December 14, 2015
On Dec. 7, West Chester University became curator of an alumnus' collection of documents that offer unique insights into the inner workings of public policy and critical historic international events.
The Honorable W. Curtis Weldon '69, retired member of the U.S. House of Representatives (PA-7) who served from 1987 to 2007, is donating his entire Congressional archive of materials and memorabilia to his alma mater.
The friendships and collegial relationships forged by Congressman Weldon with leaders throughout the world, as well as his service on several House Committees, have yielded a vast collection of papers and documents including letters from heads of state, reports, photographs, memoranda, agreements and pre-decisional documents.
"A gift of this nature is unprecedented,” remarked WCU President Greg R. Weisenstein. “The West Chester University Foundation Curt Weldon Collection will provide University faculty and students as well as scholars from the United States and around the world with access to information not previously available from this remarkable time in American and world history."
During his 20-year tenure in the House, Weldon led various international initiatives in foreign service and national security. Through his travels to such places as Russia, North Korea, Libya and the Middle East, where relationships with the United States were strained, meaningful opportunities to rebuild trust and re-open dialogues took place.
"When considering the placement of these archives, I could only entrust them to an institution that would cultivate and keep the history alive," said Weldon. "West Chester University has shown a deep commitment to fulfilling these goals and I am grateful to see the collection have a permanent home on campus."
In addition, Weldon is participating in the creation of an oral history of his Congressional and international service. Because of the collection’s scope, it is expected to take several years to complete the accessioning and digitization process.
Currently president and CEO of Jenkins Hill International LLC, Weldon consults with domestic and international research institutions, private corporations and government agencies on a wide range of issues related to intelligence, foreign policy and defense. He earned his bachelor of arts degree from West Chester in 1969 with a focus in Russian studies. WCU awarded him an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree in 1996.
The gift was coordinated through the West Chester University Foundation, which supports West Chester University's goals through fundraising activities, the management of donated resources, and the promotion of the University's needs to prospective contributors.