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Department of Foreign Languages records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RG-0000-0163

Content Description

Tennessee Tech University Department of Foreign Languages annual report, brochures, correspondence, newsletters, photographs scrapbook, reading files, self-studies, syllabi, website, and foreign language student organization flyers. The reading files were organized by Phillip J. Campana while he was chair of the department and were intended to contain a copy of everything created by his office as chair. The reading files are incomplete.

Digital materials can be accessed online at:

See also:

RG 8 Sidney [Doc] McGee papers -

RG 164 College of Arts and Sciences records -

Accession 2021-0044 Jo Anne Clark photograph albums -


  • 1947 - 2021


Historical Note

As of 2021, the Department of Foreign Languages offers foreign language courses and extracurricular opportunities for students. The Department supports a major, minor, and double majors in foreign languages with concentrations in French, German, and Spanish; offers English as a Second Language (ESL) courses to help international students; collaborates with the College of Business for the International Business and Cultures (IBAC) major and a joint degree. The Department supports study abroad experiences for majors and non-majors alike, and promotes cultural awareness through classes taught in English for non-majors. The department also organizes symposia, film series, lectures, and cultural events.

Mary Harden served as the first formal foreign language teacher at Tennessee Polytechnic Institute in 1919. Tech functioned as a high school and junior college at the time. By the 1929-1930 academic year, the state legislature had elevated Tech to a 4-year undergraduate institution. The Bachelor of Science degree with a major in English was the only program that required foreign language credits. In the 1931-1932 academic year, foreign language requirements were included in the curriculm for the new Bachelor of Science in Science degree. The 1933-1934 bulletin listed a new focus in Foreign Languages under the General Bachelor of Science in English degree. John Meadows joined the faculty as a language teacher by 1938. By the fall 1939 term, Meadows and Mary Harden left Tech.

Dr. Sidney L. McGee is traditionally considered the founder of the Department of Foreign Languages. McGee began teaching at Tech in fall 1939. He exapnded course offerings in French and chaired the department.

From 1941 to 1946, the foreign language faculty merged with English faculty in the new Department of Language and Literature because of low enrollments during World War II. The departments split again after the war in 1946, returning the foreign language faculty to the Department of Foreign Languages. Dr. McGee and part-time instructors, including Marjorie McGee, taught French and German courses. Spanish courses were offered infrequently based on the availability of instructors.

In the 1970s, the new Chair Dr. Phillip Campana advocated for and recruited more tenure-track faculty members with doctorates to raise the prestige of the department. In Fall 1971, the Department began offering English as a Second Language courses. The Department also moved to Prescott Hall. In the 1972-1973 academic year, the Department initiated a student chapter of Alpha Mu Gamma and a student produced foreign language newspaper, La Gazette.

In the winter 1977 quarter, the Department formerly opened the English Language Institute to provide more English as a Second Language coursework. The Department actively recruited international students to enroll in the Institute and other degree programs at Tech. Faculty in the department also informally advised Tech students on studying abroad.

Chairs of the Department of Foreign Language have included:

Dr. Sidney L. McGee, 1939-1941

Dr. Sidney L. McGee, 1946-1968

Mr. Martin Favata, 1967-1969

Dr. Richard Fraser, 1969-1970

Dr. Phillip Campana, 1970-2003

Dr. Marketta Laurila, 2004-2014

Dr. Mark Groundland, Interim, 2014-2017

Dr. Martin Sheehan, Interim, 2017-


A Report on a Self-evaluation Study by the Department of Foreign Languages, 1962 April, page 1-3.

College of Arts and Sciences Annual Report for 1971-1972, page 6.

College of Arts and Sciences Annual Report for 1972-1973, page 8.

College of Arts and Sciences Annual Report for 1976-1977, page 3.

College of Arts and Sciences Annual Report for 1983-1984, page 6.


3.43 Cubic Feet

188.12 Megabytes : 63 files

Language of Materials



Materials are arranged alphabetically by folder title, then chronologically by date of creation.

Custodial History

Records of the Department of Foreign Language were originally created for the administration and functions of the department. After Campana resigned as department chair in 2003, the incoming chair decided to clean out the office and wanted to throw away many departmental records. Campana took the records and culled out some materials ("student salary memos, faculty evaluations, student evaluations, and other documents [he] did not consider of historical interest"). After Campana retired in 2011, he brought the bulk of the records he had saved to his home residence. In June 2021, the Department transfered annual reports, self studies, general files, a photograph, a scrapbook from its office storage to the Tennessee Tech University Archives (Accession no. 2021-0104). The Archives reached out to Campana in the summer of 2021 after transferring the other records from the department. Campana cataloged the records he had at home and brought the records to the Archives on December 1, 2021, which constitute Accession no. 2021-0137.

Department of Foreign Languages records
In Progress
Hannah O'Daniel McCallon
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
1st edition

Repository Details

Part of the Tennessee Tech University Archives Repository

1100 North Peachtree Avenue
PO Box 5066
Cookeville Tennessee 38505 United States