Skip to main content

John O'Melia papers

Identifier: Y.USA.101


Correspondence, minutes, publications, reports, brochures, photographs, and other files of John C. O'Melia, documenting his career in the YMCA. The bulk of the material documents his work at the national level, particularly International work and his establishment and involvement with the Center for International Management Studies (CIMS), but there are also records dating from his earlier roles with the Cleveland YMCA and the Ohio-West Virginia Area Council, as well as his involvement with the national and international organizations for YMCA retirees.


  • 1951-2001


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.

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.


John Coleman O'Melia Jr. was born 20 April 1923 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army as part of the dividion that helped to liberate the Dachau concentration camp outside Munich. Following the war, he earned bachelors and masters degrees from Case Western Reserve University and in 1945 married Martha Wallis.

O'Melia's career with the YMCA spanned 42 years, beginning in 1948 as Assistant Adult Program Director for the Central Branch YMCA in Cleveland, Ohio. After stints at the Downtown Boys Branch YMCA and the Addison Road YW-YMCA, he served as Associate Executive for the Ohio-West Virginia Area Council of YMCAs in Columbus. His first role at the national level began in 1963, when he became Director for Adult Program. By 1970, he was appointed director of the International Division, with responsibility for coordinating the World Service Program of the YMCA and the overseas activities of the YMCA with special emphasis on economically less developed countries. During the height of the cold war, O'Melia established the YMCA Center for International Management Studies (CIMS), which focused on building relationships between American industry executives and their counterparts in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union with the goal of "world peace through economics."

Following his retirement in 1988, O'Melia was active in the national and international YMCA retiree fellowship organizations, and also served on the U.S. YMCA Historic Archives Committee. He passed away on 25 August 2011.

[Information taken from the collection, including published obituaries.]


2.4 cubic feet (6 boxes)

Language of Materials



Files of John C. O'Melia, documenting his career in the YMCA, particularly International work and his establishment and involvement with the Center for International Management Studies (CIMS).

Processing Information

Includes material fast-processed as FP157

Catalog Record ID number: 9978301943601701

An Inventory of his Papers
Lara Friedman~Shedlov
October 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Kautz Family YMCA Archives Collecting Area