The Raymond L. & Rowena E. Flory Oral History Collection includes audio recordings from a variety of conversations that the Florys had with various alumni/ae, professors, and friends. This collection is generously made available by the family of Raymond and Rowena Flory.
In one form or another, Raymond Flory was a Professor of History at McPherson College for 50 years. The last 15 years were part-time after his formal retirement. In those post-retirement part-time years, students would joke with some accuracy that he was as old as the history he was teaching in his 20th Century Europe course. Researcher/historian that he was, he committed toward the end of his full time teaching career to finding as many older associates of the college as he could, capturing their stories in oral history form while they were still living. His hope was to build a collection of primary resources for future researchers about the college and the church of their day.
In the mid to late 1970s, Raymond and Rowena traveled the country looking for graduates, faculty, and friends who would have pre-1920 recollections of McPherson College. The data collection instrument of choice was a simple portable cassette tape recorder, which they carried with them together with boxes of old yearbooks, The Quadrangle. The point in hauling volumes of the Quad around was that if he had difficulty getting people to talk to a tape recorder, he would bring out a yearbook of that person’s generation and ask them to comment on what they were seeing in the book, whereupon they would soon forget the tape recorder was there. As the listener will soon find, many of the interviewees weren’t at all bashful about talking into the recorder, with or without a yearbook.
The resources below are raw, unedited, recordings of interviews, some of which end abruptly when the cassette apparently ran out of tape. Most begin with Raymond identifying the date, location, and interviewee, although in a few, even that information got lost in translation. We express thanks to Raymond and Rowena for gathering these resources and to Eric Goering for digitizing the cassettes so they can be made available to the public on this site.