Cranbrook Foundation Executive Secretary: William Alley Frayer Records
The collection deals with the correspondence, reports and meetings concerning inter-institutional cooperation and coordination of activities, as well as public relations of the office of Executive Secretary. It is not known whether these are the complete records of William A. Frayer. Some of the records deal with proposed organizational changes and development, Foundation philosophy and maintenance concerns.
- 1935 - 1938
- Frayer, William Alley (Person)
Access to the collection is unrestricted.
Permission to use collection materials must be requested in writing.
William Alley Frayer was born 5 Jun 1880 in Nanda, New York and attended high schools in Nanda and Springville. He received his A.B. degree from Cornell University (1899-1903) in 1903, and also attended the University of Gottingen and the University of Freiburg. For a time he was an assistant in history and held the Andrew D. White Fellowship at Cornell University.
From 1906-1908, Frayer served as assistant history professor at Cornell; Frayer joined the University of Michigan faculty as an Instructor in European History in 1909, and three years later was advanced to Assistant Professor. He became an Associate in 1918, and full Professor in 1924. In 1929, Frayer resigned from the faculty to become President of the Bureau of University Travel at Newton, Massachusetts.
Beginning in 1927, the Cranbrook Foundation was administered by an office staff working under the authority of a Board of Trustees. In the spring of 1935, the Board considered hiring Frayer as the general representative of the Cranbrook community. The office of Executive Secretary of the Foundation was created and Frayer began work July first. Frayer worked closely with chairman George Booth daily discussing matters of general Cranbrook concern. Specific projects included the promotional contract of Tamblyn and Tamblyn, for which Frayer played a central role, as well as spearheading discussions between the various institutions regarding creation of a Central Office. By June 1938, Booth and Frayer came to an agreement that Frayer would retire and close the office of Executive Secretary on 1 Jul 1938.
Upon retirement, he returned to Ann Arbor and died 29 Jun 1946 at the University of Michigan Hospital after many years of ill health. He was survived by his wife, two daughters, and a son, William C. who graduated from Cranbrook in 1945.
0.4 Linear Feet (1 MS)
Language of Materials
William Alley Frayer had over a thirty-year careeer as a historian, teaching at both Cornell University and University of Michigan before Cranbrook Board of Trustees hired him as Executive Secretary of the Foundation in 1935. Frayer worked closely with chairman George Booth, daily discussing matters of general Cranbrook concern. Upon Frayer's retirement in 1938, Booth and Frayer decided to close the office of Executive Secretary. Frayer returned to Ann Arbor and died June 29, 1946, at the University of Michigan Hospital after many years of ill health. The collection contains correspondence, reports, and meeting minutes concerning inter-institutional cooperation and coordination of activities, public relations, proposed organizational changes and development, Foundation philosophy, and maintenance concerns.
The collection is arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically thereunder.
An index to the collection is available.
The collection was transferred to the Archives Oct 1980 from the office of Henry S. Booth.
The bulk of the Tamblyn and Tamblyn materials were removed to the Cranbrook Foundation Records though much of the correspondence relates to the promotion of Cranbrook.
Initially inventoried 31 Oct 1980 by Beverly Hoffman. It was reorganized, refoldered and processed by Judith Kirsch in the winter of 1989-90. Finding aid updated 2008.
- Cranbrook School (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.)
- Booth, George G. (George Gough), 1864-1949
- Booth, Henry Scripps, 1897-1988
- Booth, James Scripps, 1888-1954
- Cranbrook Foundation
- Cranbrook Kingswood School (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.)
- Detroit (Mich.)
- Hatt, Robert T. (Robert Torrens), 1902-
- Marquis, Samuel S., 1866-1948
- McMath, Robert R. (Robert Raynolds), 1891-1962
- Public relations
- Saarinen, Eliel, 1873-1950
- Winter, Jessie
- Guide to the Cranbrook Foundation Executive Secretary: William Alley Frayer Records
- Judith Kirsch
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Edition statement
- Resource record created by Laura MacNewman.
- 2008: Finding aid updated.
Part of the Cranbrook Archives, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research Repository