The Emily P. Reynolds Historic Costume Collection is named in honor of the collection's founder. Professor Reynolds was a long time faculty member and department chair of the Department of Textiles and Clothing (now the Department of Apparel, Design, and Hospitality Management).
Emily Reynolds was born in Fargo in 1916. She received her Bachelor's of Science degree at the North Dakota Agricultural College in 1938 (now North Dakota State University). After teaching secondary education at Tioga, ND (1938 - 1940), Breckenridge, MN (1940 - 1944) and Roosevelt Junior High (1944 - 1948), she was hired as an Instructor of Textiles and Clothing at NDAC.
In 1950 she received her Master's of Science at the University of Tennessee and returned to NDSU as an Assistant Professor. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 1957 and to Full Professor in 1971. She served as Department Chair from 1955 to 1981. Professor Reynolds received the distinguished NDSU Faculty Lectureship Award for 1978 - 1979, presenting a lecture entitled "A Servant In Your Closet."
The Textiles and Clothing department grew from two to seven members during her years as chair and the curriculum expanded as well. Courses developed included:
Professor Reynolds was active in the community and on campus. She served on the board of directors for the North Dakota Business Foundation, as advisor to Phi Upsilon Omicron (an honor society for Home Economics), on the board of directors of her church, Faith Methodist, and Graduation Marshal for the College of Home Economics.
She was a member of the American Home Economics Association and North Dakota Home Economics Association, Phi Upsilon Omicron, Omicron Nu, Delta Kappa Gamma and Phi Kappa Phi serving in many capacities including president. Professor Reynolds was a charter member of the Association of College Professors of Textiles and Clothing (now the International Textiles and Apparel Association) and a member of the Costume Society of America.
Katherine K. Burgum, Dean of the College of Home Economics, in her letter of support for Professor Reynolds' nomination as Faculty Lecturer, states: "Miss Reynolds has made a tremendous contribution in all aspects of the clothing component (of the college), but beyond that she encourages students to reach for their full potential as professional Home Economists."
Coila Janecek, Associate Professor in Textiles and Clothing, described Professor Reynolds in the following manner: "Students are impressed with her high standards and often return after entering their career to express appreciation to her for the influences she has had on their education and success in life."
Katherine K. Burgum and Jane Lillestol, Associate Dean of the College of Home Economics both told of Professor Reynolds encouraging students "to dare to dream, then make that dream a reality". The Emily Reynolds Historic Costume Collection is one of her dreams that is now a reality.