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Harold M. DeGroff, Jr. papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSF 477

Scope and Contents

The Harold M. DeGroff, Jr. papers (1943-2010; 0.25 cubic feet) document aspects of the career of longtime Purdue University faculty member and former dean of Purdue’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics from 1955-1963, during the height of the “space race.” Some of the featured items in the collection are a letter of recommendation for assignment to the Naval V-12 College of Training Program and a notice of separation from the United States Naval Service.  Items pertaining to his Purdue career include his initial letter of interest in a Purdue faculty position, Purdue University oath or affirmation, letter of recommendation for acting head of School of Aeronautics and vitae.  Also included is a signed letter to DeGroff from his former student, Neil Armstrong.  Miscellaneous items include an autographed photograph of DeGroff with former congressman Earl F. Landgrebe, a certificate declaring DeGroff an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a copy of DeGroff’s obituary. Types of materials include: a certificate, clippings, correspondence, miscellaneous materials and photographs.  The papers are organized into 4 series.

Dates

  • 1943-2010
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1951-1968
  • Other: Date acquired: 08/10/2012

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Purdue University

Biographical / Historical

Harold Miller DeGroff was born May 10, 1920 to Harold and Marjorie (Lantz) DeGroff in Troy, Ohio. He was married to Sarah (Sally) Meek DeGroff for more than 54 years.

A former naval officer, he took full advantage of the G.I. bill to attend Cornell University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and California Institute of Technology, where he earned his doctorate in aeronautics and mathematics.

A longtime Purdue University faculty member, he was dean of Purdue’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics from 1955-1963 during the height of the “space race,” counting Neil Armstrong and other renowned NASA astronauts as his students. He also served on the faculty of Purdue’s Krannert School of Management, was president of Midwest Applied Science Corporation, a pioneer tenant of Purdue Research Park, and served as vice president of Design and Manufacturing Corporation in Connersville, Indiana.

An endowed scholarship was established at Purdue in his name for students in management or aeronautical engineering who are earning a Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

DeGroff was an avid student of history, music and art and an active civic volunteer. He and Sally were dedicated members of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, which named him a lifetime member in 2008. He was particularly fond and supportive of the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art and followed the glaucoma research being conducted by the Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology with great interest and gratitude.

Source: Retrieved December 4, 2012 from: https://engineering.purdue.edu/AAE/AboutUs/News/FormerAAEHeadHaroldMDeGroffJr90diedOct122010

Extent

0.20 Cubic Feet

1 mss._boxes (4 folders in mss box)

Abstract

Clippings, correspondence, miscellaneous materials and photographs documenting the career of Harold M. DeGroff, Jr.

Arrangement Note

1. Navy Career, 1943-1946 (0.025 cubic feet). This series contains a letter of recommendation for assignment to the Naval V-12 College of Training Program and a notice of separation from the United States Naval Service.  Materials in the series are arranged chronologically. 2. Purdue Career, 1951-1965 (0.1 cubic feet). Included in this series are correspondence relating to DeGroff’s initial interest in a faculty position at Purdue University, employment documents; security questionnaire, Purdue University oath or affirmation, letter of recommendation for acting head of School of Aeronautics position, vitae, handwritten list of research and activities at Purdue University and a photograph of the School of Aeronautics staff in 1965.  Also included is a letter from Neil A. Armstrong to Professor DeGroff.  Materials in the series are arranged chronologically. 3. Clippings, 1955-1968 (0.1 cubic feet). The clippings in this series feature the work of Harold DeGroff.  They include an article about his opinions on United States atomic weapons preventing war, work with the Midwest Applied Science Corporation, McClure Park (Purdue University’s Industrial Research Park and work with epoxy used in building construction. Materials in the series are arranged chronologically. 4. Miscellaneous Materials, 1960s-2010 (0.025 cubic feet). The items in this series are a certificate declaring DeGroff an Associate Fellow of the  American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, an autographed photograph of Degroff with congressman Earl F. Landgrebe and Degroff’s obituary.  Materials in the series are arranged chronologically.

Source of Acquisition

Received by School of Aeronautics and Astronautics from Joe DeGroff (Harold DeGroff’s son) on November 18, 2010.

Existence and Location of Originals

multi-part note content

Related Materials

multi-part note content

Processing Information

All materials have been housed in polyester sleeves, acid-free folders and acid-free boxes.  All newsprint has been photocopied for research purposes, and original newspaper clippings have been retained for display purposes.
Title
Harold M. DeGroff, Jr. papers
Author
Mary A. Sego
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
504 W. State Street
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States
765-494-2839