University of Houston Libraries, Special Collections

Half Century Records, 1976-1981

Descriptive Summary

Creator: University of Houston. Office of University Relations
Title: Half Century Records
Dates: 1976-1981
Abstract: On December 7, 1976 President Philip G. Hoffman announced the 50th Anniversary of the University, with events to run throughout 1977. This collection consists of documents relating to the various events of the celebration and the committee overseeing the events. Materials include agendas, correspondence, minutes, brochures, forms, calendars, commemorative newspaper articles, and press clippings dating primarily from 1976 and 1977.
Identification: 1984-001
Quantity: 3 boxes; 3 linear feet
Repository: Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries

Event History

In December 1976, President Philip Hoffman began a project that he was particularly determined to bring to a successful conclusion. On December 7, at the Houston Country Club, he announced the 50th Anniversary of the University, with events to run throughout 1977. At that kickoff event, Hoffman also announced the UH 50 Fund, a fundraising campaign with the goal of raising between $23.5 and $32.5 million for priority needs by 1981. During this period the Cullen Foundation pledged $3 million to endow nine distinguished professorships contingent upon the university raising another $6 million in matching funds. The university selected four topical areas for the yearlong celebration: resources, technologies, lifestyles, and environments. These topics were interwoven in lectures and seminars throughout the year.

The events of the half-century observance were varied and included: the French government sending an arts festival; a series of noted speakers, seminars, and conferences; a German Expressionist art exhibition and lectures; a symposium in conjunction with the dedication of the new College of Optometry; and the dedication of the Freeman Wing of the library.

Scope and Contents

The UH Half Century Records arrived at the archives in relatively good order, which has been maintained where possible. The collection consists mainly of documents relating to the various events of the celebration and the committee overseeing the events. Materials include agendas, correspondence, minutes, brochures, forms, calendars, commemorative newspaper articles, and press clippings. The collection dates almost entirely from 1976-1977, with a few items from as late as 1981. The materials are organized into six series: Planning and Preparation; Half Century Events; Media; Personnel; Commemorative Materials; and Afterwards.


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use Restrictions

The material in this collection is in the public domain. However, Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, and all reproduction restrictions apply.

Index Terms

Terms are either Library of Congress Subject Headings or taken from local sources.


University of Houston History
University of Houston Administration


Hoffman, Phillip G.

Subjects (Organizations)

University of Houston
University of Houston. Office of University Relations.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Half Century Records, Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries.


Transfer from the Office of University Relations, 1984.

Processed by

Bobby Marlin and Silvia Martinez, May 2002

Detailed Description

box folder
1 1-40 Planning and Preparation
This series contains forty folders dating from 1976 to 1978. Whenever possible the original order has been maintained, although some changes have been made to facilitate access. This series has been organized into four sub-series: General Planning, Half Century Brochure, Half Century Forms, and Half Century Logo Use. The folders contain minutes, brochures, mailing lists, meeting notes, programs and invitations, and drafts of various brochures.
1-12 General Planning
This sub-series consists of twelve folders arranged alphabetically. The Planning Committee folders are arranged first by date, then alphabetically. Materials include meeting notes, planning strategies, campaign objectives, and other similar materials needed to launch the celebration. Dr. Patricia Teed served as Director of the Half-Century Program.
1 Half Century - Meetings with Hoffman, August 1976-June 1977
2 Planning Committee - Agendas and Notices, August-September 1976
3 Planning Committee - Correspondence, August-September 1976
4 Planning Committee - Meeting Notes (Teed), August-September 1976
5 Planning Committee - Final Report, undated
6 Planning Committee - Materials, undated
7 Planning Committee - Membership Lists, undated
8 Planning Committee - Planning Matrices, undated
9 Planning Correspondence with Deans, April-September 1976
10 Program Planning Notes - Teed, July 8-September 20, 1976
11 Promotional Proposals, November 22, 1976
12 Proposals Re Semi-Centennial, undated
13-18 Half Century Brochure
This sub-series consists of six folders relating to the creation of a special Half-Century brochure. Folders are arranged in the order in which they were received with items for the creation of the brochure followed by folders related to the mailing of the brochure, and finally the brochure itself. Materials include printing quotations, working drafts of brochure text, mailing lists of individuals, and copies of the final brochure.
13 General, November 1976-March 1977
14 General, November 1976-March 1977
15 Mailing Lists Submitted by Departments, May 3-24, 1977
16 Master Mailing Lists, undated
17 Brochure, April-November 1977
18 Brochure, 1977
19-31 Half Century Forms
There are thirteen folders in this sub-series, arranged alphabetically. Most of the forms in this series are single page documents probably used to gather information on individuals and colleges for use in press releases or newspapers articles covering the yearlong celebration. Other forms are simple departmental forms used for various purposes like tracking long distance telephone calls, weekly part-time staff reports, and forms used to track different celebration events.
19 Assignment Sheet, undated
20 College Information Forms, September 8, 1976
21 Departmental Update (Part I and II), undated
22 Distinguished Professorship Forms, undated
23 Event Sheet, undated
24 Form Letter (turn down for funding), undated
25 Half Century Matrices, undated
26 Long-distance Call Report, undated
27 Notice of Confirmed Event, undated
28 Notification of Planned Event, undated
29 Part-time Employee Weekly Report, undated
30 Social Event Sheet, undated
31 Speaker Sheet, undated
32-40 Half Century Logo Use
This sub-series contains nine folders, arranged alphabetically. The folders contain examples of different brochures that used the Half-Century Logo, announcements of guest speakers, press clippings pertaining to the new logo, and various examples of the logo itself.
32 Brochures, undated
33 Brochures, undated
34 General/Miscellaneous, undated
35 Lecture Announcements, January-November 1977
36 Logo Sheets, undated
37 Mechanical for Fliers, March 14, 1977
38 Notes and Press, July 1976-November 1978
39 Programs and Invitations, 1976-1977
40 Publications, 1976-Fall 1977

