Skip to main content

Jesse J. Hawthorne Collection

Identifier: 2010.06

Scope and Contents

Series I, Correspondence, contains correspondence between Dr. Jesse J. Hawthorne from numerous people (including friends, family, colleagues, and former students), as well as national and foreign organizations (such as the United States Olympic Committee). The bulk of the correspondence was contained within a now-separated binder titled, “Letters for J.J.,” which contains the elements of the binder in their original order (including newspaper articles, photographs, and award certificates).

Series II, “Dr. Jesse J. Hawthorne, Christmas 1962-1963” Scrapbook, contains, in original order, labeled photographs of various people and groups (such as J.V. Sikes or the School for the Deaf basketball team), and newspaper articles. The sub-series includes items loosely collected at the end of the scrapbook, including some correspondence and photographs.

Series III, Newspaper Clippings, contains newspaper clippings divided into three files corresponding to different periods of Dr. Jesse J. Hawthorne’s life (as a football player for University of Texas, for instance). The other items in this series are edited collections of newspaper articles corresponding to various sports teams, like the 1972 national football championship team.

Series IV, Working Files, includes a variety of items relating to Dr. Jesse J. Hawthorne personally (his death) and professionally (his work with the International Physical Education Symposiums in Mexico, for instance). As the files within this series were created based on packets of information within the unprocessed collection, this series contains newspaper articles, correspondence, and personal papers (such as a conference paper based on Dr. Jesse J. Hawthorne’s doctoral thesis, as well as the thesis abstract), divided thematically and arranged alphabetically.

Series V, Slides, is one of the largest portions of the collection. Hundreds of photo slides, predominantly from the 1960s, contain images of Tokyo and Mexico City during Dr. Jesse J. Hawthorne’s service in the Games of the XVIII Olympiad and the Games of the XIX Olympiad, respectively, as well as some of the Olympic events (and other sporting events Hawthorne attended in his life). This series also has slides of Dr. Hawthorne’s personal trips, and friends and family. All of the slides are divided thematically into sub-series, but the majority of the images were taken in Tokyo during 1964. The slides are divided into three folders, as the slide descriptions are written on the slide protector sleeves. Some of the slides were numbered and named, and these slide sub-series (such as the New York City sub-series) were kept in their original order as stated in the sub-series title. Miscellaneous slides were combined by the year imprinted on the slide, and appear to consist mostly of images from family gatherings. The archivist determined how to label the slide groups based on the images, date, and context when the slides were not labeled. The file within the series contains some notes included with a few of the slides, mainly regarding slides sold in Tokyo, Japan.

Series VI, Negatives, is the smallest section of the collection and contains three different sleeves of negatives, two of which that are barely viewable. As with the Slides series, the negatives are grouped into one folder with the title of each group on the negative protector sleeve.

Series VII, Photographs, contains photographs of Dr. Jesse J. Hawthorne at various events, including events where he received an award or honor, like his induction into the National Association for Sport and Physical Education Hall of Fame in 1983. Photographs in this series are black and white as well as color, and some were labeled with information about the event and the people within the photograph. The majority of the photographs feature Dr. Jesse J. Hawthorne. Undated photographs did not include any identifying information.

Series VIII, Audio/Video, is the second smallest portion of the collection, with only four items. Three of the items are VHS tapes of Dr. Jesse J. Hawthorne retiring or receiving an award. The other item is a DVD about the Hall of Sciences at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Series IX, Realia, contains two and three-dimensional items awarded and collected by Dr. Jesse J. Hawthorne. Awards, both plaques and certificates, are in this series, as well as small items like banners and paper weights. Awards and plaques are placed within a sub-series to identity them separately from other unrelated items. This series also includes booklets, journals, and programs relating to various events in Hawthorne’s life, such as award receptions or the by-laws for the United States Olympic Committee. Due to the nature and small number of the realia, the items in this series are listed individually within the collection organization.


  • 1939 - 2009
  • Majority of material found within 1958 - 1986

Language of Materials

English, Spanish, Japanese

Conditions Governing Use

Items in this collection are protected by applicable copyright laws.

