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GACA Collection 180. Lind, Melva Elizabeth Helena. Melva Lind Correspondence and Publications, 1953-1997: Overview

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Collection Description

Lind, Melva Elizabeth Helena.  Melva Lind Correspondence and Publications, 1953-1997.  GACA Collection 180.  3 Hollinger boxes.

The Melva Lind collection contains correspondence, mostly from her time as Director of International Education.  It also includes publications, President Application materials, trip information, certificates, some newspaper articles about her, and photographs, among other materials.  The majority of materials are in English or French, as well as some Spanish and Japanese.

Biographical Note

Melva Lind (16 March 1903-18 April 1997) graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1923 and a Master of Arts degree in 1943.  She then received the French equivalent to a Master of Arts degree from the Université de Lyon in Lyon, France in 1926.  She went on to attend de L'Université de Paris en Sorbonne in Paris, where she earned her Doctorate in 1929.  After which she attended MacPhail School of Music in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she earned a Master of Music in 1937.  Over the years she continued her education with two diplomas from the Université de Clermont-Ferrand in France in 1923 and 1924 and a scholarship from the Conservatoire de Musique in Lyon, France in 1924-1925.  She also studied around the world at the Universidad de Mexico in Mexico City in 1942, a study seminar in Germany during the summer of 1964, Greece in March 1973, Israel in July 1973, and the Institut de Langue et de Littérature Françaises at the Université de Rennes in France during the summers of 1970-1972.

Lind began teaching French as an assistant professor at Smith College in Massachusetts from 1929-1936.  Next, at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts she was an assistant professor of French from 1936-1948, and was also the resident director of the French Language House from 1943-1948.  Lind then became the Associate in Higher Education for the American Association of University Women in Washington, D.C. from 1948-1950.  She went back to teaching as French professor and Dean of Students at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio from 1950-1953, after which she came to Gustavus Adolphus College.  While at Gustavus, she was a French professor from 1953-1973, Dean of Students from 1953-1965, and Director of International Education from 1973-1979.  As Director of International Education she increased exchange programs between both Sweden and Japan. In 1975 she was nominated as a candidate for Gustavus President and served on the Board of Trustees from 1975-1981.  She was also a great friend to the Linnaeus Arboretum.  The Melva Lind Rose Garden and the Melva Lind Interpretive Center are both named in her honor.

Over the years Lind received many accolades.  These include decorations as a knight by the Swedish Royal Order of the North Star and the French Ordre des Palmes Académiques.  She also received the King’s Gold Medal from Sweden, the Silver Medal from France, and was named an honorary princess of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma.  She was further honored with a Greater Gustavus Award and an Outstanding Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota.  Lind also published a few books along with many articles.

*Information obtained from collection and biographical file.

Scope and Content

This collection is divided into three sections: Correspondence, 1970-1990, arranged chronologically; Publications, arranged alphabetically; and Miscellaneous, 1953-1997, arranged alphabetically.

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