Guide to the Austin Scholarship Program Records

Collection Title: Austin Scholarship Program Records
Dates: 1928-1994
Identification: 12/3/4
Creator: F.C. Austin scholarships
Extent: 3 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: The Records of the Austin Scholarship Program are organized into three subseries: historical/biographical materials, administrative files, and student-related files. Most of the material was collected and saved by James Worthy and reflects his strong commitment to preserving and documenting the history of the scholarship.
Acquisition Information: The Records of the Austin Scholarship Program were donated to the University Archives as several accessions: Accession No.; Donated by; Date #77-23; Edwin M. Martin, James Worthy; 1977 #79-97; Edwin M. Martin, James Worthy; 1979 #79-227; James Worthy; November 23, 1979 #80-93; Edwin M. Martin, James Worthy; 1980 #87-218; James Worthy; August 7, 1987 #89-84; Richard Piaget (through James Worthy); May 26, 1989 #94-176; James Worthy; October 3, 1994 #00-108; Evelyn Routt Warfel; March 4, 2000
Processing Information: Margaret Faverty, January 17, 1984, Chinedu Iloabachie, Summer 2001, and Francine Keyes, March 2005.
Separated Materials: Copies of the Austin Journal, volumes 1-6 (1930-1936) have been separated to the University Archives' collection of serial publications. One folder of James C. Worthy's student papers and notes, dating from his time as an Austin Scholar, was separated and added to the James Worthy Papers. Three inches of duplicate and extraneous material were discarded.
Conditions Governing Access: The following folders, which contain academic records of individual Austin Scholars, may be used only with permission of the University Archivist. Box 1, folder 13, Box 3, folders 3, 4, 11, 12, 13.
Related Materials: See also: the James C. Worthy (1910-1998) Papers, 1932-1999, Series 12/1/14, The Austin Scholarships: A History, originally published in 1979, revised in 1987 and 1994, published by J. L Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

Businessman Frederick C. Austin (1853-1932) organized the Chicago-based F.C. Austin Manufacturing Company, and was the originator of the first all-steel reversible road machine. In 1927, inspired in part by the generous contributions to Northwestern made by his close friends William Dyche and James Patten, Austin began to discuss his ideas about training young men for business leadership with the university’s president Walter Dill Scott. Austin felt that the business community would benefit from efforts to professionalize business management, and he and Scott devised a plan for what would become the Austin Scholarship.

In 1929 Austin donated the F.C. Austin Building, valued at 3 million dollars, to Northwestern, as well as funds sufficient to support the first ten Austin Scholars, and also executed a contract leaving virtually his entire estate to the university. That fall, the first group of ten Austin Scholars began their course of study. The scholarships were merit-based and provided full room, board, and tuition for four years of undergraduate study in the School of Commerce. The first class of Austin Scholars also received an all-expenses paid fourth year of study abroad in Europe. Ten Austin Scholarships were awarded for each year from 1929 to 1932, but the effects of the Great Depression as well as the death of Austin in 1932 caused the university to be financially unable to continue the program. Following the graduation of the last class of Austin Scholars in 1936, the program was put on indefinite hold.

In 1959 the Austin building was sold and the proceeds from the sale were used to reestablish the Austin Scholarship program. From 1959 to 1966 the Austin Scholarships were granted to 54 students as four-year undergraduate scholarships. In 1967, the School of Business became the Graduate School of Management, and since then hundreds of Austin Scholarships have been awarded for graduate study.

James C. Worthy (1910-1998), a member of the first class of Austin Scholars, became a successful businessman and later returned to Northwestern to teach at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management (1978-1998). Worthy served as the Austin Scholarship Program’s Senior Fellow and, with Walter Dill Scott, co-wrote The Austin Scholarships: A History (1979, rev. 1994).

Scope and Content

The Records of the Austin Scholarship Program are organized into three subseries: historical/biographical materials, administrative files, and student-related files. Most of the material was collected and saved by James Worthy and reflects his strong commitment to preserving and documenting the history of the scholarship.

Historical/biographical materials span the years 1929 to 1988 and include announcements, clippings and blank application forms, biographical information about F.C. Austin, a presentation album given to Austin by the Northwestern University Board of Trustees commemorating his gift, information about the Austin Building, and correspondence regarding the book The Austin Scholarships: A History by James Worthy and Walter Scott.

