Southern Methodist University

James O. Breeden collection of student papers

A Guide to the Collection


Creator: Breeden, James O.
Title: James O. Breeden collection of student papers
Dates: 1990-1992
Abstract: This collection is made up of papers on the history of Southern Methodist University written by undergraduate students in a history course taught by Dr. James Breeden. The papers cover a variety of topics, and are about twenty pages in length. Also included are manuscripts from SMU English professor Marshall Terry’s book From High on the Hilltop.
Accession No: SMU 1994.0225
Extent: 1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Language: Material is in English
Repository Southern Methodist University Archives, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

Dr. James O. Breeden worked as a professor of American history at Southern Methodist University. Breeden received a Ph.D. from Tulane University in New Orleans, and taught at SMU from 1969 until 2004.

He specialized in antebellum Southern history, and also taught an undergraduate course on the history of SMU. As Dr. Breeden explained, the great benefit of the class was to give students writing experience. Rather than simply looking up secondary source information, students engaged in primary research using university records from the SMU Archives in the DeGolyer Library on campus. "I expect them to improve their powers of analysis and to use creativity to put information together from different types of sources," Breeden said. "If they understand the history of where they are, they will be better equipped to deal with it."

Topics researched in the class included the development of the SMU athletic program in the early years of the university, events in the life of SMU during a particular era, and the history of SMU fundraising drives. The papers that students wrote were expected to be roughly twenty pages in length. Copies of the papers were kept in the SMU archives for future use by researchers.

In addition, students also studied the history of higher education in the United States; Dr. Breeden assigned SMU professor Marshall Terry’s book From High on the Hilltop: A Brief History of SMU as a class textbook.

Now retired, Dr. Breeden holds the title of professor emeritus of history from SMU.


"Hilltop history: Students use archives to conduct research on University." Annotations (Vol. III, No. II), Fall 2001, pg. 2.

Mears, John. Recollections on James Breeden. Email, Southern Methodist University Clements Department of History.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The papers in this collection have been arranged into one series. The majority of the collection is made up of student papers written for Dr. Breeden’s course on the history of SMU. They date from the early 1990s. The topics of the papers range from the history of the baseball program at SMU; to the writing of "Varsity," the school song; to SMU students’ reactions to the Vietnam War in the 1960s.

Also included are drafts from SMU English professor Marshall Terry’s book From High on the Hilltop, a brief history of the university that was used as a textbook for Dr. Breeden’s class.

Users should note that the SMU Archives also contains another collection of papers from Dr. Breeden. The Breeden faculty papers collection (SMU 1993.0200) contains material on the SMU history department, faculty and administration, academic- and campus life-related committees on which Dr. Breeden served, and SMU athletics. These papers date from about 1972 until 1992. This collection is also open for research use.

Arrangement of the Collection

Due to the size of this collection, the material has been arranged into one series:
Series 1: SMU History Papers


Access to Collection:

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Director of the DeGolyer Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Terry, Marshall, 1931 -- From high on the hilltop.
Southern Methodist University -- Students.
Southern Methodist University -- History.

Related Materials

James O. Breeden faculty papers (SMU 1993.0200)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

James O. Breeden collection of student papers, Southern Methodist University Archives, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Gift, James O. Breeden.

Finding aid written by

Paul H. Santa Cruz, 2009.

Encoded by

Lara Corazalla, 2009.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: SMU History Papers

Student papers on the history of SMU
Box Folder
1 1 "Mustang Mania," by Douglas Lenihan (3 copies)
"Ethnic and Cultural Integration of SMU," by Geoff King (2 copies)
2 "SMU Students in the 1960s," by Debra L. Brandewie
"The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same," by Robert L. Carey, III.
"SMU-Abroad: The Example of Spain," by Benito Adan
"Dallas Hall: Standing Proud on the Hilltop," by Christopher Coulson
"The Change of the Greek System at SMU," by Barbara Esgar
"Student Reaction to the Vietnam War, Focus 1969-1971," by Robert L. Dalehite
3 "The Development of SMU and its Campus, 1913-Present," by Daniel Link Stack
"Win at All Cost," by Jose B. Vasquez, Jr.
"Gifts and Endowments at SMU," by Steven Tyndall
"The Rise and Fall of Baseball in the Football Empire: A History of Baseball at SMU," by Brian C. Thompson
4 "Varsity," by Theodore D. Matula (3 copies)
5 Drafts, Marshall Terry’s book on SMU history, From High on the Hilltop
SMU, Dallas political controversy
Box Folder
1 6 Pamphlet, "Southern Methodist University Pampers Leftism," by Harold Lord Varney
Letter, Dallas United Nations Association letterhead, from Mrs. Taylor Robinson, handwritten date June 1960, on subject of United Nations week
Newspaper clipping on SMU professor John Beaty’s book The Iron Curtain Over America, and reaction