Collection Title:

Robert O. Fife Papers, 1958-1975, undated


The Holloway Archives at Milligan University
P. H. Welshimer Memorial Library
200 Blowers Blvd.
Milligan, TN 37682




Robert O. Fife Papers, 1958-1975, undated

Collection No.



1 cubic foot (3 boxes)




Dr. Robert O. Fife was a professor and Chairman of the Area of Social Learning at Milligan College. His papers include documents from his time serving in that role, including committee records, area records, and student records.

Biographical Note:

Dr. Robert Oldham Fife was born on December 15, 1918, in DuQuoin, Illinois, the son of Earl Hanson Fife and Mabel Oldham Fife. His early years were spent in California and Washington, where his father ministered in Christian Churches. Fife, however, soon made his way to Tennessee, where he graduated from Johnson Bible College (now Johnson University) in 1940. A year later, in 1941, he married his best friend and wife for more than a half century, LaVada Gilfilen of Olympia, Washington. Together they had three children, Wayne Earl, Gloria Lynn, and Robert Dean. Dr. Fife’s work as a pastor and educator began with his ordination in 1937, and from that time until 1975 he ministered intermittently with congregations in Tennessee, Nebraska, Washington, Indiana, and North Carolina. His ministry also included distinguished service as a chaplain in the 242nd Infantry, 42nd Rainbow Division of the U.S. Army in World War II. His European tour of duty brought with it one of the defining experiences of his ministry – he was with the troops that liberated the Nazi death camp at Dachau, Germany, in April of 1945. Fife was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious duty under fire. Upton his return home from the war, Dr. Fife earned his bachelor of divinity from Butler School of Religion (now Christian Theological Seminary) in 1950. In 1954, Dr. Fife joined the faculty of Milligan College as a Professor of History and Chairman of the Area of Social Learning. He retained those positions for over twenty years. In 1960 he finished his PhD in history from Indiana University with a respected dissertation on the involvement of Alexander Campbell and the early Disciples of Christ in the American slavery controversy. LaVada Fife passed away in 2000, and Robert passed away on November 2, 2003.


Kasey Reaves finished processing information on December 7, 2007. This involved breaking the materials into series and then organizing the folders by subject and date. A finding aid was also written at this time. The papers are arranged into four series: I. Series: Committee Materials, 1964-1975, undated; II. Series: Area Information, 1971-1975, undated; III. Series: Student Information, 1965-1975, undated; and IV. Series: Other Milligan Materials, 1963-1973, undated.

Scope and Content Note:

The collection contains committee minutes, academic area information, correspondence, and other papers origination from Fife’s career at Milligan. Materials date from 1958 through 1975 and include undated material. The papers are divided into four series: Committee Materials, Area Information, Student Information, and Other Milligan Materials.

The Committee Materials series spans 1964 to 1975 and includes undated material. It contains faculty and committee meeting minutes for several Milligan committees including the Academic Committee, Admissions Committee, Faculty Minutes, and many other committees. Folders are in alphabetical order by subject and in chronological order within subjects.

The Area Information series spans 1971 to 1975 and includes undated material. It contains documents related to Fife’s work as Chairman of the Area of Social Learning.

The Student Information series spans 1965 to 1975 and includes undated material. It contains student information, including academic probation and advising materials.

The Other Milligan Materials series spans 1963 to 1973 and includes undated material. It contains miscellaneous Milligan materials including accreditation studies, bulletins, and correspondence.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information:

Accession 001-11-2007

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

The archivist reserves the right to determine on a case-by-case basis if certain folders within the collection that have been requested for viewing cannot be made available due to various restriction compliance, including but not limited to student information, private personal information, and organizational information of a restricted nature.

In order to comply with laws regarding the privacy of student records, access to folders containing student information is limited to Milligan administration and staff with a demonstrated need to know until 2057, after which time the folders will be open to all researchers. These folders are marked in red in the Folder List.

Preferred Citation:

[Item], Robert O. Fife Papers, Collection C0041, The Holloway Archives at Milligan University, Milligan, TN.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Kasey Reaves

Completed in 2007.

Folder List

Box 1

I. Series: Committee Materials, 1964-1975, undated

  • Academic Committee,

    • 1964

    • 1965

    • 1966

    • 1967

    • 1968

    • 1968-1972

    • 1969

    • 1970-1971

  • Academic Folder, 1971

  • Academic Committee, 71-72, 1971-1975

  • Academic Folder, 1972-1974

  • Academic Committee,

    • 1973

    • 1974

    • 1975

Box 2

  • Academic Excellence, 1971-1973

  • Admissions Committee, 1969

  • Faculty Centennial Year of Committee, 1966-1967

  • Committee on Faculty Concerns, 1974-1975

  • Faculty Minutes, 1965-1966

  • Milligan College Faculty, 1958-1963

  • Committee on Purpose I, 1969

  • Purpose Committee II, 1969, undated

  • Report to President – Minister of Collegiate Church, Chairman, Convention Committee, 1972, undated

  • Student Life Committee, 1966

  • Student Life Committee Cheating Analysis, 1969

  • Student Welfare Committee, 1964-1965

  • World Studies Committee, 1974

  • Various Committees and Faculty Minutes, 1962-1963

II. Series: Area Information, 1971-1975, undated

  • Academic Council, undated

  • Course Schedules – Social Learning, 1972-1973

  • Humanities, 1971

  • Memo and Lecture, 1971, undated

  • Social Learning, 1974-1975

  • Social Learning Budget, 1973-1974

  • Teacher Education Report, 1971

Box 3

III. Series: Student Information, 1965-1975, undated [RESTRICTED]

  • Academic Probation, 1965-1967

  • Advisors, 1972-1975

  • Placement Office Survey Class of 1965, undated

IV. Series: Other Milligan Materials, 1963-1973, undated

  • A paper by Dr. Fife, 1963

  • Accreditation Studies, 1967

  • Bulletins, 1972-1973

  • Collegiate Church Bulletins, 1972-1973

  • Collegiate Church Missionary Correspondence, 1972-1973

  • Convocation Activities, 1971-1972

  • Convocation Possibilities, 1972

  • Letter to Class of 1966, undated

  • Occasional Bulletin, 1973, undated

  • Paper on Church Growth, 1974

  • “Search for Quakers” a paper by James B. Richardson, 1963

  • Thanksgiving Service, 1972

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