Special Collections & University Archives
Search Special Collections
Monday - Friday:
The Special Collections is located on the east side of the Library at the front of the 3rd floor.
Patricia W. & J. Douglas Perry Library
The Papers of Albert I. Godden
Albert I. Godden received his Bachelors and Masters Degrees at Oswego State Teachers College, of the State University of New York. According to an interview in 1976 by James Sweeney, Godden’s educational philosophy integrated the Sheldon Theory of Education. This theory inspired his work toward a practical usage of knowledge, as opposed to symbolic knowledge, as the motivator for students to learn.
In 1949, Godden wrote an article about the Junior Technical Course of the Norfolk Public Schools, where high school students would gain a vocational diploma. The success of the Junior Technical Course, because of Godden’s involvement, impressed Lewis Webb, Director of the Norfolk Division. Webb hired him to expand the Junior Technical Course’s technical courses under the auspices of the Norfolk Division. He worked with Webb in expanding the Junior Technical Course and the day and evening classes of the Technical Institute. Godden was a math, science, and drafting instructor of the Engineering School and assisted in expanding the Evening College, which after 1948, became an important part of the Institute. He then became the supervisor of the non-credit Vocational Division.
Godden and the Institute were driven to give educational public service to the region through media technology. From 1952 to 1958, Godden was the Art Director for the Signpost, a television program broadcasted on WTAR four times a week discussing educational, civic, and technical topics. He also worked with the Evening College’s Opera Workshop as stage and property manager between 1954 and 1960. The Institute's print shop served the entire college. In 1956, B.C. Dickerson (first director of the Institute) and Lee Klinefelter (second director of the Institute) launched the Technical Institute’s radio station WMTI, the first radio station of its kind in Norfolk.
Godden was promoted to Assistant Director of the Technical Institute in 1959 by Klinefelter and served under Ed Kovner. Godden helped establish the new building for the Institute in 1958. As Assistant Director, he helped the Institute grow by promoting education to the Navy and local technical and industrial companies. Godden also acted as an employment officer for graduates, arranged financial aid whenever possible, and raised awareness of the GI Bill. Throughout Godden’s career, he wrote articles for the expansion of a community college by stating the importance of vocational training for Norfolk and adjacent communities.
In the early 1960s, the Norfolk Division needed to add libraries, facilities, and personnel to gain accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Godden had assisted other schools with accreditation. He helped create models and maps to expand the campus and recruit faculty leading the way to the college’s independence from William and Mary. The creation of Old Dominion College in 1962 brought about a reorganization of the school into five academic schools and two new divisions: the Division of Continuing Education and the Community College Division.
After the end of the Technical Institute, Godden worked under the Division of Continuing Education as Director of Extension and Public Services in 1968. Extension services included off campus courses, continuing education to professionals, and to serve the Navy in their educational goals. Under his direction, the Evening College, off campus, and summer courses expanded. In 1969, the college became Old Dominion University and the infrastructure of the Division of Continuing Education and Division of General Studies changed. The School of General Studies supervised the Evening College and Interdisciplinary Studies. The Division of Continuing Studies would supervise off campus credit, professional programs, and other extension services. He was also an Associate Professor during the1970, 1972 and 1973 academic years.
Scope and Contents
The contents of this collection range from 1949 to 1973. This collection documents technical education at Old Dominion University and Albert Godden’s academic career. Material included is correspondence, reports, floor plans, newspaper clippings, photographs, certificates, calendars, and a scrapbook. Of interest is material that documents the evolution of reactions to African American and African applicants. The folder, "Correspondence, 'Colored Applicants,' 1953-1962" contains internal memos and rejection letters that direct these applicants to instead apply to African American colleges. However in 1964, a student from Nigeria was offered a course listing and a list of other non-race specific colleges (in "Correspondence, 1964").
Series I: Technical Institute. Contains material related to the creation, functioning, promotion and expansion of the Institute including plans for an Armory, correspondence of Godden, Director Edgar Kovner and other staff, reports, certificates and plans. Dated from 1953 to 1968, the material is arranged alphabetically.
Open to researchers without restrictions. Questions on literary property rights should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian.
1 Hollinger Document Case.
[Identification of item], Box [number], Folder [number and title], The Papers of Albert I. Godden, Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University Libraries, Norfolk, VA 23529.
Series I:Technical Institute
Folder 1: Armory Plans and Regulations (Auto Repair Shop), 1960-1962
Series II: Division of Continuing Education
Folder 11: Calendars, 1969
Series III: Scrapbook
Folder 23: Scrapbook. Page 1: The Junior Technical Course, 1949