Skip to main content

Ben Mark Cherrington Papers

 Collection
Identifier: M126

Ben Mark Cherrington (1885-1980) served as acting Chancellor of the University of Denver, Denver, Colorado from October 1943 to February 1946. He also served as Director of the University of Denver Graduate School of International Studies and as Chair of the Graduate School. He waa a founder and the first exceutive director for the board of the Social Science Foundation. Cherrington was also an author of the Charter of the United Nations, and a co-founder of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

His papers, spanning the years from 1911 to 1952, center around his efforts and those of the organizations he worked with to create social change and a world of consciousness through education. The papers include records produced during his work at the University of Denver, the YMCA, the Social Science Foundation, the League of Nations, the National Education Association, the U.S. Department of State, Division of Cultural Relations, the UN, UNESCO, the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, Rotary International and the Rotary Club of Denver, as well as those related to his personal life and education.

Dates

  • 1911-1952
  • Majority of material found in 1911-1952

Creator

Extent

31 Linear Feet (31 record boxes)

Scope and Contents

The Ben Mark Cherrington papers, deposited with the University of Denver Archives, span the years 1911 to 1952. The papers center around the interwoven themes of higher education and cultural relations. Cherrington’s goals and those of the organizations he served are illustrated in the papers. His major goal was to create social change and world consciousness through education. The papers include general professional correspondence, administrative and official records, conference addresses, publications, images, recordings, lecture notes, course outlines and official memorabilia related to his work with the University of Denver, the YMCA, the Social Science Foundation, the League of Nations, the National Education Association, the US Department of State, Division of Cultural Relations, the UN, UNESCO, the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, Rotary International and the Rotary Club of Denver, as well as related to his personal life and education. The National Student YMCA papers cover the years 1911 to 1926. These papers cover national programs and Rocky Mountain regional programs during the time Cherrington served as secretary. The collection also houses records related to Cherrington’s travel to Europe in 1921 and again in 1926 related to his coordination of seminars for government leaders. The University of Denver series from 1926 to 1951 covers his work with the Graduate School of International Studies, his chairmanship of the Graduate School and the Social Science Foundation and his Chancellorship during World War II. Courses which Cherrington taught at the University of Denver are arranged chronologically and contain course outlines and lecture notes. The collection also contains materials related to his work with the National Education Association from 1940 to 1946 and other education initiatives such as conferences and seminars. Cherrington’s papers surrounding his involvement with international affairs begin with the League of Nations from 1930 to 1938. These papers include correspondence, background materials and reports related to the New York, Chicago, and Colorado offices. Those papers related to the U.S. Department of State’s Division of Cultural Relations, the United Nations and UNESCO record his role in international affairs during and following World War II. Dated from 1936 to 1951, these comprise the majority of the collection. His international work is also reflected in papers dated later in his career with the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, Executive Committee and the Rotary Club of Denver and Rotary International. There are other Miscellaneous Organizational records related to regional and national education and international relations and Governmental records.

Biographical / Historical

Born in Gibbon, Nebraska on November 1, 1885, Benjamin Mark Cherrington was raised as a 'Son of the West' living in Council Bluffs, Iowa, as well as Lincoln, Nebraska and then Omaha, Nebraska. He attended Nebraska Wesleyan University for one year from 1904 to 1905. He placed a hold on continuing his education by accepting a position with the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Adrian, Michigan from 1905 to 1907. But he resumed his education at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln until his graduation with a Bachelor of Arts in 1911. He continued his work experience in education as a high school teacher and coach in Omaha. Upon graduation, Cherrington continued to graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley until 1917. While there, he retained his relationship with the YMCA by acting as secretary for the state chapter. In 1919 he served as the Executive Secretary of the Denver Student chapter of the YMCA. On June 28, 1924 he married Edith Harper and raised two children, Anne Mary and Benjamin Mark, Jr. Cherrington earned five academic degrees: an A.B. from the University of Nebraska in 1911, an A.M. from the University of California in 1922, a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1934, an L.L.D. from the University of Nebraska in 1934 and a Doctor of Public Service from the University of Denver in 1953.

During this time he also began his long term career with the University of Denver as an instructor in 1926. He was named Director of the University of Denver Graduate School of International Studies, Chair of the Graduate School. In 1943 he was appointed acting chancellor of the University while Chancellor Caleb Gates was fulfilling his military duties in World War II. Cherrington served in that post until February 1946. During his term of office as chancellor, he added the School of Speech, Department of Theatre, and the Hotel and Restaurant Management School to the University's programs. He taught at the University until 1951. Cherrington also founded the Social Science Foundation at the University and maintained his association with that organization until 1943.

His work in international relations began in 1938 when Cherrington accepted the task of organizing the work of the newly-created Division of Cultural Relations in the U.S. Department of State at the invitation of Secretary of State Cordell Hull and President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This work continued with the United Nations when he was involved with the U.N. San Francisco Convention in 1944. In addition to his work in education, Cherrington was an author of the United Nations Charter and a co-founder of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). He continued his work with the U.N. through UNESCO after World War II. He worked at UNESCO for six years developing its commission and temporarily presiding as chair until Milton Eisenhower took over. Cherrington then became vice-chair. His work in international relations and universal consciousness through education resumed with the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, which provided colleges and universities opportunities to establish cultural relations and international affairs programs for their students and faculties. Cherrington was a trustee for 36 years. He also worked with the Rotary Club of Denver and Rotary International at this time until 1950. He was honored by Queen Elizabeth in 1956 for his contributions to international affairs. Cherrington retired in 1969 and remained in Denver until his death on May 2, 1980.

Arrangement

The collection is partially arranged.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source Unknown.

Accruals

No further accruals are expected.

Related Materials

VIP Files: Cherrington, Ben (4 folders). Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Denver, Denver, Colo.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

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