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Roger William Heyns Collection, 1928-1995

Collection Overview

Title: Roger William Heyns Collection, 1928-1995

ID: COLL/105

Creator: Roger William Heyns (1918-1995)

Extent: 16.0 Boxes. More info below.

Arrangement: Folder level description


Administrator at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Michigan; the University of California at Berkeley, California; American Council of Education at Washington, DC; and at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation at Menlo Park, California. The collection includes personal materials; and materials from the institutions and foundations he served, i.e., speeches, statements, articles, correspondence, news clippings, publications, photographs, and papers on student unrest. [See also the Campus Titles Database.]

Biographical Note

Roger William Heyns, who passed away in September of 1995, was the son of Dr. Garrett and Rose Heyns.

While his father became nationally known as a penologist, Roger attained national honor in his field of educational psychology and academic administration.  Notably, Calvin College awarded father and son Distinguished Alumni Awards.  Roger's grandfather was the late William Heyns, who for twenty-four years served as a Calvin Seminary professor.

Heyns graduated from Holland Christian High School in 1935.  That summer he was stricken with polio, which delayed his entrance to Calvin a year.  After graduating in 1940, he entered the University of Michigan where he received his Master's Degree in 1942, followed by a PhD in psychology two years later, having been awarded a special fellowship by the Rackham School of Graduate Studies.  He also spent a year as a teaching fellow at Harvard University.

After serving in the Armed Forces Psychological Services, he returned to Ann Arbor to teach psychology for which he was granted an Outstanding Teacher Award.  In 1958, the Board of Regents named him Dean of Literature, Science, and Arts.  Four years later, he became Vice President for Academic Affairs, a position he held until 1965.  In that year, he accepted an appointment as Chancellor at the University of California at Berkeley.  This was four months after the Free Speech Movement there had effectively shattered the notion of the American University as a haven for quiet scholarship, beer busts, big games, and sorority girls!

He came to a campus deeply troubled, harshly politicized, and still bearing the wounds of the uprising; a campus whose previous chancellor, overcome by a movement foreign to the academic discipline, had been swept aside in a quit-or-be-fired situation.

Heyns had to deal with almost every problem facing higher education across the land: anti-Vietnam protestors, draft resistance, the outburst of protests over the US invasion of Cambodia, student alienation, and an increasingly political climate.

The Los Angeles Times put it this way: "At some cost to his health, he (Heyns) set his course and steered his school past unruly situations, a faculty both timorous and aggressive, chilly regents, a suspicious governor, a hostile legislature, and an indifferent citizenry."

After five long years of "trial by fire" in the face of physical attacks, the burning of buildings, the vulgarities and contempt of radical militants, a naive unawareness in faculty ivory towers, despite martial sieges and aerial gassing and hostility, the university, under his leadership, retained its distinction, upheld the quality of its work and degrees, and suffered no mass exit of faculty of high rank during these troublous times.

The job took its toll, however.  After recovering from a heart attack brought on by the increased pressure of the job, Heyns accepted an offer to return to teaching at the University of Michigan.  Health definitely was the principal factor in his return to a calmer academic climate.

However, his return was cut short by an invitation to preside over the America Council on Education in Washington, DC.  He accepted the position and enjoyed a six-year period of relatively quiet time physically.  In 1977, the West beckoned again.  He assumed the presidency of the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation in Menlo Park, California, which was formed to support programs dealing with education, population, environment, and the performing arts.  In the ensuing years, Calvin College, incidentally, profited from Hewlett's generous grants.  In 1994, Heyns served as Chairman of the Board of the Public Policy Institute of California, a think tank created by the Foundation to study California's problems and issues.  He retired a year later.

Roger Heyns's career as an educator was long and varied.  He wore many hats!  In each of his positions he distinguished himself.  Frank H. T. Rhodes, President of Cornell University, said of him in 1994: "He's a reflective, and a thoughtful, and a wise and good man."  In a lengthy Lenten article written following an interview, the religious editor of a California newspaper titles his piece: "Chancellor trusts God."  In the article it was disclosed, that Heyns always turned his problems over to the Lord at bedtime.  Prayer was a very important part of his life."  The whole climate of prayer is thinking about God and His will.  It means trusting Him in every way," Heyns said.  He summarized what he believed as expressed in the Apostle's Creed, which he recited to his interviewer!

