The Division of Institutional Advancement encompasses the organizational units which are responsible for the production of educational materials, the development of a supportive alumni community, outreach to the public and fundraising for the College. Previously known as “External Affairs,” it currently consists of four departments: Publications and Media, Alumni Relations, Development, and Communications.
The activities of the division have evolved over the last ninety years. One of the original activities of the Bureau of Educational Experiments was the publication of information bulletins. Under the direction of Jean Lee Hunt, the bulletins were published by the Department of Studies and Publications. In 1937, the department separated and the Division of Publications was formed. Materials for children as well as for parents and educators were published by the College. Formed in 1984, the Media Group combined the work of the Division of Publications with new ventures such as software. It is currently known as the Publications and Media Group.
During the tenure of President John Niemeyer, an increased focus was placed on external affairs at the College. Alumni associations were formed in New York and California in order to maintain the bond between the College and the growing alumni population, to encourage interaction between alumni of different classes and to allow for an organized way of giving to the College. However, the first official national alumni association was not formed until 1993.
The first director of development, Carol Truax, was hired by Niemeyer at the beginning of his presidency. This ensured that the College administration would play an active role in fundraising. While the College has long had an office of public information, the College’s public relations activities became a major priority during the presidency of Joseph Shenker.
Scope and Content Note
Record Group 4 consists of four subgroups: Publications and Media; Alumni; Development; and Communications. The records cover the time period from 1918-2006. The bulk of the records are from 1950-2000. Note that papers written by Bank Street faculty, but not published by the College, can be found in RG 10, Faculty and Staff Papers.