1-3 Half Century Events
This series is the largest with sixty-six folders dating from 1976 to 1978 and is arranged chronologically by event. Calendars for the year and general correspondence relating to Half Century events precede materials associated with specific events. Whenever possible the original order has been maintained. Folders contain materials relating to the many different events that took place before and during the yearlong celebration. Materials include correspondence, programs, invitations, fliers, and newspaper articles and they cover all events including the Half-Century Convocation and guest speakers like Buckminster Fuller and Richard Leaky.
box folder
1 41-48 General
41 Half Century Commencement, January-October 1977
42 Half Century Program Calendars, October 1976-December 1977
43 Half Century Monthly Academic Calendars, January-December 1977
44 Programs Office Correspondence, July-December 1976
45 Programs Office Correspondence, January-March 1977
46 Programs Office Correspondence, April-October 1977
47 Programs Office Correspondence, January-December 1977
48 Half Century Student Festival, October 1976-November 1979
49-52 Kickoff
49 Announcement by Philip Hoffman, November-December 1976
50 Excellence Dinner, November-December 1976
51 Press, December 1976-January 1977
52 Cotton Bowl Game, December 1976-January 1977
box folder
2 1-7 French Contemporary Arts Festival
1 Chicago, Washington, D.C., October 1976
2 Correspondence, November 1976
3 Mailing List for French Festival, November 1976
4 Materials Distributed to Visitors, November 1976
5 Newspaper Clippings and Publicity, November 1976
6 Schedules and Drafts, November 1976
7 Teed-Planning, Meetings, October 1976
8-14 Fuller and Passive Design
8 Breakfast honoring Fuller, December 1976-January 1977
9 Dinner honoring Fuller, January 10-11, 1977
10 Fliers and Brochures, January 10-12, 1977
11 Notes and Memoranda, September 1976-June 1977
12 Fuller Biography and Photographs, 1977
13 Passive Design Workshop, December 1976-January 1977
14 Press, December 1976-May 1977
15-19 Richard Leakey
15 Biographical Info, June 1973-December 1976
16 Dinner and Luncheon Honoring, March 7-8, 1977
17 Fliers, March 11, 1977
18 Notes and Memoranda, March 1977
19 Press and Newspaper, March 1977-October 1978
20-24 June Health Event
20 General, November 1976-May 1977
21 Sunday 6/26/77, February 25, 1977
22 Slide Presentation, March 15-31, 1977
23 Dinner, 6/27/77March-July 1977
24 Symposia, June 1977
25-31 Half Century Convocation Committee
25 Agendas and Notices, March 15-April 25, 1977
26 Minutes, March 15-May 3, 1977
27 Notes and Correspondence. (Teed), March 1977
28 Final Report, September 5-19, 1977
29 Steering Committee, undated
30 Matrices, undated
31 Members, List of, undated
2-3 Half Century Convocation Events
box folder
2 32 Opera Studio Recital, February 1976-September 1977
33 General/Notes/Planning, December 1976-September 1977
34 Academic Convocation, May-September 1977
35 Commemorative Newspapers, Summer-September 1977
36 Commemorative Newspapers, Summer-September 1977
37 Guests and Invitation Lists, July-September 1977
38 Bentsen, Senator Lloyd M., July-September 1977
39 Commager, Dr. Henry Steele, August-September 1977
40 Penn State Game (closed-circuit), August-September 1977
41 UCLA Game, September 12-13, 1977
42 Maps (Access and general campus), September 17, 1977
43 Programs, Invitations, Fliers, September 18, 1977
44 Birthday Party/UC, September 8-19, 1977
45 Schedules of Activities, September 9-19, 1977
46 Press Strategy, September 1977
47 Press, September-October 1977
box folder
3 1 Open Houses, 1977
2 Commager's Speech (Copies), September 1977-May 1978
3 Announcement (Press), undated
4-5 Frank Press and Engineering Research Conference
4 Frank Press, August 1976-December 1977
5 Engineering Research Conference, October 1976-November 1977
6-9 Media `77
6 Brochures and Graphics, 1977
7 General, March 1977-November 1981
8 Press, March 1977-June 1981
9 Dinner, November 19, 1977, June 1977-November 1977
10-14 Ian Richardson and Mental Health Symposium
10 Mental Health Symposium, September 2-October 28, 1977
11 Richardson and Mental Health Press, November 29-December 12, 1977
12 Richardson and Mental Health Programs, undated
13 Ian Richardson, November 15-December 1, 1977
14 Richardson and Mental Health Dinner, December 7, 1977

