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On October 17, 1935, The Academy met at the Hotel Californian in Fresno, California, for the first time. Businessman Thomas Risley was the founder of The Academy. He and university president Frank Thomas selected fourteen men who were the first members. The name "The Academy" was suggested by Reverend James Dowling, a charter member. The Academy's purpose was "to discuss intelligently the problems of the time."
There have been prominent Fresnans among the Academy's members. Most were associated with Fresno State College (now California State University, Fresno). There were several presidents: Arnold Joyal, Frederic Ness, Frank Thomas, and Norman Baxter. There were also several distinguished professors: William Beatty, Jr., Mitchell Briggs, Jose Canales, Karl Falk, Emory Ratcliffe, Edward Tenney, Jose Elgorriaga, and Clair Nelsen, to name a few. Other members were well known in the city of Fresno, for example, Reverend James Dowling, Rabbi David Greenberg, businessman and benefactor Leon Peters, justice Philip Conley, financier Thomas Risley and journalist Roger Tatarian.
This digital collection is comprised of the papers presented at The Academy meetings from 1950 to 2009. The guide to the entire collection housed in the Special Collections Research Center at the Madden Library of California State University, Fresno can be found at: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/view?docId=tf8q2nb2t7;query=;style=oac4