Eldon Schafer Papers

Archives: Guide to Eldon G. Schafer Papers, 1916-1990

Title: Eldon G. Schafer PapersPhoto - Eldon G. Schafer
Dates: 1916-1990
Collection number: M-001
Size: 12.0 cubic feet (19 document boxes, 2 tubes, 3 oversized folders, 9 video tapes, 14 audio cassette tapes)
Description: This collection contains personal and professional papers from Eldon Schafer's career as president of Lane Community College, 1970-1985. The collection documents Schafer's personal and family history, his military service, and his death.
Access Restrictions: None, collection is open for research
Provenance: Donated by Lucy B. Schafer on January 9, 1992. Accessioned as 1993-028 and 1993-029.
Processed by: Michael Ridderbusch, 1991; Elizabeth Uhlig, 1998, 2007.
Citation: Eldon G. Schafer Papers, 1916-1990 (M-001), Lane Community College Archives, Eugene, Oregon

Lane Community College
Archives and Records Management
Elizabeth M. Uhlig, Archivist
4000 East 30th Avenue
Eugene, Oregon 97405 USA
Telephone: (541) 463-5466
Fax: (541) 463-3996
Email: archives@lanecc.edu

Biography: Eldon Schafer

Eldon Guy Schafer (1922-1985) was president of Lane Community College for fifteen years, 1970-1985. 

Schafer was born in Molalla, Oregon, to Lillian M. and Guy F. Schafer on February 27, 1922. He attended rural elementary and secondary schools in the Canby and Molalla area, and after high school graduation in 1939, he attended Oregon State University in 1941. In 1942 he joined the U.S. Army and entered an engineering program at Pomona College in California. He was sent to Europe in 1943 and served with the 124th Armored Engineers and 13th Armored Division in France, Germany, and Austria. 

After the war he returned to Pomona College, where he was active in sports, and graduated with a B.A. in 1948. He continued his education in California, receiving an M.A. (1960) and a Ph.D. (1965) in Education Administration from Claremont Graduate School. 

He married Lucy Jane Brokaw in Los Angeles in 1947; their son, Kenneth, joined the family in 1961. 

He began his teaching career at Capistrano High School in California where he taught and coached sports between 1950-1952 and served as dean of students, principal, and district superintendent, 1957-1966. He was associate dean of instruction at Riverside City College, 1966-1967. 

Schafer moved to Oregon in 1967 to become the founding president of Linn-Benton Community College, 1967-1970. From there he moved to the presidency of Lane Community College, 1970-1985. 

Schafer was active in many regional and national educational organizations and served as officers for the Oregon Community College Association, the Northwest Association of Community and Junior Colleges, the League for Innovation in the Community College, the Commission on Colleges of Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, and the Oregon Community College Presidents' Council. 

He traveled to China twice, in 1982 and 1984, as a member of the International Visiting Team of the World Bank Educational Advisory Group. The group assisted China in restructuring its vocational education. 

Dr. Schafer resigned as president of the college on April 30, 1985. He died on August 6, 1985 following a long battle with leukemia and multiple myeloma (cancer of the bone marrow). 

Scope & Content Note

The Eldon G. Schafer Papers document Schafer's personal life as well as certain aspects of his professional career as president of Lane Community College, 1970-1985. The collection contains biographical information about Schafer's college days, his military service, his career in education, and his death. The collection also contains personal records of the Schafer and Brokaw (wife Lucy's family) families. Other records that document his personal and professional career can be found in the series of correspondence, speeches and writings, and subject files as well as in the photographs, slides, audio recordings, and video recordings.

The collection is divided into 7 series.

  • Series A: Biographical Records/Eldon Schafer, 1947-1986
    • This series contains biographical records of Eldon Schafer that document his college days, his employment before coming to Lane Community College, his military career, and his death.
  • Series B: Biographical Records/Family History, 1916-1990
    • This series contains correspondence and scrapbooks about the Schafer family, including Eldon's father Guy Schafer, as well as some records from the Brokaw family, the family of Eldon's wife Lucy.
  • Series C: Correspondence, 1940-1985
    • This series contains letters and cards of condolences to the Schafer family following the death of Eldon Schafer in 1985. The series also contains cards marking Schafer's retirement in 1985 as well as some birthday and Christmas cards.
  • Series D: Speeches and Writings, 1960-1985
    • Schafer's speeches and writings include writings from his student days such as term papers, M.A. thesis, and Ph.D. dissertation; speeches given at in-service (annual staff orientation); and other speeches and writings from his career at the college. Some of the speeches are preserved on video tape and sound tape in Series F.
  • Series E: Subject Files, 1950-1985
    • This series contains some records from Schafer's tenure as college president. The records also document Schafer's involvement in international education. He participated in a World Education Seminar month-long tour of educational institutions in Europe and Asia in 1970. He traveled twice to China, in 1982 and 1984, as a member of the World Bank Educational Advisory Group which advised China on restructuring its vocational education. The collection contains correspondence and clippings that document Schafer's participation in the China advisory group; related ephemera are in Series G.
  • Series F: Photographs, Slides, Video Tapes, and Audio Tapes, 1932-1985
    • This series contains a great number of photographs including many portraits of Schafer; photographs taken at college activities and special events; photographs and slides from his trips to China; photographs from his college and army days; and photographs of the Schafer and Brokaw (family of his wife, Lucy) families. The audio recordings are mainly of college events and speeches; the video recordings are from his China trips and some college events, including his retirement party.
  • Series G: Ephemera, 1939-1985
    • This series contains ephemera from Schafer's college and army days, from his trips to China, and other miscellaneous cards and items.

Finding Aid

For a detailed finding aid which includes a complete list of the contents of this collection, refer to:

Related Resources

President's Office (Eldon Schafer) Records, 1964-1985 (A-036). Correspondence and other administrative records from the administration of Eldon G. Schafer, president of Lane Community College, 1970-1985.