Rod Library--Special Collections
Harry C. Cummins
Minutes of the Faculty
March 26, 1945
The faculty met in the faculty room at 3:30 p.m. on March 26, 1945, Dean Nelson presiding.
An appreciation of Mr. Harry Carlton Cummins was read by Mr. Douglas. It was moved by Mr. Douglas and seconded by Mr. Fagan to spread this appreciation upon the minutes of the Faculty Senate and to send a copy to his widow. It was passed unanimously.
HARRY CARLTON CUMMINS
February 1, 1869- February 14, 1945
For forty-six of the seventy-six years of his life Harry Carlton Cummins was a member of the faculty of the Iowa State Teachers College. Immediately following his graduation from the Iowa State Normal School in 1898, he was chosen to organize and develop new courses in commercial education. This he did so successfully that, when in 1909 the Iowa State Normal School became the Iowa State Teachers College, a four-year curriculum for training commercial teachers was in operation. A department of commercial education was organized and further developed under the leadership of Professor Cummins.
He brought to his work at Cedar Falls successful experience as head of commercial departments at Nora Springs Seminary and the Waterloo Business College. He had also been head of the accounting department of Dodd, Mead, and Company, Chicago, leading book publishers of that time. With the sincerity and earnestness of purpose which always characterized his efforts, he built for himself in the annals of the Iowa State Teachers College a monument of service rendered to thousands of students who came under his direction. There was nothing spectacular about his teaching, but he was always ready to make efficient use of the latest developments in his chosen field, and his sound judgment of values prevented hasty expansion at the expense of effective teacher training. Professor Cummins's outstanding work at this college won for him recognition in the general field of commercial education. He was a member of the National Commercial Teachers Association and served as president of his section and on various committees of the organization. He also had a prominent part in the development of the Iowa Association of Commercial Teachers, being at various times president and secretary and also serving on committees appointed to study and report on various phases of commercial education. Thus in state and nation he had an influential part in laying solid foundations for the new curricula for training teachers of commercial subjects.
Professor Cummins, as student and member of the faculty, was at all times a loyal and devoted supporter of this college and its policies. Before the establishment of the Alumni Bureau, he was active in the Alumni Association as president and secretary-treasurer. In the latter capacity for a number of years he had charge of the alumni dinner which was an annual event of the Commencement season and a strong factor in promoting and maintaining alumni interest and support. He also served for a time as chairman of the college lecture committee which provided an annual series of lectures and entertainments for the college and community. In addition to these services, he also did his full share as a member of various committees for the transaction of faculty business.
Professor Cummins's interests were not confined to the college halls, but led him into active participation in community life. For four years he represented his ward in the city council, being president of that body for two years of his service. He was auditor of the Cedar Falls Building and Loan Association. He was a member and officer of the Cedar Falls Presbyterian Church, serving on the board of trustees and having an active part in the building of the present church. His sound judgment and practical training made him a valued counselor on the financial needs of the church.
In his home he was a kind husband and father with high ideals of Christian living. In all his activities he was ably supported by his wife, Nina Fiscus Cummins, also a graduate of the State Normal School. From that home two sons have gone forth into positions of honor and responsibility.
As teacher, citizen of his community, father, husband, neighbor, and friend, Professor Cummins lived a well-rounded life. He had what a former president of this college called a splendid philosophy of life. The written word cannot do justice to his influence because so much of living is what Wordsworth calls,
"That best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love,--"
Committee: Ira S. Condit, R. O. Skar, Myrtle Gaffin (Chairman)