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Duluth Junior College records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: S6054

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of two alphabetical series: graduates and non-graduates.

Faculty Meeting Minutes 1947-1948; DJC Bulletins 1942-43, 1947-48, 1948-49


  • 1927-1950

Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Kathryn A. Martin Library, Archives and Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

As early as September 1923, Duluthians urged the school board to establish a junior college in Duluth. On February 11, 1927, the Duluth Board of Education heard several petitions requesting the formation of a two-year junior college. Several public junior colleges were already well established in Minnesota. With formal approval from the Finance Committee to the Duluth School Board the program was authorized on May 3, 1927 using space in Denfeld High School.

On June 10, 1927 the Committee on Schools recommended Raymond D. Chadwick, principal of Morgan Park High School, be employed as Dean at $300 per month for as long as necessary to organize the Duluth Junior College, that his salary be increased to $4,000 per year beginning in December of 1927, and that 100 applications for enrollment be necessary in order to open the College in September.

Duluth Junior College opened with 146 students on Sept. 12, 1927 in the Denfeld High School building. The college moved to the Franklin School building at 411 East 7th street on September 6, 1946 with 896 enrolled and a staff of 48. Duluth Junior College closed in March 1950.

The Duluth Junior College football team, Bluejays, was selected to play against California Compton College team the Tartans, in a December 11, 1948, football game at Pasadena's famous Rose Bowl stadium. It was an East against West match-up. Tickets were $3.00. It was the third annual Junior Rose Bowl Game. DJC's enrollment was 111, Compton's 5,000 – half of whom were high school students. Compton won 48-14.

  Several public junior colleges were already well established in Minnesota.  Junior college work was started in Cloquet in 1914-15, in Faribault and Rochester in 1915-16, and in Hibbing and Jackson in 1916-17.  Other northern Minnesota towns were junior colleges were established included Coleraine (Itasca JC), VIrginia, Eveleth, and Ely.  All were housed within local high schools. All had pre-university curricula only, no vocational courses - the lone exception being a two-year course for medical secretaries offered at Rochester Junior College.  In August of 1939, as war clouds gathered in Europe, the Duluth JC and teh University of Minnesota became the first two colleges in Minnesota to offer a program in pilot training.  An April 1941 article announced that 122 youths had received pilot training through DJC in the preceeding year.  The program was discontinued on July 15, 1943.  By 1944, attrition in the numbers of students enrolled was due to military service and war jobs.  Enrollment of 366 in 1941 was down to 74 in 1944.  And the financial picture was bleak. A meeting held April 26, 1944 was attended by about 150 persons, and a large majority were in favor of continuing the school.  D.r Herbert Sorenson, president of the Duluth State Teachers College, appeared at the request of the school board to answer questions as to the ability of teh DSTC to supplant the junior college if its closing appeared necessary.  Post war, the enrollment picture changed.  Enrollment for 1946-47 was listed at 896.  Annual tuition for local students was $25, other $50.  The Duluth Committee to establish a branck of the Universite of Minnesota in place of the Duluth State Teachers College lobbied and campaigned strenuously before the state legislature.   May 1948, Citizen's commitee reports and recommeds continuing DJC but focussing on terminal, vocational education.  January 10, 1950, DJC Dean Kelsey resigns, effective at the end of the school year.  March 6, 1950 the Duluth School Board closes the Duluth Junior College as of the end of the college year.


28.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection consists of two alphabetical series: graduates and non-graduates.

Faculty Meeting Minutes 1947-1948; DJC Bulletins 1942-43, 1947-48, 1948-49

Physical Location

This collection is located at the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives. For more information about this collection or to make an appointment, contact us at or 218-726-8526.


This collection is owned by the Minnesota Historical Society, but is housed at the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives.

Guide to the Duluth Junior College records
Finding Aid Authors: P. Maus.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University of Minnesota Duluth Archives and Special Collections Collecting Area

Kathryn A. Martin Library
University of Minnesota Duluth
416 Library Drive
Duluth MN 55812-3001
(218) 726-8526