box folder
3 15-30 Media
This series contains sixteen folders dating from 1976 to 1981 and is organized into two sub-series: Half-Century Press/Publicity and Community Services Brochure. The folders contain various brochures, general press coverage, University of Houston press releases and notes used in planning some of the events. Some of the brochures in this series were probably used as examples for the design of the Official University Half-Century brochure.
15-19 Half Century Press/Publicity
This sub-series contains five folders, arranged chronologically. The folders contain general information relating to members of the press that the university wanted to contact regarding the celebration. The materials also include various press clippings covering the celebration.
15 Public Relations Notes, June 30, 1976
16 Campus Workshop, February 1976-March 1977
17 Press Clippings, September 1976-November 1977
18 Press Releases, February-June 1977
19 Feature Ideas, undated
20-30 Community Services Brochure
This sub-series consists of eleven folders that contain materials relating to the Community Services Brochure produced by the university during the Half-Century celebration. The purpose of the brochure was to give an overview of the various areas of interaction between the University of Houston and the community. The materials consist of correspondence relating to the brochure, working drafts, notes and other information used in the brochure's publication.
20 Community Service, July 1976-January 1977
21 Materials from Deans, Feb. 8-March 9, 1977
22 Community Service Brochure, March 18-29, 1977
23 DRAFTS, August-November 1977
24 DRAFTS, August-November 1977
25 Incoming Requests for Mailing, December 5-15, 1977
26 Use File, December 1977-January 1978
27 Original Copy, undated
28 Kent's Notes, undated
29 Teed Notes, undated
30 UH System, undated

box folder
3 31-33 Personnel
This series consists of three folders of correspondence between various people, both university employees and those outside the university consisting of notes in the planning of events, the design of the Half-Century Brochure, and other related materials.
31 General, January 17, 1977
32 Busse, Alvin R., September 1976-March 1977
33 Notes on Programmatic Counsel, August 4-September 27, 1976

box folder
3 34-39 Commemorative Materials
This series consists of six folders of material relating to different commemorative items created to honor the half-century. Included are newspaper advertisements for the commemorative Dr. Pepper Bottle, a deck of commemorative playing cards, newspaper articles about the posters used to symbolize the four topics of the celebration, and interoffice materials relating to the aerial photograph of the campus used during the event.
34 Playing Cards, October 27, 1976
35 Posters, November 1976-April 1977
36 Posters, Aerial Photo for Faculty from Munitz, February 10-September 1977
37 Dr. Pepper Bottle, August 30, 1977
38 Commemorative Materials, July 1976-July 1980
39 Commemorative Newspaper, September 1977

box folder
3 40-42 Afterwards
This series consists of three folders. These materials include the Half Century Final Report from the Deputy Coordinator, Division of External Relations, Patricia Teed, to Chancellor Barry Munitz outlining the many challenges experienced by the Half Century Committee during their eighteen months in existence. This series also contains correspondence and press coverage of the forty-foot long multi-panel display exhibited in prominent locations throughout Houston during the celebration and a blueprint of the Half-Century Monolith.
40 Half Century Final Report, March 21, 1978
41 Half Century Panel Exhibit, August 1977-August 1979
42 Half Century Monolith, October 1977