Nelis R. Kampenga
The University Archives at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point was dedicated in the name of one of the first archivists in the UW System at a ceremony on Thursday, May 22, 1997 at the facility on the fifth floor of the Albertson Center for Learning Resources.
The Nelis R. Kampenga University Archives has been named in honor of an emeritus professor who served the university from 1941 until his retirement in 1974. He was among the first archivists in the State University System. The naming was approved by the UW System Board of Regents.
During his 33-year tenure at UWSP, Kampenga also served as library director and was instrumental in the establishment of the first federal documents depository in the teachers college system and the first Area Research Center. Active in the Portage County Historical Society, he played an important role in having the collections of the society housed and cared for in the University Archives. He also served on the Portage County Preservation Projects Inc. and the Plover Plan Commission.
Throughout his career and his life, Kampenga was an advocate for strong ties between the university and the community. His career as a librarian spanned 52 years, beginning in his hometown as a schoolboy in 1922. He grew up in Muskegon, Mich., and earned two bachelor’s degrees and a master of arts in library science from the University of Michigan. Kampenga died on February 5, 2004, at the age of 95.