General Administrative files contain correspondence, reports, committee documents, arrangements for events, fund-raising, and alumni affairs. Also included in this subseries are documents pertaining to the study plans and courses for the first group of Austin Scholars, financial records, and material on the 50th Anniversary celebration held in 1979, as well as two reunions held in the 1990s.

Student files are arranged chronologically and separated into two groups: the “original” Austin Scholars, 1929-1936, and those attending since the reinstatement of the scholarship in 1959. Student directories often contain personal notes from alumni and reflect the close-knit nature of the group of the first 40 Austin Scholars. Correspondence from this group of students includes letters of introduction written by students to other scholarship recipients as well as letters written thanking Mr. Austin for creating the scholarship and updating him on the progress of the program. There are also histories of the first Austin Scholars written that eventually were incorporated into the book on the history of the scholarship. There are students' academic records and applications from both time periods. Material from the later years consist mostly of alumni directory questionnaires.


Corporate Name

J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management

Personal Name

Austin, Frederick Carleton, 1853-1931

Worthy, James C.


F.C. Austin scholarships

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.)--Funds and scholarships

Container List / Contents

  • Biographical/Historical
    • Announcements, clippings, application forms, 1929-1988Box 1, Folder 1
    • Biographical information on F.C. Austin and his company, 1931-1972, n.d.Box 1, Folder 2
    • Presentation album - Board of Trustees resolution on Austin gift, 1929Box 1, Folder 3
    • Austin building, 1935-1959Box 1, Folder 4
    • Correspondence about The Austin Scholarships: A History, 1979Box 1, Folder 5
  • Administration
    • Administrative records - annual reports, 1928-1931, 1959-1960Box 1, Folder 6
    • Administrative records - general correspondence, 1958-1977Box 1, Folder 7
    • Administrative records - general correspondence, 1978-1983Box 1, Folder 8
    • Administrative records - general correspondence, 1987-1989Box 1, Folder 9
    • Austin-Northwestern University Annuity Agreement, 1929Box 1, Folder 10
    • Austin Scholar Study Plans, 1930-1933Box 1, Folder 11
    • Financial records, 1929-1989Box 1, Folder 12
    • “Notes on the Austin Foundation and the Austin Program, Together with Data Concerning the Austin Scholars”, 1933Box 1, Folder 13
    • Special Faculty Committee on Austin Scholars, Committee Report, n.d.Box 1, Folder 14
    • 50th Anniversary Austin Scholar Jubilee, General Correspondence, 1979-1980Box 2, Folder 1
    • 50th Anniversary Austin Scholar Jubilee, Planning and Scheduling Materials, Mailings and Clippings, 1979-1980Box 2, Folder 2
    • Austin Scholars Reunion, 1991, 1994Box 2, Folder 3
  • Students
    • Austin Scholars Alumni Student Directories, 1932-1992Box 2, Folder 4
    • 1929-1936 (“Original Austin Scholars”)
      • Correspondence - General (student-related), 1929-1930Box 2, Folder 5
      • Correspondence - General (student-related), 1931-1937Box 2, Folder 6
      • Correspondence - Letters of introduction from first class of Austin Scholars, sent to J. C. Worthy, 1929-1934Box 2, Folder 7
      • Correspondence - Austin scholars' letters to F.C Austin, 1929-1931Box 2, Folder 8
      • “Six Years: A Syllabus of the Group and Individual Activities of The F.C. Austin Scholars”, 1935Box 2, Folder 9
      • “The Original Austin Scholars” by Themselves, ed. John S. Nagel, 1994Box 3, Folder 1
      • Student activities diary, 1932Box 3, Folder 2
      • Student applications, 1929-1930Box 3, Folder 3
      • Student records, 1929-1936Box 3, Folder 4
    • 1959-1994
      • Lists of Austin Scholars, enrollment data, 1959-1979Box 3, Folder 5
      • Alumni Biographical Questionnaires, 1972Box 3, Folder 6
      • Alumni Biographical Questionnaires, 1973Box 3, Folder 7
      • Alumni Biographical Questionnaires, 1974Box 3, Folder 8
      • Alumni Biographical Questionnaires, 1975Box 3, Folder 9
      • Interviews with prospective Austin scholars - James Worthy's notes, 1979Box 3, Folder 10
      • Scholastic Records, 1969-1970Box 3, Folder 11
      • Student applications, 1970-1971Box 3, Folder 12
      • Student resumes, 1974-1975Box 3, Folder 13