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Florida State University College of Human Sciences Records

Identifier: MSS 2007-001

Scope and Contents

The College of Human Sciences (CHS) records consists of the administrative and financial files, reports, speeches, student materials, course materials, College and faculty publications, activity files, memorabilia, and reference files of the College and its internal departments from 1905-2005. These materials document the history of the College and its predecessor organizations, the Department of Home Economics, the School of Home Economics, and the College of Home Economics. In addition, the collection documents the activities of its administrative deans Margaret Sandels, Hortense Glenn, Margaret Sitton, and Penny Ralston. Topics include alumni activities, honorary awards and special events, the Tyner Eminent Scholar's Chair and Lecture Series, planning for graduate programs, College self-study activities for accreditation, the dedication and renovation of the Sandels Building in honor of the College's first dean, fund raising activities, the College's 75th and 100th anniversaries, and the Home Management course.


  • created: 1905-2005

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

To request permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from the archives, please contact Heritage & University Archives, Florida State University Libraries, Tallahassee, Florida. Researchers must obtain separate permission from the copyright holders of material held within University Archives collections for which the institution does not hold copyright.

Biographical or Historical Information

Florida Female College, Florida State University’s (FSU) predecessor institution, held its first courses in Domestic Art and Domestic Science in 1905. In 1908, the College established the Department of Home Economics directed by Agnes Ellen Harris. The following year, Florida Female College was renamed the Florida State College for Women (FSCW).

FCSW created a Home Demonstration Extension program in 1916 and developed two-week short courses open to women over 16 years of age who could not afford to leave home for an entire school year. Agnes Harris resigned from her position in the Department of Home Economics to focus on the College’s Extension Program. In 1917, U.S. Congress passed the Smith-Hughes Act to provide education for Vocational Agriculture and Home Economics in the public schools, which increased the need for well-educated Home Economics teachers. In 1918, the FSCW Department of Home Economics became the School of Home Economics with Cora Gray as Interim Dean.

In 1922, the new School of Home Economics appointed Margaret R. Sandels as its first Dean. She served until 1958 and many of the School’s most notable accomplishments occurred during her administration. In 1954, the School relocated into a new building named in her honor.

After Dean Sandels’ retirement in 1958, Hortense Glenn took over. In her early years at FSCW, she was resident instructor at the Home Management House in which every woman who majored in Home Economics had to live for a few weeks. During Dean Glenn's administration, the School earned the title of Florida's Resident Instruction Unit in Home Economics from the American Association of Land-Grant Colleges in 1961. Glenn retired in 1972 and in her honor, the School established the Glenn Society in 2004 for the top one percent of the School’s student body.

Margaret Wilson Sitton became Dean after Glenn’s retirement and held this position until 1991, during which time there were several significant achievements. In 1974, the School received accreditation status from the American Home Economics Association and it achieved a rank within the top tier of home economics programs in terms of graduate enrollment and graduate degrees conferred. In 1977, the School became the College of Home Economics. Dean Sitton further suggested changing the name of the College to reflect the growing breadth and depth of academic programs and the faculty voted in 1988 to change the name from the College of Home Economics to the College of Human Sciences.

Following Dean Sitton's retirement, Penny Ralston became the College's fourth dean and the first African-American to serve as dean of a southern Human Sciences unit. Ralston helped to develop special diversity programs and projects that served the community. Dean Ralston actively worked to increase the College's financial base and spearheaded a renovation and expansion project for the Sandels Building. Dean Ralston retired in June 2006 and Billie Collier succeeded her. After Dean Collier’s retirement in 2014, The College hired Dr. Michael Delp as only the sixth dean in the College’s 100-year history.

As of 2016, CHS has an enrollment of more than 3,100 students in three departments: Family and Child Sciences; Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences; and Textiles and Consumer Sciences. Among the 50 outstanding faculty members in the College, six hold named professorships.


10.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Administrative and financial records, reports, speeches, student materials, course materials, publications, activity files, memorabilia, and reference files of the College of Human Sciences and its internal departments. Materials document the administrations of Deans Margaret Sandels, Hortense Glenn, Margaret Sitton, and Penny Ralston of the College of Human Sciences and its predecessor organizations.

Method of Acquisition

The first accession of the College of Human Sciences Records was given to Special Collections in January 2007. Subsequent accessions have been periodically added. MSS 2010-1110 added to this collection as Series 6 in January 2016.

Related Materials

See also the Florida State College for Women/Florida State University School of Home Economics Florida Extension Services Collection.

FSU Digital Library

Processing Information

Processed by Burt Altman in 2007. Reprocessed by Monica Toth in 2016.

Florida State University College of Human Sciences Records
Burt Altman and Monica Toth
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US