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William Jenks Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: SC178-JENK

Scope and Contents

This collection was compiled by Dr. William Kane, classmate of William Jenks, for the purpose of writing a biography of William Jenks. It contains correspondence, writings and cartoons by Jenks to various individuals including Rev. Lawrence J. Moran, Rev. Walter Collins, Madelyn Sayton and others. There is also a correspondence between Jenks and Holy Cross Jesuits iincluding Rev. John E, Brooks, S.J. and Rev. Francis Hart, S.J. As class agent for the Class of 1954, many of his letters concern events at the college and information about classmates. There is also personal information about Jenks as well as genealogies of family members. The last two boxes contain copies of Jenks letter used by Dr. Kane for writing a biography.


  • 1942-2003

Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions

Conditions Governing Use

Materials believed to be under copyright or other restrictions are available for limited noncommercial, educational and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States copyright law and with proper citation. Please note that the College of the Holy Cross may not hold the rights to all items in this collection. Users assume responsibility for identifying all copyright holders and for determining whether permission is needed to make any use of the content. For permission under rights held by the College, please contact

Biographical Note

William H. Jenks was born on March 18, 1932 in Chicago, Illinois. He was the son of Orra Mack Jenks and Ella Cronin Jenks. He graduated from Fenwick High School in Chicago and he attended the College of the Holy Cross on an NROTC scholarship. Jenks contracted polio in 1951 forcing him to drop out of college but became a prolific writer using a pencil eraser to hit the keys of a typewriter. Jenks kept in close touch with his college classmates and became the class agent for the class of 1954. In 1975, he was awarded a Holy Cross honorary degree and he gave the 25th reunion address to the class of 1954. In 1988, an anonymous donor created the William Henry Peter Jenks Chair in Contemporary English Letters which at the time was the largest single gift to the College. He died on Christmas day in 1989.


3.22 Cubic Feet (6 full document boxes, 2 half document boxes)

Language of Materials


Acquisition Note

Gift of William J. Kane, 2011

  • Two folders in the collection contain medical records and charts
March 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
Revised May 2022

Repository Details

Part of the Distinctive Collections Repository

One College Street
Worcester MA 01610