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Keith G. and Carmen Briscoe papers

Identifier: MS-0004

Content Description

Professional and personal papers, speeches, printed materials, photos, and artifacts of Keith Briscoe's tenure as president of Buena Vista College.


  • Creation: 1960-2002


Biographical information

Dr. Keith G. Briscoe, President Emeritus of Buena Vista University, was born on October 16, 1933 in Adams, Wisconsin. After receiving an honorable discharge from the US Army (he served from 1956-1958), he earned his B.S. at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse and his M.Ed. from the University of New Hampshire. He completed additional post-graduate work at Case Western Reserve, the University of Iowa, the University of Texas, Oklahoma State University, and the University of Wisconsin. He was also awarded honorary doctoral degrees by Buena Vista College and Carroll College.

Dr. Briscoe began his career in higher education administration as a college union director or assistant director, serving in that capacity at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point (1960-1962), the University of New Hampshire (1962-1964), and Baldwin Wallace College (where he was also appointed as the director of student activities, 1964-1970). In 1970, he was hired as the Vice President of the College of Steubenville, where he worked until his appointment as President at Buena Vista College.

As President of Buena Vista College from 1974 to 1995, Dr. Briscoe oversaw the most important changes to the institution in the 20th Century, including the creation of the school’s branch campus sites (in partnership with several Iowa community colleges), the establishment of international exchanges with the Taipei Language Institute in Taiwan and the Koka and Hokusei Women’s Colleges in Japan, and a much-needed increase in enrollment.

The most significant single accomplishment of his presidency, however, was establishing and maintaining the school’s relationship with Dr. Harold Walter Siebens and his family, who became the institution’s biggest donors; this included a gift of $18 million in 1980, one of the largest gifts of its kind given to any college in the United States at the time. With that generous donation and others from the Siebens family, Dr. Briscoe oversaw the creation of the Dr. Harold Walter Siebens School of Business, the construction of the Siebens Forum (the central building on the Storm Lake campus), the establishment of the prestigious American Heritage Lecture Series, and the development of the endowment fund that would eventually support the construction of the Estelle Siebens Science Center. Shortly before he retired, he also began the process of adding the graduate programs that would turn Buena Vista College into Buena Vista University in 1995.

Dr. Briscoe married Carmen Irene Schweinler in 1956; they have one daughter, Susan. Upon his retirement in 1995, Dr. Briscoe and his wife moved to Kansas, where he found himself free to enjoy a fruitful hobby as a wildlife and nature photographer.


25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into seven series: Building Buena Vista College; General administrative; General correspondence; Writings and speeches; Artifacts, ephemera, photographs, and other media; Personal; and Carmen Briscoe.

Guide to the Keith G. Briscoe papers
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Buena Vista University Archives Repository

610 West Fourth Street
Storm Lake IA 50588 United States