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Building Buena Vista College , approximately 1974-1995


Content Description

Professional correspondence, official documents, reports, and other materials documenting the career of Keith G. Briscoe at Buena Vista College, including an extensive collection of papers concerning the relationship between Buena Vista and Harold Walter Siebens.


  • Creation: approximately 1974-1995


Historical note

One cannot write about Keith Briscoe's legacy at Buena Vista College without understanding Harold Walter Siebens. The two men's activity, where Buena Vista College is concerned, is deeply intertwined. Shortly after his tenure began as president of Buena Vista College, Briscoe began an extensive correspondence with Siebens. Siebens had previously donated money to build the Siebens Fieldhouse (initially known as the Siebens Center). Storm Lake was Sieben's birthplace, and although his parents moved away when Siebens was young, he returned to spend summers with his grandparents who still resided in Storm Lake. During these summer visits, Siebens fished on the lake's shores near the college. Later, as a young adult, he returned to work at the Bargain Basement, a store his father had founded in the town. Even though he never attended college himself, Siebens had become a successful businessman, first in sporting goods and later in oil. Briscoe pitched the idea of establishing a school of business in Siebens' name. Over time, a complex, extending beyond a business school, developed, and because the campus was landlocked, the plan literally went "underground." This complex became known as the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business and Siebens Forum. The Forum included the campus food service, the bookstore, mail and printing services, classrooms, and conference services. Later, a portion of the Forum was set aside for the Siebens Den. The Siebens Den was a private family archives built to house artifacts and documents memorializing Siebens' life. Siebens' descendants were required to visit and tour Storm Lake and the Den and acquaint themselves with Siebens' legacy before receiving a certificate and their portion of a financial legacy.


From the Collection: 25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Arranged into six subseries: Foundations for the Second Century and the Siebens Century follow the chronological progression of Briscoe's development of Buena Vista College and his relationship with Harold Walter Siebens to help achieve that end. The two correspondence subseries, with Harold Walter Siebens and with Clifford Rae, dovetail the documents in subseries one and two and researchers will want to look at all four subseries to gain fuller context. The Siebens legacy and Siebens family subseries continue the chronological progression of Briscoe's relationship with Siebens and his children and grandchildren.



Repository Details

Part of the Buena Vista University Archives Repository

610 West Fourth Street
Storm Lake IA 50588 United States