An example of Roger's intense interest in others was manifest already while he was a student at Calvin.  As editor of the Chimes way back in 1938, he took note of the announced retirement of Dean A. J. Rooks.  Roger pondered over the thirty-nine years that Rooks had served Calvin.  Rooks was universally loved and admired for his "stimulating personality and cultured manner and as a sympathetic counselor and friend" to the students.  In an editorial, Roger suggested that the College make some arrangement to extend Rooks' association with the College, beneficial to both him and the school.  Eventually, this was done and Rooks continued on for three more years!

Throughout his extended academic career, he enjoyed the loving support of his closely-knit family: his wife, the former Esther Gezon, whom he met at Calvin, and his three sons, Michael, John, and Daniel.

Calvin College suffered a great loss in the passing of Roger Heyns.  As a life-long friend of the school, Roger was Honorary Chairman of a financial drive that had just concluded with a total of over fifty-eight million dollars.  Despite his affiliation with two great universities, Roger generously left a substantial portion of his papers to Calvin's Archives.  They comprise a valuable source for research for students and all that are interested in them.  We hereby invite interested parties to visit Heritage Hall and examine our portion of the life's work of a Christian gentleman and friend, Roger William Heyns.

Box and Folder Listing

Series 1: Personal Materials --- 1928-1995
Box 1
Folder 1: Biography
Folder 2: Essays written while in Holland Christian High School and Calvin College
Folder 3: Correspondence with parents and family --- 1928-1976
Folder 4: Honors awarded Roger William Heyns --- 1940-1972
Folder 5: Honors awarded Roger William Heyns --- 1973-1995
Folder 6: Roger William Heyns at the University of Michigan --- 1948-1966
Folder 7: Reviews of articles on Abnormal and Social Psychology --- 1958-1960
Folder 8: Materials regarding the publishing of a book --- 1956-1958
Folder 9: Manuscript edited by Heyns for the National Academy of Public Administration --- 1972
Folder 10: Bilateral Committee on the Future of United States and Mexican Relations --- 1986-1988
Folder 11: Committee on the Succession and Continuity of Carter Center --- 1992
Box 2
Folder 1: Letters received on accepting Berkeley position of Chancellorship --- 1965
Folder 2: Letters regarding appointment to the American Council on Education (ACE) --- 1971
Folder 3: Letters received on reappointment to ACE --- 1976
Folder 4: Letters received on appointment to Hewlett Foundation --- 1976
Series 2: Speeches --- 1939-1965
Box 3
Folder 1: Two student speeches --- 1939; undated
Folder 2: List of topics covered in the speeches --- 1950s and 1960s
Folder 3-4: Speeches given while at the University of Michigan --- 1950s
Folder 5-6: Speeches given while at the University of Michigan --- 1960s
Folder 7: Commencement and convocation speeches --- 1961
Folder 8-11: Speeches --- 1962-1965
Series 3: Speeches and Statements --- 1966-1971
Box 4
Folder 1-6: Speeches and statements --- September 1966 - December 1967
Box 5
Folder 1-6: Speeches and statements --- January 1968 - June 1971
Series 4: Speeches and Articles for the American Council on Education (ACE) --- 1971-1978
Box 6
Folder 1-6: Speeches and articles for ACE --- October 1971 - December 1975
Box 7
Folder 1: Background material for speeches --- 1976
Folder 2: Speeches and articles for ACE --- 1976
Folder 3: Speeches and articles for ACE --- 1977
Folder 4: Speeches and articles for ACE --- 1978
Series 5: Hewlett Foundation Era Speeches, Papers, Introductory Remarks --- 1979-1994
Box 8
Folder 1-6: Speeches, papers, introductory remarks --- 1979-1994
Series 6: Heyns Correspondence --- 1939-1995
Box 9
Folder 1: Incoming correspondence --- 1939-1948
Folder 2: Outgoing correspondence --- 1946-1957
Folder 3: Incoming correspondence (University of Michigan) --- 1946-1965
