Wickliffe Rose was born in the United States in 1862, the son of a wandering preacher and teacher. Rose began his career as a college teacher, then became an educational promoter and planner. After the Civil War, Rose created the first education system in the southern United States, which included primary schools, secondary schools, and the University of North Carolina, and also a system of teacher training.
Realising that health had an important bearing on education, Rose also became involved in public health. Beginning in the Southern States, Rose started a public health programme with the backing of the Rockefeller Foundation, to control hookworm, malaria and yellow fever. He then founded public health schools at the John Hopkins University and Harvard, but also wanted a school to benefit the whole world, and so founded the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, in the 1920s. Becoming interested in the work of the League of Nations, Rose was also instrumental in the establishment of what became the World Health Organisation.
Rose's positions included: an original trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation (1913-1928); executive secretary of the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission (1910-1915); director of the International Health Board (1915-1923); president of the General Education Board and the International Education Board (1923-1928).
Rose was married, with three children. He died in 1931.
The papers include: records of the International Health Board, and on Rose's work against disease; records of the International Education Board; diaries and personal correspondence; a small amount of material on the League of Nations Health Organisation and World Health Organisation; records of Rose's establishment of the Southern United States Education System; material on the founding of schools of Public Health and Hygiene.
The papers were assembled by Professor Roy Acheson, during his research on Rose, and given to Churchill Archives Centre in 1997 and 2002.
The original arrangement of the papers has been retained.
The papers are owned by Churchill College.