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GACA Collection 467. Office of the President. Collection of President Frank R. Barth, 1960-2013: Overview

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Collection Description

Office of the President.  Collection of President Frank R. Barth, 1960-2013.  GACA Collection 467.  1 Records Center Carton and 2 Hollinger boxes.

The President Frank R. Barth collection contains papers from his time as President of Gustavus Adolphus College.  Materials include correspondence, publicity, mailings, forms, bills, etc.  Barth was the first non-clergy president of Gustavus, serving from 1969-1975.

Biographical Note

Frank R. Barth was born 19 March 1918 in Chicago, Illinois.  He graduated from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa in 1940 and returned in 1942 to teach economics and business.  Barth’s teaching career was interrupted during World War II when he served as a Naval air navigator for three years.  He received an MBA from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and became a CPA in 1947.  In 1953, Barth left Luther to become a financial consultant for the U.S. Post Office Department in Washington, D.C.  Barth returned to Chicago in 1955 to serve as financial vice president for Pettibone Corporation.

Gustavus recruited Barth to serve as president in 1969.  The Greater Gustavus Award was awarded to Mr. and Mrs. Barth after he announced his resignation in 1975.  The Swedish crown awarded him the Order of the Polar Star in 1976, an award that recognizes deserving non-Swedish citizens who personally contribute to Sweden’s benefit and to strengthening ties between Sweden and other countries.  Barth returned to Luther College where he taught economics and served as vice president for finance and treasurer from 1977-1990.  In 2006, Barth wrote a book of anecdotes about his time at Gustavus titled A Place Called Gustavus: The Protest Years.

Barth met his wife Marjorie “Marge” Hove at Luther College and they married in 1940.  They had four children, Frank II, James, Eugene, and Kathy.  After retiring from teaching, the couple moved to Sun City, Arizona, and then to Dubuque, Iowa in 2009.  Frank Barth passed away on 22 August 2013.

Scope and Content

This collection is divided into two series: Papers and Miscellaneous.

Papers contains files from his time as president of Gustavus Adolphus College.  Materials include correspondence, publicity, mailings, forms, bills, etc., arranged alphabetically.

Miscellaneous includes biographical information, inauguration materials, newspaper clippings, mailings, and programs.

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