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Steven C. Preston Papers

 Collection — Container: xAccession 2014-0117
Identifier: SC-223

Scope and Contents

The Steven C. Preston Papers comprise the “nuts and bolts” work of several different initiatives, projects, and professional correspondence that he was involved with from 2005-2009 in the SBA (Small Business Administration) and HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development). Their content includes media/news clips (from newspaper, magazine, and the internet), personal and professional correspondence, meeting notes, strategic goals information, research and data related to SBA and HUD, speech notes, and other related materials.

Researchers are given an insider’s look into some of the every-day life, tasks, and communication that a Presidential Nominee receives. Some material includes correspondence from political colleagues who give Preston advice on surviving the first 100 days as a presidential nominee, or which key players would be advocates for important initiatives in the SBA and HUD. Numerous meeting notes, metrics for national housing and development issues, and strategic initiative plans are contained within this archival series. Speech drafts are included, which help show the process involved in communicating different initiatives to different audiences. A significant amount of media and news-clips helps give a wider context to how Preston’s nomination and work was being portrayed in the public eye, both criticisms and praises. From a broad perspective, the Preston Papers series is a helpful case study of time-limited servant leadership in pubic, governmental leadership. Stepping into a brief, challenging role created space for Preston to have a keen listening ear, both out of honest need for input, as well as humble desire to serve people in the midst of a severe crisis. Also, Preston’s application of private sector business principles to public government initiatives models a creative application of liberal arts- transferring and integrating knowledge across fields.


  • Created: 2005-2014
  • Other: Date acquired: 10/13/2014



9 boxes

10 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



When Steven Preston was counting the cost of entering public, governmental service, he stated: “I had to ask myself whether I was willing to jump into a highly public position in an agency that was under attack and that had some very significant hurdles.” Despite these challenges facing him, Preston decided that he would transition into a leadership position of the Small Business Administration (SBA) in 2006. A similar question would arise again, less than two years later, when Mr. Preston received a presidential nomination to serve an eight-month stint as U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from 2008-2009 during possibly the most severe housing crisis in U.S. history. This series contains papers from Steven Preston’s leadership as the administrator of the Small Business Administration (2006-2008) and as the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2008-2009. Mr. Preston currently serves as Secretary Officer of Wheaton College’s Trustee Board.

Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged by series with folder level control.

Method of Acquisition


Steven C. Preston Papers
Buswell Library Special Collections Staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Roman Script

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

501 College Ave.
Wheaton IL 60187-5593 USA