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Tabor College – Hillsboro, KS

Proper Title

Tabor College fonds

Dates of Creation


Physical Description

81 cm of textual records

Administrative History

On the morning of September 5, 1908, 39 students and three instructors began the first session of Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas. This beginning came as Mennonite Brethren and Krimmer Mennonite Brethren Churches of North America recognized the need for an institution of higher education. Henry W. Lohrenz and Peter C. Hiebert were the primary two initiators and served as Tabor College’s first president and vice president, respectively. Before the first school year ended, enrollment grew to one hundred and four with a faculty of five.

The school experienced increasing enrollment during the first ten years. On April 30, 1918, fire destroyed the building which had housed the College for its first ten years. Two new buildings, a dormitory–dining hall and administration–classroom building, replaced the first.

In 1928, Tabor College was accredited as a four-year college. During the early 1930s, the depression caused difficulty with regards to the financial situation of the college. The school closed the junior and senior programs and the state withdrew the college accreditation. In an attempt to save the school, the Tabor College Corporation, which had owned and operated the College up until 1934, transferred the College to the Conference of the Mennonite Brethren of North America. The College closed for one year as the Conference was organizing administration and opened again in 1935.

Due to the beginning of the second world war in 1941, attendance dropped dramatically, but rejuvenated again in 1946 and reached record enrollment. In 1959, the College once again received four-year accreditation by the state. During the 1960s, several new buildings were built, including a library, a gymnasium, and two new residencies. Tabor College continued to grow in numbers and in curriculum. In 1981, the campus underwent a $3.8 million dollar renovation.

The College now operates under its own charter. Its Board of Directors are responsible to the churches which make up the Central, Southern, Latin American and North Carolinian Districts of the Mennonite Brethren Church Conference.

Following Henry W. Lohrenz as president was Peter C. Hiebert, Abraham E. Janzen, Peter E. Schellenberg, John N. C. Hiebert, Frank C. Peters, Leonard J. Franz, Roy Just, Vernon E. Janzen, David Brandt, and Larry Nikkel.

Scope and Content

The material in this collection consists of pamphlets and posters with general information and publicity for the college, bulletins and newsletters from choir tours and sports teams, and correspondence and reports from the boards. The collection also includes a history book and yearbooks that show the students, faculty, and student life.

Custodial History

The custodial history of this fonds is unclear.


  • Volumes 888–890.
  • Finding aid consists of a file list.
  • No restrictions on access.
  • Described by Leslie Wiebe, August 12, 2002.
  • Location: Institutional Records – Tabor College.

File List

Volume 888

  1. Pamphlets, invitations, posters. -- 1939–1988.
  2. Alumni newsletters, sports newsletters, Midway magazine featuring Tabor College, and a Mennonite festival booklet. -- 1943, 1966, 1974–1988.
  3. Choir Bulletins. -- 1938, 1952–1953, 1962–1963, 1974, 1989.
  4. Events Calendars. -- 1979–1990.
  5. Correspondence. -- 1931–1957.
  6. Enrollment Lists. -- 1942–1947.
  7. Reports. -- 1939–1952.
  8. Correspondence and Reports. -- 1963–1985.
  9. Alumni Directory. -- 1981.
  10. Self-Survey Report. -- 1959.
  11. Self Study Report. -- 1963.
  12. Supplement to Self Study Report. -- 1964.
  13. Manual of Operation. -- 1964.
  14. Annual Catalogues. -- 1929–1943.
  15. Annual Catalogues. -- 1943–1951.
  16. Annual Catalogues. -- 1951–1955, 1962–1963, 1965–1969.
  17. Annual Catalogues. -- 1974–1975, 1977–1981.
  18. Annual Catalogues. -- 1981–1984, 1986–1987.
  19. Wesley J. Prieb and Don Ratzlaff, To a Higher Plane of Vision: Tabor College – the First 75 Years. -- 1983.
    Blue Jay Yearbooks. -- 1930, 1945–1946.
  20. Tabor College Student Council constitution. -- [195–].
  21. The Lived in Hope: A Guide to Hillsbor0's Pioneer Adobe House Museum (1874–1900). -- 1986.

Volume 889

  • Blue Jay Yearbooks. – 1946–1956, 1960–1964.

Volume 890

  • Blue Jay Yearbooks. – 1964–1969, 1972.
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