Chat now!

Skip to main content

UA 53.31 Robert T. Wagner Papers: Descriptive Guide

Robert T. Wagner, president of South Dakota State University, 1985-1997. Papers related to his career at SDSU as a teacher and administrator.

Summary Information

Repository                  South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections

Creator                       Robert T. Wagner, Office of the President, South Dakota State University

Title                             Faculty Papers, Robert T. Wagner papers

Date [bulk]                 1985-1997

Date [inclusive]          1971-1998

Extent                         3.0 linear feet – 3 records boxes, 60 photographic images

Language                    English

Abstract                      Robert T. Wagner, president of South Dakota State University, 1985-1997. Papers related to his career at SDSU as a teacher and administrator.

Preferred Citation      Faculty Papers, Robert T. Wagner papers, UA 53.31. South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections

Biographical Note

Robert Todd Wagner was born October 30, 1932. He earned a degree in philosophy from Augustana College in 1954. He and Mary Mumford, a native of Howard, married that same year before moving to Evanston, Ill., where he was a student at the Seabury Western Theological Seminary. The couple eventually moved back to South Dakota, where Robert earned his Ph.D. at South Dakota State University, and Mary a master’s degree in social sciences in 1974 and a Ph.D. in sociology in 1978.

Wagner first joined the university in 1971 as an assistant professor of rural sociology, and he earned “legendary” status through his Marriage 250 class. The class enrolled almost 1,200 students a year in three sections, filling every seat in Rotunda D, the largest classroom on campus.

Wagner served two years as an assistant to the vice president for academic affairs and spent a year as vice president and chief administrator at Dakota State University in Madison before he was called back to SDSU to assume the university presidency. A position he held from 1985-1997.

Wagner led SDSU from a controversial era into a decidedly more tranquil time. His quiet attention to the internal workings of the college, rather than external politics, worked well and resulted in a great deal of growth. Despite constant budget problems under his administration, the campus expanded by more than 380,000 square feet. Twenty-two faculty were added, and technology became a major factor in the university. The College of Education and Counseling was formed, and many buildings were built, including Berg and Bailey Apartments, the Animal Disease Research, and the Northern Plains Biostress Laboratory.

His wife, Mary, was also an SDSU staffer as well as a member of the Brookings school board and a Republican legislator for 12 years. She died in 2004.

In 2010, SDSU renamed its Nursing, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Arts and Sciences building in honor of the Wagner’s. The South Dakota Board of Regents approved the name change.

A scholar as well as a popular teacher, Wagner was the author of 64 publications and chaired numerous academic committees.

Contents Note

The Robert T. Wagner papers span his career from 1971 until his retirement in 1997.  The records are composed of materials related to all aspects of his career at South Dakota State University. Also included is a small amount of material related to his service as Vice President at Dakota State College.

Files related to his academic teaching as a professor of Rural Sociology at SDSU are composed of correspondence, calendars, programs related to speaking engagements, and greeting cards of thanks and birthday wishes. A minimal amount of material is related to the courses he taught.

The Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs at SDSU records are composed of calendars, correspondence, clippings, newsletters, greeting cards, photographs, and certificates awarded to Wagner.  A small amount of materials related to teaching can be found in these files as he still taught some classes during this time.

Records related to his presidency at SDSU make up the largest portion of this collection.  These files are composed of correspondence, clippings, calendars, certificates, reports, newsletters, evaluations, and greeting cards.  At the end of this material researchers will find material related to his retirement.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged chronologically.

Related Material

Bibliography

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to research. Items in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only. Researchers are asked to make an advance appointment to access archival material. Due to limited staffing, we are unable to identify, locate, and retrieve requested materials on a walk-in basis. Please call or e-mail prior to visiting the collection and indicate as much detail as possible about a particular topic and intended use.

South Dakota State University supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted as a result of their fragile condition or by contractual agreements with donors.

Copyright note

Copyright restrictions apply in different ways to different materials. Many of the documents and other historical materials in the Archives are in the public domain and may be reproduced and used in any way. There are other materials in the Archive carrying a copyright interest and must be used according to the provisions of Title 17 of the U.S. Code. The Archive issues a warning concerning copyright restrictions to every researcher who requests copies of documents. Although the copyright law is under constant redefinition in the courts, it is ultimately the responsibility of the researcher to properly use copyrighted material.

