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Wiley S. Bolden papers

Identifier: 0000-0000-0000-0139

Scope and contents

This collection documents the activities of Wiley S. Bolden, who served as a faculty member and administrator at various higher education institutions. It contains materials related to his time at Clark College, Georgia State University, Savannah State College, and Morris Brown College. The collection also consists of materials pertaining to his memberships with various professional psychological associations and community organizations.

Additionally, the collection consists of personal materials such as writings by Bolden, memorabilia, materials related to his education, and family photographs. It includes correspondence with different individuals, organizations, and colleges. A large portion of the collection consists of scrapbooks, which contain newspaper clippings on the integration of schools in Atlanta and other areas of Georgia in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The collection includes his writings on education and black professionals. A majority of the collection focuses on his time at Morris Brown College in the early 1990s.

Significant materials include those from his time at Teachers College, Columbia University, materials on the Cooperative Experimental Summer School, his time as Vice President of Academic Affairs at Morris Brown College, his work as a faculty member at Georgia State University, his appointment to acting president at Savannah State College, certificates and awards from various organizations he was a member of, his involvement with organizations such as the Georgia State Board of Examiners of Psychologists and the Southeastern Education Laboratory, and his evaluations of the Association of Minority Health Professional Schools symposiums.

Topics of the collection include higher education of African Americans, African American Psychologists, minority health professionals, college administrators, college educators, and school integration. The formats of these materials include correspondence, minutes, agendas, newspaper clippings, reports, and photographs.


  • Creation: circa 1924-2013
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1947-2013


Rights statement

All materials in this collection are either protected by copyright and/or are the property of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc., and/or the copyright holder as appropriate. For more information please contact

Biographical note

Dr. Wiley Speights Bolden was born on December 18, 1918 in Birmingham, Alabama to Gertrude Mildred Speights Bolden and Wiley Lee Bolden Jr. He attended Alabama State Teachers College (now Alabama State University) from 1935 to 1939 and received a Bachelor's of Science degree in Chemistry. He then enlisted in the United States Army Service Corps during World War II, and served from 1944 to 1946. He went on to receive a Master's degree in Psychological Services from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1947. He continued his doctoral studies at Teachers College during the summers. In 1953, he received a one year fellowship for his doctorate, which he completed in 1954, and wrote his dissertation on comparing student-centered and teacher-centered education. He received an Education Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Teachers College in 1957.

During his career, Dr. Bolden worked at Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University) while completing his doctorate. At Clark College, he served as a professor of psychology, chairman of the department, and later dean of faculty and instruction. In 1962, he was one of two African American licensed psychologists in the State of Georgia. In 1978, He was the first African American to serve as a member of the Georgia State Board of Examiners of Psychologists and later as President of the Board. In 1970, he served as a professor of educational foundations at Georgia State University and became Professor Emeritus following his retirement in 1987. The Board of Regents appointed him acting president of Savannah State College from 1988 to 1989. While there, Bolden fought off threats of a merger with Armstrong State College (now Armstrong State University). In 1988, he received the Roger C. Smith Award from the American Association of State Psychology Boards. He was Vice President of Academic Affairs at Morris Brown College from 1992 to 1994.

He served on the Board of Trustees for Carrie Steele-Pitts Home, Inc. as president, secretary, and committee chair. He is a life member of the American Psychological Association, the Southeastern Psychological Association, and the Georgia Psychological Association. He is a member of the American Association of Black Psychologists and a fellow in the American Association of State Psychology. Bolden is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Beta Upsilon chapter as well as a member of Warren Memorial United Methodist Church in Atlanta, GA. His career showcases him as an educator and philantropist. Bolden worked as a teacher and principal at Alabama public schools, as well as other universities including North Carolina State University. He was vice president or president in several private and governmental agencies including the Southeastern Education Laboratory and the Southern Education Foundation. Through his work in professional psychology and in civic, social, and church organizations, he has received numerous prestigious awards and citations.

Dr. Bolden married Willie Creagh Miller on August 13, 1945. He and his wife had four children. Willie Bolden pased away on February 11, 1992. Bolden passed away on January 30, 2018.


6 Linear feet ((7 manuscript boxes, 4 scrapbook portfolio boxes, 1 oversize box) )

Language of Materials



This collection is divided into six series, two of which have been further divided into sub-series: 1. Personal Papers, which has been divided into three sub-series: Education, Writings by Bolden, Memorabilia, 2. Correspondence, 3. Organizations, 4. University Materials, which has been divided into five sub-series: Tuskegee Institute, Clark College, Georgia State University, Savannah State College, Morris Brown College, 5. Printed and Published Materials, 6. Photographs. The contents of the collection are arranged alphabetically.


Oversize materials have been separated to appropriate housing.

Wiley S. Bolden papers, 1947-2013
Finding aid prepared by Brittany Newberry, 2017 January
January 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc. Repository


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