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Donald E. Walker Papers

Identifier: MS-0292

Scope and Contents

The Donald E. Walker Papers consists of correspondence and administrative files created by Walker's office during his tenure as Acting President of San Diego State College, 1971-1972. Of particular note are Walker's correspondence and statements to the faculty, university senate and students regarding campus unrest and the controversy surrounding professor Peter Bohmer's reappointment. The collection is organized into three series: Biographical Files, Administrative Files, and Correspondence. The Biographical Files include a short biographical sketch and newspaper clippings documenting Walker's tenure. The Administrative Files include policy documents, official memoranda, and a file on the 1972 commencement ceremony. The Correspondence series includes general correspondence from Walker's office and a file containing letters recommending Walker's aapointment as college president.


  • created: 1971 - 1972


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in some or all of these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creator(s) of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of archival collections is such that multiple creators are often applicable and copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. In any case, the user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, obtaining publication rights and copyright infringement. When requesting images from Special Collections & University Archives for publication, we require a signed agreement waiving San Diego State University of any liability in the event of a copyright violation.

Biographical Note

Donald E. Walker (1921-2011) was a professor of sociology, university administrator, and Acting President of San Diego State University in 1971-1972. Walker was born July 13, 1921 in Springfield, Missouri. He studied religion and theology at the University of Southern California where he took his bachelors and masters degrees in 1943 and 1947 respectively. He received a doctorate degree in sociology from Stanford University in 1954. Before entering university administration, Walker was a Methodist minister at churches in Los Angeles and Encinitas.

Walker came to San Diego State College in 1949 as instructor of sociology before entering administration as associate dean of students and counseling and later dean of counseling and testing. Walker first left San Diego State for a string of positions including dean of students at San Fernando Valley State College (1958-1960), president of Idaho State College (1960-1964), dean of students at Sonoma State College (1964-1966), and chancellor of student affairs at University of California, Irvine (1966-1968).

Walker returned to San Diego State as vice president of academic affairs and served as acting president after the departure of President Malcolm A. Love. Walker's brief tenure as acting president saw a turbulent time in the university's history, marked by destructive student protests and controversy surrounding the actions of economics professor Peter Bohmer in agitating against the war and organizing campus disruptions.

Walker again left the San Diego State for a position as president of Southeastern Massachusetts University (now the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth) from 1972 to 1983 and finally as Chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, from which he retired in 1992.


0.21 Linear Feet (One half-size Hollinger box)

Language of Materials



I. Biographical Files, 1972

II. Administrative Files, 1971-1972

III. Correspondence, 1971-1972

Donald E. Walker Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Revision Statements

  • September 2022: The Donald E. Walker Papers were reprocessed in September 2022. The scope and contents note and the biographical note were rewritten, personnel files were removed, and the papers were given a new arrangement.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections & University Archives Repository

5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego CA 92182-8050 US