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Basil S. Turner papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSA 290

Scope and Contents

The Basil S. Turner papers (1976-1993; 0.4 cubic feet) documents the contributions of Turner to education in Indiana, specifically to the management and engineering programs at Purdue University.  In addition, the collection documents Turner’s contributions to CTS Corporation during his tenure with the company.  Books and pamphlets provide an overview of Turner’s biography and specific achievements, as well as a history of CTS.  Two folders of correspondence, memos, and proposals demonstrate Turner’s dedication to improving the Schools of Management and Engineering at Purdue, as well as the mutually beneficial relationship between CTS, Turner, and those departments.  The collection does not contain much information on Turner’s personal life, but provides a relatively comprehensive picture of his professional endeavors.  Extensive correspondence with Gordon P. Wright displays Turner’s oversight of the Professor of Management position he created during Wright’s tenure in the position, but there is little documentation of others who held this title and scant documentation of the Engineering Professorship or lab.  This collection may be useful to researchers interested in the development and growth of the Schools of Management and Engineering at Purdue, CTS Corporation, and the contributions of Purdue alumni.  Types of materials include: printed materials, correspondence, and proposals.  The Papers are organized into a single series.


  • 1976 - 1993
  • Other: Date acquired: 01/12/1993


Language of Materials

Collection material is in English.

Access Information

Collection is open for research.

Copyright and Use Information

Copyright held by Purdue University. Consult with Purdue University Archives and Special Collections prior to reproduction of materials.

Biographical or Historical Information

Basil S. Turner was born to a pioneering family in Kentucky in 1908.  After completing high school (one of the first in his county to do so), Turner was loaned money by a townsperson so that he could continue his education at Purdue.  He completed his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering there in 1930.  After graduating college, Turner was hired by the Chicago Telephone Supply Company (now CTS Corporation) as an assembly line worker and quickly worked his way up through the ranks-- first as a supervisor and eventually becoming the company’s CEO.  During his tenure at CTS Corp. Turner greatly improved the company’s profitability and diversified their products.  As Turner became more successful he gave Purdue and other institutions of education financial and intellectual support, particularly in the areas of Management and Engineering.   Turner was responsible for the creation of a vocational training center in Elkhart, Indiana, Measurement Labs at Goshen College and Tri-State University, and the Turner Laboratory for Electroceramics at Purdue.  He also funded the Basil S. Turner Professorships of Engineering and Management at Purdue, as well as student loan programs at Purdue, Ball State, and Tri-State.  His successes and contributions to education in Indiana earned him the Elkhart City Bar Association’s Liberty Bell Award in 1978, a Horatio Alger award in 1981, and an Outstanding Electrical Engineer Award from Purdue in 1992. Sources: Abner, Dalene J.; Purdue Alumnus; Purdue University,  March 1993: 28-31; MSA 290, Basil S. Turner papers, Karnes Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries. Only In America: Opportunity Still Knocks; Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., 1982: 95-97; MSA 290, Basil S. Turner papers, Karnes Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.

Note written by Virginia Pleasant


0.40 Cubic Feet

1 mss box other_unmapped

0.40 Cubic Feet

Custodial History

Collection was transferred to Gordon Wright on October 5, 1993 and subsequently transferred to ASC on December 1, 1993.

Source of Acquisition

Basil S. Turner

Method of Acquisition


Processing Information

Whenever possible, original order of the materials has been retained.  All materials have been housed in polyester sleeves, acid-free folders, and acid-free boxes.  All newsprint has been photocopied and in most cases original newspaper clippings have been discarded.  Metal clips have been removed for preservation purposes.
Basil S. Turner papers
In Progress
Virginia Pleasant and Keertana Marella
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
Second edition. Collection description was first completed 2013-04-11.

Revision Statements

  • 2020-04-22: Collection description updated by Keertana Marella

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States