Special Collections of the ODU Libraries

S. Eliot Breneiser Papers, 1965-1975 | Special Collections and University Archives

By Meredith J. Keplar

Collection Overview

Title: S. Eliot Breneiser Papers, 1965-1975

ID: 17/RG 17-6B1

Primary Creator: Breneiser, S. Eliot

Extent: 3.2 Linear Feet. More info below.


The collection is broken down into the following series: I. Faculty Senate documents; II. Faculty Caucus documents; III. University Senate documents.

Series I. Faculty Senate.  This series contains minutes and agendas from the Faculty Senate dated 1965-70.  Of interest are Chairman’s memos and formal recommendations of the Senate during Breneiser’s tenure.

Series II. Faculty Caucus.  The documents in this series consist of correspondence from 1970-74.

Series III. University Senate Documents.  This series is divided into two sub-series of documents from the formation of the University Senate to Breneiser’s active tenure on it.  Reports and documents are dated from 1969 through 1975.  Sub-series contain correspondence and reports as follows:  A: General Senate Business; B: Committee Reports and Documents.

Series IV. Expenditure Review Board.  This series contains correspondence and reports for 1974.

Date Acquired: 08/16/1978

Subjects: Old Dominion University--Faculty, Old Dominion University--Faculty Caucus, Old Dominion University--Faculty Senate, Old Dominion University--Music Department, Old Dominion University--University Senate

Languages: English


Professor of Music at Old Dominion University. Collection relates to his position on the Faculty Senate, Faculty Caucus and University Senate where he served as the Chairman. Documents date from 1965 to 1974.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The papers of S. Eliot Breneiser, dating from 1965 to 1975, contain documents from his tenure on the Faculty Senate, the Faculty Caucus and the University Senate.  Included in the collection are committee reports, including ad hoc committees, and correspondence.

Collection Historical Note

S. Eliot Breneiser, known as Eliot Breneiser, was born in Santa Maria, California to Stanley G. and Elizabeth Day Breneiser.  He was married to Violet Kathryn Breneiser.  After serving in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during World War II, Breneiser graduated from Pomona College in Claremont, California.  He then obtained his Master of Arts degree with a concentration in Piano from Claremont Graduate School in Claremont, California.  After teaching music for three years at the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, Breneiser completed his Masters of Arts in Music Theory at the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music.

Breneiser joined the Music Department faculty of the Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary in 1951 as one of only two music professors.  Professor Breneiser took a very active role in the Music Department during his entire tenure.  He taught such courses as Music Theory, Piano, Form and Analysis, and Twentieth Century Techniques, among others.   In 1954 he became the Director of the Madrigal Singers, an acclaimed choral group and held that position until his retirement in 1986.  He also was actively involved in the University’s Opera Workshop as an accompanist as well as a singing coach for the performers.

Breneiser was active in music organizations locally, statewide and nationally.  He served as chair of the Virginia Music Education Association and as a committee member in both the Music Educators National Conference and the Virginia Music Teachers Association.  He was vice-president of the Norfolk Choral Association and a consultant for the Virginia Commission on the Arts and Humanities.  He served as a judge at various music competitions, including the Bartok Competition in Washington, D.C., and the Virginia Pops International Piano Competition.  For many years he was a choral adjudicator and clinician for public schools in the Tidewater, Virginia area.  Breneiser gave many lectures over the years to civic and professional groups on musical topics.  Additionally, he was a supporter of the Feldman Chamber Music Society of Norfolk and performed on several of their programs.  Active in the community, Breneiser also served on the boards of the Virginia Society of Ornithology and the Cape Henry Audubon Society.

Breneiser retired from Old Dominion University in 1986 following a 35-year teaching career.  He was a very active member of the faculty.  Among his awards and honors was the A. Rufus Tonelson Faculty Award in 1980, which Old Dominion presents annually in recognition of outstanding teaching, research or community service.  He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi and Omicron Delta Kappa.

A member of the original Faculty Senate, Breneiser later served as the senate chair for three years.  He was the University Marshall from 1979 until his retirement.  He was also the faculty representative to the Board of Visitors in 1969-70.  During his career, Breneiser served on many boards and committees at the university, including the Concert Series Board and the Credit Union Board.  In 1974 he was appointed by President Bugg to be the faculty representative on a cost saving board, the Expenditure Review Board.  He served on the Presidential Search Committee in 1975-76.  He was also a board member of Town-N-Gown and chaired the Norfolk Round Table lecture series for several years.

S. Eliot Breneiser died February 11, 1998 in a local Norfolk, Virginia hospital.

Subject/Index Terms

Old Dominion University--Faculty
Old Dominion University--Faculty Caucus
Old Dominion University--Faculty Senate
Old Dominion University--Music Department
Old Dominion University--University Senate

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives

Alternate Extent Statement: 8 Hollinger Document Cases

Access Restrictions: The collection is open to researchers without restrictions.

Use Restrictions: Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.

Acquisition Source: S. Eliot Breneiser

Acquisition Method: Gift. Accession #A78-55

Related Materials: Oral Histories in the Perry Library: S. Eliot Breneiser

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], Box [insert number], Folder [insert number and title], S. Eliot Breneiser Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, Old Dominion University Libraries.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Faculty Senate, 1965-1970],
[Series II: Faculty Caucus, 1970-1974],
[Series III: University Senate, 1969-1975],
[Series IV: Expenditure Review Board, 1974],

Series II: Faculty Caucus, 1970-1974
Box 1
Folder 6: Correspondence, 1970-1971
Folder 7: Correspondence, 1972-1973
Folder 8: Correspondence, 1972-1973
Folder 9: Correspondence, 1973-1974

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Faculty Senate, 1965-1970],
[Series II: Faculty Caucus, 1970-1974],
[Series III: University Senate, 1969-1975],
[Series IV: Expenditure Review Board, 1974],

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