Folder 4: Outgoing correspondence (University of Michigan) --- 1957-1958
Folder 5: Incoming correspondence (Berkeley) --- 1965-1971
Folder 6: Outgoing correspondence (Berkeley) --- 1965-1971
Folder 7: Incoming correspondence (ACE) --- 1971-1977
Folder 8: Incoming correspondence (Hewlett Foundation) --- 1977-1995
Folder 9: Outgoing correspondence (Hewlett Foundation) --- 1976-1995
Series 7: Berkeley Era Correspondence --- 1965-1970
Box 10
Folder 1: Letters received on being appointed to Berkeley --- 1965 A-H
Folder 2: Letters received on being appointed to Berkeley --- 1965 J-Z
Folder 3-5: Letters received on resignation --- 1970
Series 8: Student Unrest at Berkeley --- 1965-1973
Box 11
Folder 1: Student unrest --- 1965
Folder 2-3: Student unrest --- 1966
Folder 4: Student unrest --- 1967
Folder 5: Student unrest --- 1968
Folder 6: Student unrest --- 1969
Folder 7: Student unrest --- 1970
Folder 8: Student unrest --- 1971
[1972 missing]
Folder 9: Student unrest --- 1973
Series 9: Correspondence while at Hewlett Foundation --- 1976-1995
Box 12
Folder 1: Decision to accept the appointment --- 1976-1977
Folder 2: Correspondence --- 1976
Folder 3: Correspondence --- 1977-1990
Folder 4: Correspondence --- 1991-1993
Folder 5: Correspondence --- 1994-1995
Folder 6: Correspondence with R. W. Hewlett --- 1993-1994
Folder 7: Staff and board papers --- 1978-1995
Folder 8: Bush-Hewlett Development Program --- 1987-1995
Folder 9: Hewlett policy papers; personnel --- 1983-1995
Series 10: Public Policy Institute --- 1993-1995
Box 13
Folder 1: Concept of the Institute --- 1993-1994
Folder 2: Search process --- 1993
Folder 3: Organization --- 1994
Folder 4: Appointments --- 1994
Folder 5: Board of Directors meeting --- June 15, 1995
Folder 6: Materials --- 1993-1995
Folder 7: Chairman of the Board --- 1994-1995
Folder 8: Investment committee --- 1994-1995
Folder 9: Immigration and welfare --- 1995
Folder 10: Wells Fargo account --- 1994
Folder 11: Board members --- 1992-1994
Folder 12: Press releases --- 1994
Series 11: News Clippings
Box 14
Folder 1: Holland, Michigan and Calvin College
Folder 2: Wife and family
Folder 3: University of Michigan
Folder 4: Berkeley appointment, acceptance, and first few months
Folder 5: Berkeley
Folder 6-7: Lengthy press articles, Berkeley
Folder 8: Last days at Berkeley
Folder 9: ACE clippings
Folder 10: Hewlett Foundation
Series 12: Publications --- 1965-1989
Box 15: Volume 1: The University in a Turbulent Society, by Roger William Heyns.
Item 1: Volume 1: The University in a Turbulent Society, by Roger William Heyns.
Item 2: An interview conducted by Harriet Nathan in 1986.  Published in Berkeley Chancellor, 1965-1971.  Published in book form by the University of California at Berkeley, 1987. Includes interview with Mrs. Esther Heyns.
Item 3: Volume 2: Collected Thoughts on Grantmaking and The Hewlett Foundation, by Roger William Heyns.  An interview conducted by Gabrielle Morris and Harriet Nathan in 1986 and 1987.  Published by the University of California at Berkeley --- 1989
Item 4: Volume 3: The Unidentified Man on the Right, by Garff B. Wilson.
Item 5: An account of important people and events on the Berkeley campus during the last four decades (see pp. 50, 51, 84, 85, 88, 128).
Item 6: Volume 4: Here We Stand by Andrew Imbrie.  A Scroll of Honor to Roger William Heyns for his work at Berkeley and for his efforts to preserve the Wickson Redwood Grove --- June 6, 1969
Series 13: Storage Box --- 1967-1977
Box 16: Large scrapbook of news clippings on the career of Roger William Heyns
Item 1: Large scrapbook of news clippings on the career of Roger William Heyns
Item 2: Alameda County commendation for his work at Berkeley --- October 29, 1968
Item 3: Large photograph of the Berkeley campus with a superimposed picture of Roger William Heyns
Item 4: Appointment by President Lyndon B. Johnson to the National Science Foundation Board --- August 2, 1967
Item 5: A statement of recognition and appreciation from ACE, Washington DC --- January 1977