The Caltech Institute Archives

Interview with Wesley L. Hershey

Hershey, Wesley L. (1987) Interview with Wesley L. Hershey. [Oral History]

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An interview in two sessions in May 1979 with Wesley L. Hershey, former executive secretary of the Caltech Y. He earned a degree from Yale Divinity School in 1946, became executive secretary of the Caltech YMCA (as it was then called) that year, and served in that position until his retirement in 1976. He comments on his longstanding interest in the student YMCA movement, beginning with his undergraduate years at Berkeley. Recalls his arrival at Caltech and the importance of the YMCA there; Robert A. Millikan’s support; Millikan’s religious bent and involvement with Pasadena’s Neighborhood Church. C. Schwieso, the Y’s early executive secretary; history of Freshman Camp. The Y’s role in making students feel at home; the stress that incoming students experience; Dr. Kenneth Eels as Caltech’s first institute psychologist. Establishment of the Y’s Leaders of America program. Decline in student activism and volunteerism. He discusses his interest in working with people in “encounter sessions.” Recalls the founding of Athenaeum luncheon forums and Friends of the Y. Concludes with comments on the value of volunteerism and group interaction, and on the Caltech Y’s evolution as a liberal, even secular, organization.

Item Type:Oral History
Keywords:Caltech Y
Record Number:CaltechOH:OH_Hershey_W
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Hershey, Wesley L. Interview by Harriet Lyle. Pasadena, California, May 2 and 3, 1979. Oral History Project, California Institute of Technology Archives. Retrieved [supply date of retrieval] from the World Wide Web:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
Subjects:Subjects > Administration
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ID Code:294
Deposited By: Oral Histories Administrator
Deposited On:12 Apr 2021 22:35
Last Modified:21 Apr 2021 17:24

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