Kirbylene Stephens papers reveal backstage GSU history
It is entirely appropriate that, following her death late last year, the papers of Kirbylene Stephens have come to Henderson Library’s Special Collections. A native of Waycross, Ms. Stephens devoted a great part of her life to Georgia Southern – still named Georgia Teachers College when she graduated in 1955. She had worked at the bookstore and the President’s office during her student days, and retained a position in the latter for over three decades as Secretary to the President, beginning with Zach S. Henderson and ending six presidents later with Nicholas L. Henry. Ms. Stephens acquired Dr. Henderson’s office furniture for the Library, and it now resides in the reading room of Special Collections. Her papers illuminate the multiple clerical details involved backstage in even the most common campus events, such as commencements; and the file of preliminary memos, plans, scripts, correspondence, table seatings, and other preparations thickens when a presidential inauguration is in prospect. Ms. Stephens was later promoted to Coordinator of Special Projects, with an office here in the Library, before her retirement in 1992. Among other civic commitments and activities of her later years, she was a member of the Friends of Henderson Library Board.
Head of Special Collections