Source of Acquisition

The Robert T. Wagner papers were donated to the archives by his son, Christopher J. Wagner.

Arranged and Described by

Crystal J. Gamradt, Archivist, 2016 March 23

Key Words

Personal names

  • Wagner, Robert T. (Todd), 1932-2011

Subjects

  • College presidents.
  • South Dakota State University -- Presidents.

Container List

Series

Box

Folder

Description

Date(s)

 

1

1

Biographical information

1985-1997

 

1

2

Black Hills State College : candidate for presidency

1985

 

1

3

Dakota State College : Vice president

1984-1985

 

1

4

Dakota State College : Vice president - appreciation for service

1985

1971-1981

1

5

South Dakota State University : Rural Sociology professor

1971-1972

 

1

6

South Dakota State University : Rural Sociology professor

1972-1973

 

1

7

South Dakota State University : Rural Sociology professor

1973-1974

 

1

8

South Dakota State University : Rural Sociology professor

1974-1975

 

1

9

South Dakota State University : Rural Sociology professor

1975-1976

 

1

10

South Dakota State University : Rural Sociology professor

1976-1977

 

1

11

South Dakota State University : Rural Sociology professor

1977-1978

 

1

12

South Dakota State University : Rural Sociology professor

1978

 

1

13

South Dakota State University : Rural Sociology professor

1979

 

1

14

South Dakota State University : Rural Sociology professor

1979-1980

 

1

15

South Dakota State University : Rural Sociology professor

1980-1981

1981-1984

1

16

South Dakota State University : Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs

1981

 

1

17

South Dakota State University : Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs

1982

 

1

18

South Dakota State University : Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs

1983

 

1

19

South Dakota State University : Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs

1984

1985

1

20

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Calendar and activities

1985

 

1

21

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Congratulations

1985

 

1

22

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Correspondence

1985

 

Series

Box

Folder

Description

Date(s)

1985

2

1

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Newspaper clippings

1985

 

2

2

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Photographs

1985

 

2

3

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Speeches

1985

1986

2

4

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Calendar and activities

1986

 

2

5

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Correspondence

1986

 

2

6

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Newspaper clippings

1986

 

2

7

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Photographs

1986

 

2

8

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Speeches

1986

1987

2

9

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Activities

1987

 

2

10

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Correspondence

1987

 

2

11

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Newspaper clippings

1987

 

2

12

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Photographs

1987

 

2

13

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Speeches

1987

1988

2

14

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Activities

1988

 

2

15

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Correspondence

1988

 

2

16

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Photographs

1988

 

2

17

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Speeches

1988

1989

2

18

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Activities

1989

 

2

19

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Correspondence

1989

 

2

20

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Newspaper clippings

1989

 

2

21

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Photographs

1989

 

2

22

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Speeches

1989

1990

2

23

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Calendar and activities

1990

 

2

24

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Correspondence

1990

 

2

25

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Photographs

1990

 

2

26

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Russia Trip

1990

 

2

27

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Speeches

1990

1991

2

28

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Activities

1991

 

2

29

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Correspondence

1991

 

2

30

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Newspaper clippings

1991

 

2

31

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Speeches

1991

1992

2

32

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Activities

1992

 

2

33

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Correspondence

1992

 

2

34

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Photographs

1992

 

2

35

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Speeches

1992

1993

2

36

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Activities

1993

 

2

37

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Correspondence

1993

 

Series

Box

Folder

Description

Date(s)

1994

3

1

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Calendar and activities

1994

 

3

2

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Correspondence

1994

 

3

3

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Newspaper clippings

1994

 

3

4

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Oxford Round Table, Cambridge, England

1994

 

3

5

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Photographs

1994

 

3

6

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Speeches

1994

1995

3

7

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Calendar and activities

1995

 

3

8

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Speeches

1995

1996

3

9

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Activities

1996

 

3

10

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Correspondence

1996

 

3

11

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Newspaper clippings

1996

 

3

12

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Photographs

1996

 

3

13

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Speeches

1996

1997

3

14

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Activities

1997

 

3

15

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Correspondence

1997

 

3

16

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Newspaper clippings

1997

 

3

17

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Retirement guest book

1997

 

3

18

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Retirement guest books

1997

 

3

19

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Retirement letters

1997

 

3

20

South Dakota State University : Presidency - Speeches

1997

1998

3

32

South Dakota State University : President Emeritus

1998

LibGuides Footer