Guide to the James C. McLeod (1902-1981) Papers

Collection Title: James C. McLeod (1902-1981) Papers
Dates: 1945-1981
Identification: 30/3
Creator: McLeod, James Currie, 1902-1981
Extent: 1 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: James McLeod served as Northwestern University chaplain (1946-52) , professor of history and literature of religions (1946-71), and Dean of Students (1952-67). The Papers include biographical materials, general correspondence, and sermons and addresses.
Acquisition Information: This series was donated to the University Archives by James S. Aagaard on June 18, 1981 (Accession #81-144).
Processing Information: Deborah K. Wright; July 13, 1983.
Separated Materials: Two audio discs and one tape recording have been removed to the University Archives' audio collection. Nineteen photographs have been removed to the Archives' photograph collection. Three linear inches of university publications have been separated to the Archives' general reference files.
Conditions Governing Access: None.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

James Currie McLeod was born on October 28, 1902 in Buffalo, New York, the son of Captain Dugald and Mary Holmes (Currie) McLeod. A Presbyterian minister, and US Navy chaplain, McCleod became university chaplain at Northwestern University in 1946. At this time he also joined NU's faculty as a professor the history and literature of religions. Beginning in 1952, McLeod also served as Dean of Students.

McLeod attended Lafayette High School and Nichols Country Day School before graduating with a B.S. degree from Middlebury College in 1926. He received his bachelor of divinity degree from Yale Divinity School in 1929, after which he was ordained a Presbyterian minister. Later, McLeod received two honorary degrees (from Alfred University in 1941 and from Middlebury in 1951).

From 1929 to 1940 McLeod served as chaplain at Alfred and also coached cross country for the university. His teams won six New York and five Middle States championships.

From 1940 to 1943 McLeod was director of the Westminster Foundation and minister to students at Ohio State University, He served as lieutenant commander and chaplain in the United States Navy from 1943 to 1946. After the conclusion of his military service, Northwestern University appointed McLeod university chaplain and associate professor of history and literature of religions in July, 1946. He attained the rank of professor in 1951 and emeritus professor in 1971. Northwestern appointed McLeod its dean of students in September, 1952 and upon this appointment he stepped down as university chaplain. McLeod remained as dean of students until September, 1967.

McLeod served as president of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators during 1963-1964 and as president of the Evanston Rotary Club in 1964-1965. He was also a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity, the Masons, the Military Chaplains Association, the University Club of Evanston and the St. Andrews Society.

McLeod married Emily Louise Johnson on August 24, 1929, The McLeods had three children: Mary-Louise (Mrs. James S. Aagaard), Adrienne (Mrs. Craig B. Heatley; d. 1999) and James Currie, Jr. McLeod died in Morton Grove, Illinois on April 14, 1981.

Scope and Content

The James C. McLeod Papers are arranged in three subseries: biographical materials, general correspondence and sermons and addresses.

The biographical materials fill two folders and span the years from 1945 to 1981. They consist mainly of newspaper and magazine clippings but also include press releases and vitae. The biographical materials are arranged within folders chronologically by date.

General correspondence also fills two folders, dates from 1946 to 1978 and pertains primarily to McLeod's duties as chaplain and dean of students at Northwestern. A small amount of correspondence concerns Northwestern's 1959 College Quiz Bowl team. The general correspondence is arranged chronologically according to date.

The sermons and addresses files span the period 1948-1976. Mainly included here are McLeod's sermons delivered at Northwestern along with several convocation, baccalaureate, commencement and memorial addresses and related materials. The sermons and addresses are arranged chronologically by date within three folders.

Arrangement of Materials

The James C. McLeod Papers are arranged in three subseries: biographical materials, general correspondence and sermons and addresses.


Corporate Name

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.)--Faculty

Personal Name

McLeod, James Currie, 1902-1981--Archives


College chaplains--Illinois--Evanston

Container List / Contents

  • Biographical Materials, 1945-1959Box 1, Folder 1
  • Biographical Materials, 1960-1981, n.d.Box 1, Folder 2
  • General Correspondence, 1946-1951Box 1, Folder 3
  • General Correspondence, 1952-1978, n.d.Box 1, Folder 4
  • Sermons and Addresses, 1948-1952Box 1, Folder 5
  • Sermons and Addresses, 1953-1964Box 1, Folder 6
  • Sermons and Addresses, 1965-1976Box 1, Folder 7