In addition to the various boards he served on in the community, Nelson was a member of many educational associations. The organizations include American Institute of Chemists, Fellow; American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow; American Chemical Society; Colorado Schoolmasters Club; Phi Beta Kappa; Phi Delta Kappa; Kappa Delta Pi; Alpha Chi Sigma and Phi Lambda Upsilon. Nelson was a member of the first pledge class of the Alpha Pi Chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha. He died in 1980 at the age of 81.

Arrangement

This collection is partially arranged.;

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Alfred Nelson, 1977. Gift of Richard Nelson, 1980.

Accruals

No further accruals are expected.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

Contact:
2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428