Biographical / Historical

Dr. Jesse Jefferson Hawthorne, Jr., was a community leader and an athletic coordinator who led several successful sports programs at East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University-Commerce) in Commerce, Texas.

Born on May 11, 1919, to Maggie (Chambers) and Jesse Jefferson Hawthorne in Mansfield, Louisiana, Jesse J. Hawthorne, Jr. came of age in Port Arthur, Texas. Hawthorne earned a football scholarship, and after graduating from high school in 1938, he attended the University of Texas at Austin and played football from 1938 to 1941. There, he met Dorothy Loraine Dickey, and the two married on June 17, 1942, in San Antonio, Texas. The couple had two daughters, Barbara and Joan. During May 1941, Hawthorne joined the Army Air Corps and was stationed at Hondo Army Air Field in Hondo, Texas, within the navigation school. He became the lead navigator on the journey to North Africa for the Air Transport Command in late 1944. Hawthorne reached the rank of Captain during his Army career before being discharged in 1945.

World War II merely prolonged Hawthorne’s education. After completing his Bachelor of Science degree in health and physical education from the University of Texas, he earned a Master of Education with his thesis, “A Study of Motor Learning of the Deaf,” and later received his doctorate in education in 1952 from East Texas State University (ETSU) for the doctoral thesis, “Somatotype and its Relationship to Selected Motor Performances of College Men.” While continuing his higher education, Hawthorne taught and coached at several schools: the Texas School for the Deaf in Austin from 1946-1948, Lamar Junior College from 1948-1949, and the University of Arkansas from 1950-1951, before finally settling at East Texas State University in the fall of 1951. The championship football team that Hawthorne helped coach at the Texas School for the Deaf became the first of many championship programs Hawthorne oversaw, particularly at ETSU as the Head of the Department of Health and Physical Education, and Director of Athletics. Aside from numerous Lone Star Conference championships in football, basketball, track and field, golf, and tennis, Hawthorne created masters and doctoral degree programs training teachers and coaches at all levels of higher education.

Throughout his career, Hawthorne served in several state and national organizations, and held high-level positions in these groups. He became president of the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (1957), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (1964), and the National Association of Sports and Physical Education (1968-1969); vice president of the Men’s Athletics of American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (1957); and chairman of the Professional Preparation Panel of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (1973). Hawthorne traveled internationally as a member of the United States Olympic Committee, attending the Games of the XVIII Olympiad in Tokyo, Japan, in 1964 and the Games of the XIX Olympiad in Mexico City, Mexico, in 1968. He also attended the World Basketball Games in Montevideo, Uruguay, and the 1973 World University Games in Moscow, U.S.S.R. Hawthorne received several awards and honors from these organizations, as well as from ETSU, which he retired from in 1984 and became a Professor Emeritus.

Alongside his many contributions to the field of athletics, Hawthorne became an integral part of the Commerce, Texas, community where he lived after he joined the staff at ETSU. He attended the First United Methodist Church, became president of several local groups (including the Chamber of Commerce and the United Way), and served as the Mayor Pro-tem. Due to his service, he became the Outstanding Citizen of Commerce in 1997. Dr. Jesse J. Hawthorne, Jr. died on November 7, 2009, in Commerce.


3 Linear Feet


The names and contents of the individual folders in the collection have been retained when applicable. When an order did not exist, the processor imposed an order, first organizing by topic, and then alphabetically or chronologically, as appropriate. While the original order within folders has been preserved, there was no clear discernible order to the arrangement of folders in relation to each other before processing. The processor therefore imposed an order, first organizing materials by topic and secondarily organizing them alphabetically or chronologically.

Processing Information

Materials on newsprint ("newspaper") have been photocopied onto archival-quality bond paper, which have then been inserted into the newsprint’s original location. Newsprint has been discarded. Correspondence, photographs, and other documents from binders have been physically removed from their binders, but original order has been maintained. Notes or accompanying descriptions have been separated from their related slides and documented as related materials. However, if a slide theme was unable to be determined, it was separated from its note, grouped by date, and ordered thematically.

Jesse J. Hawthorne Collection
Margo McCutcheon
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, Waters Library, Texas A&M University-Commerce Repository