Luther College Moment in History #80

Born in 1896, Chellis Evanson entered Luther College in 1911 and graduated in 1918. After spending a year in the United States Navy, he returned to Luther as a history professor and the head of the history department in 1919. Evanson served on the Luther faculty until his retirement in 1966 and was the Dean of Men from 1925 - 1929. The Luther College News Service was organized by Evanson in 1928 and he worked as the director of the college news bureau from 1928 to 1950. 

"The Luther College Archives contain a unique collection of letters written during World War II. Professor Chellis N. Evanson edited a newsletter titled "Scuttlebutt," which was sent to former Luther students serving in the military around the world. He hoped that it would not only help them contact each other more easily by mail, but also facilitate the meeting of alumni in their various duty stations around the world. They, in turn, sent him letters, postcards, and 'V-Mail' in which they often described their service life. … Evanson also solicited photographs, which he posted on his bulletin board. Many of those have been reproduced to supplement the letters." [Marvin Slind, Luther College Goes to War, 1-2]

Over 700 letters are available for research from the Archives and are in The Papers of Chellis Evanson, located in Record Group 15. Additionally, many of the letters are available in the book Luther College Goes to War: Scuttlebutt and the World War II Letters by Luther professor Marvin Slind (available on Google Books:

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