C. Arnold and Blanche Serenius papers
Scope and Contents
The C. Arnold and Blanche Serenius papers, 1922-1991, contains papers related to the college and professional lives of Blanche, Arnold, and Arnold's brother, Vernon Serenius, including a scrapbook, photographs, professional papers, and materials related to class reunions. The collection has been organized into four series: Photograph album, Scrapbook, C. Arnold Serenius professional papers, and Class of 1926 files.
The Photograph album (1922-1924) contains snapshots taken by C. Arnold Serenius in 1922-1924. The subjects of the images are varied and include Augustana campus scenes, the construction of Augustana Seminary, football games, the tour of the Wennerberg Chorus, the Augustana Male Quartet, and other subjects. Some of the images are labeled with names, though most are not.
The Scrapbook (1922-circa 1938) was compiled by C. Arnold Serenius and includes clippings, programs, invitations, telegrams, letters and other items relating to the Augustana Male Quartet and the Augustana A Cappella Choir; activities relating to Arnold's brother Vernon Serenius, including an invitation to his wedding and an article about his ordination class; Arnold's time at the State University of Iowa; and Arnold's work at Augustana as registrar and assistant to the President.
The C. Arnold Serenius professional papers (1926-1965) contains teaching certificates, a teaching contract, information about his dissertation, correspondence about terms of employment at Valparaiso University and Augustana College, and an annual report submitted to the President of Augustana College and Theological Seminary.
The Class of 1926 files (1951-1991) contains papers compiled by Blanche Serenius, including class correspondence, lists of class members, and several group photographs taken at reunions. Blanche Serenius became the Class Representative in 1985 after the previous representative, Herb Glynn, passed away. Much of the material in this series predates her position as Class Representative but it seems likely that she inherited the correspondence and other materials once accepting this position.
- Creation: 1922-1991
Conditions Governing Access
There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.
Conditions Governing Use
Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from Augustana College Special Collections and the copyright holder.
Carl Arnold Serenius was born 27 September 1902. He graduated from High School at Osceola, Nebraska. He and his younger brother, Vernon Serenius, entered Augustana College in 1922 and earned their B. A. degrees in Education in 1926. While at Augustana, Arnold was very active in the Augustana Male Quartet, the Wennerberg Chorus, and football. Serenius married Blanche Williams, also a 1926 Augustana College graduate, in 1932. Blanche was born 20 June 1905 in Moline, Illinois. She was educated in the Rock Island public school system and attended Augustana College, where she received her B. A. in Education. Blanche taught at several elementary and high schools in the greater Rock Island area.
After graduating from Augustana, Arnold obtained a State of Illinois High School Teacher's Certificate. He was superintendent at Lanyon Consolidated School before he entered graduate school in Iowa. Serenius earned a doctorate from the College of Education at the State University of Iowa (Iowa City) in August 1931. His dissertation was titled: An Analytical and Empirical Study of Certain Techniques Employed in Vocabulary Testing. He was offered a position in the Education department at Valparaiso University the following September. In 1934, Arnold left Valparaiso to accept a position as registrar and alumni secretary at Augustana College. He was appointed as Assistant to the President in charge of Alumni and Public Relations in 1938 and he later became the Director of Alumni and Public Relations. He was assigned various other duties while employed at Augustana, including professor, choir manager, and Director of the World War II Army Air Cadet Program, until his resignation in 1947. Arnold was also involved in national and regional professional organizations relating to his work at Augustana, including serving as President of the Illinois Association of Collegiate Registrars and President of the College Admission Counselors organization.
After his departure from Augustana College, Arnold held a position in human resources at the Iowa-Illinois Gas and Electric Company. In 1973, he and his wife, Blanche, moved to Alexandria, Minnesota, where they lived until his death on 13 May 1984.
After Arnold's death, Blanche returned to Rock Island, Illinois. She was actively involved in several religious, civic, and political organizations. Notably, she was the class representative for the Augustana College Class of 1926 starting in 1985. She also was involved with the Rock Island County Historical Society, the Augustana Endowment Society, the American Scandinavian Society, the Augustana Historical Society, the Rock Island YWCA, and the Woman's Club of Rock Island. She was city chair-woman of the Republican Party for eight years and sang in the Handel Oratorio Society for 30 years. Blanche passed away 31 March 2004.
0.6 Cubic Feet (/ 2 boxes)
Language of Materials
Carl Arnold Serenius was a student at Augustana College from 1922 to 1926. He was very active in the Augustana Male Quartet as well as the Wennerberg Chorus and football. Serenius married Blanche Williams, also a 1926 Augustana College graduate, in 1932. The C. Arnold and Blanche Serenius papers, 1922-1991, contains papers related to the college and professional lives of Blanche, Arnold, and Arnold's brother, Vernon Serenius, including a scrapbook, photographs, professional papers, and materials related to class reunions.
The scrapbook was received from the Rock Island County Historical Society in 2001; it is unclear how the scrapbook came into the society's possession. The remaining materials were received from Kai Swanson, circa 1999-2004, who obtained the papers from Blanche Serenius to be given to Special Collections.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Received from the Rock Island County Historical Society, 2001, and Kai Swanson, via Kai Swanson circa 1999-2004.
Processed by Emily Hughes Dominick, 2007. Revised by Atticus Garrison, May 2016.
- Augustana College and Theological Seminary (Rock Island, Ill.) -- Students
- Choral societies -- Illinois -- Rock Island
- College students -- Illinois -- History -- 20th century
- College students -- Societies, etc.
- Men's choral societies -- Illinois -- Rock Island
- C. Arnold and Blanche Serenius papers, 1922-1991.
- Atticus Garrison
- May 2016
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
Part of the Augustana College Special Collections Repository
639 38th Street
Thomas Tredway Library
Rock Island Illinois 61201 United States