Henry R. Luce Makes an Appearance

Credit to: MRL5: United Board for Christian Colleges in China Records, box 1, folder 2,
The Burke Library Archives (Columbia University Libraries) at Union Theological Seminary, New York.

If you recall from an earlier post detailing the relationship between the Burke Library and the Henry Luce Foundation, the press release which announced the funding included the following statement:

We are delighted that the Luce Foundation can play a part in The Burke Library's preservation of these important collections, so that they can be readily accessible to a wider readership," said Michael Gilligan, president of the Henry Luce Foundation. "Although these collections are distinct from our own archives, they are clearly linked to two parts of our history—Henry R. Luce's intention to honor his parents, Presbyterian missionary educators in China; and the foundation's early support for Christian ecumenism.

Henry Winters Luce and his wife, Elizabeth Root Luce, were Presbyterian missionaries in China during the early part of the twentieth century. Their children – Henry, Emmavail, Elizabeth and Sheldon – were all born in China. According to the Luce Foundation Website, "Luce made his first major gift in 1935, an endowment at Yenching University in Peking to honor his father’s work, and he intended his foundation as a lasting tribute to his parents…"

I always keep a special eye out for the Luce name, and I have found material where Henry Winters Luce had an association, or was perhaps a member of an organization or board.

Today I was excited to come across THE man himself, Henry Robinson Luce, in a new collection.

MRL5: East Asia, United Board for Christian Colleges in China (UBCCC) Records, 1931-1959 was the collection. The UBCCC was established to support and coordinate the activities of Protestant colleges and universities in China. It would later focus efforts more broadly across Asia and change the name to the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia. The collection includes annual reports and supporting information such as correspondence and budgets relating to overall activities.

Among the annual reports are lists of members who attended the meeting, as well as full lists of those who were on specific committees. Henry R. Luce appears to have been an active member of UBCCC, attending not only the annual meetings but serving on multiple subcommittees.

A great find indeed for this dreary Tuesday.

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