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Froduald Harelimana Collection, 1994-1997

By Karl McCreary

Collection Overview

Title: Froduald Harelimana Collection, 1994-1997

ID: MSS Harelimana

Primary Creator: Harelimana, Froduald

Extent: 0.8 cubic feet. More info below.

Date Acquired: 00/00/2004

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The Froduald Harelimana Collection consists of materials documenting the campaign to bring Oregon State University doctoral student Froduald Harelimana and his son back to the U.S. after fleeing civil war in their native Rwanda. This collection contains a manuscript describing the campaign by international student advisor Irma Delson, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and a book (and the accompanying manuscript) written by Harelimana. Harelimana graduated with a doctorate in education from Oregon State University in 1998.

Scope and Content Notes

The Froduald Harelimana Collection consists of materials assembled and generated by Irma Delson that document the campaign to bring Oregon State University student Froduald Harelimana and his son back to the United States after fleeing civil war in their native Rwanda. At the center of this collection is an unfinished manuscript written by Office of International Education advisor Irma Delson where she describes the campaign to help Harelimana and his son safely return to the United States. Along with this manuscript, there are also correspondence and newspaper clippings. This collection also contains a book (as well as a copy of the rough draft) written by Harelimana entitled Rwanda: Society and Culture of a Nation in Transition. The book was published in 1997, a year before Harelimana received his doctorate from OSU.

Biographical / Historical Notes

Froduald Harelimana came to Oregon State University from Rwanda in 1992 on a Fulbright Scholarship to study for a doctorate in education. In January 1994, Harelimana and his son Symphorien returned to Rwanda to attend to his ailing wife. During this visit, Harelimana and his son found themselves trapped in a country engulfed in civil war and fled Rwanda for refuge in Zaire. After receiving an appeal from Harelimana for help in getting back to the United States, international student advisor Irma Delson, Jodi Engel, and others at OSU organized a fundraising campaign in support of Harelimana and his son's safe transport. Having found ample support in the local community, the campaign was successful, and Harelimana and his son flew to the U.S. in July 1994. Upon his return, Harelimana continued his studies at OSU and received his doctorate in 1998. Harelimana subsequently settled in St. Louis, Missouri, where he continued to write about Rwanda culture and society.

Irma Delson worked as an international student advisor in the Office of International Education from 1981 to 1987 and again from 1990 to 1995. She acted as the primary organizer of the campaign to bring Harelimana back to the United States. For their efforts on behalf of Harelimana, Delson and Engel were recognized with the OSU President's Award for Excellence in 1994. Delson went on to work for the OSU College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences and retired in 2003.

Author: Karl McCreary

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 1 box

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: These materials were donated to the former University Archives by Irma Delson in 2004.

Related Materials:

Articles featured in Oregon State University publications about the campaign to bring Harelimana and his son back to the U.S. are available through Oregon Digital. These include stories in the September and October 1994 editions of the Oregon Stater alumni magazine and OSU This Week (February 12, 1998). Harelimana's doctoral thesis is available here through the OSU ScholarsArchive site.

Other collections in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center documenting African students at OSU include: the International Students of Oregon State University (ISOSU) Records (RG 247) and the International Education Records (RG 164).

Preferred Citation: Froduald Harelimana Collection (MSS Harelimana), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Finding Aid Revision History: This finding aid replaces information placed online in 2012.


Harelimana, Froduald
Delson, Irma

People, Places, and Topics

Harelimana, Froduald
Oregon Multicultural Archives
Oregon State University--Faculty.
Oregon State University--Graduate students.
Oregon State University. Office of International Education
Rwanda-- Description and travel
Rwanda--History--Civil War, 1994
Rwanda--Social life and customs
University History

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.