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Morton Owen Schapiro, Ph.D., LL.D. 2000

SchapiroMorton Owen Schapiro became Professor of Economics and the 16th President of Williams College July 1, 2000.

In the first year of his presidency he launched a strategic planning process in which the faculty voted to develop curricular innovations, including a dramatic expansion of the tutorial program and interdisciplinary teaching, a writing requirement, and new initiatives in experiential learning to include a Williams-in-New York program. The campus community also began working on proposals for changes in student residential life and on three major building projects: a center for theatre and dance, a student center, and renovated and expanded library space, faculty offices, and classrooms.

Among the initiatives successfully implemented are a 15% expansion of the faculty, a reduction in average class size, a tripling of the number of courses offered in the college's signature tutorial program, and the creation of a new housing program.

At the same time, President Schapiro has continued to teach -- introductory microeconomics, a tutorial on the economics of higher education, and an interdisciplinary seminar on health and disease.

He previously served as a member of the Williams College faculty from 1980 to 1991, as Professor of Economics and as Assistant Provost.

In 1991 he went to the University of Southern California where he served as Chair of the Department of Economics until 1994 and then as Dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences until 2000. During his last two years as Dean, he also served as the University's Vice President for Planning.

He is among the nation's premier authorities on the economics of higher education, with particular expertise in the area of college financing and affordability, and on trends in educational costs and student aid. He is widely quoted in the national media and has testified before U.S. Senate and House committees on economic and educational issues.

He has written more than fifty articles and six books, including (with his long-term co-author Michael S. McPherson) The Student Aid Game: Meeting Need and Rewarding Talent in American Higher Education (Princeton University Press, 1998); Paying the Piper: Productivity, Incentives and Financing in Higher Education (also with Gordon Winston, University of Michigan Press, 1993); and Keeping College Affordable: Government and Educational Opportunity (Brookings, 1991).

Professor Schapiro has received research grants and contracts from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, the World Bank, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the College Board, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and other groups to study the economics of higher education and related topics.

He received his bachelor's degree in economics from Hofstra University in 1975 and his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979.

President Schapiro and his wife Mimi have three children: Matt, Alissa, and Rachel.

President's Office

 

Carl W. Vogt '58, LL.B., LL.D., 1999-2000

VogtCarl Vogt is a former senior partner of Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., an international firm of more than 600 lawyers. In addition to managing the Washington office, he served as an elected member of the firm’s Policy Committee, responsible for strategic planning, budgeting, and operational decisions.

In addition to serving as Willliams president from 1999 to 2000, his extensive experience in higher education includes representing Duke University for 25 years and serving on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the National Association of College and University Attorneys. He also has represented the American Council on Education, the American College Testing Service, the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (Fulbright scholarships), the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Association of American Law Schools, and the American Council of Learned Societies.

He also has experience in civil rights issues, including service as chair of the American Bar Association’s Administrative Law Section Special Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity, as well as alternative dispute resolution, employment law, and aviation law.

In 1992 President Bush appointed him chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, the independent federal agency that determines the causes of major transportation accidents and recommends safety improvements. As the board's CEO for two years he was responsible for all national and international operations, budget setting, congressional relations, internal management, and public relations.

In 1991 President Bush appointed him to a term on the Board of Directors of Amtrak and in 1996, following the crash of TWA Flight 800, President Clinton appointed him to the White House Commission on Aviation and Safety, also known as the Gore Commission.

As a trustee of Williams he has served on the board’s Instruction Committee, Degrees Committee, Campus Life Committee, and Public Affairs Committee. He has also served on the Executive Committee of the Williams College Society of Alumni and currently is National Co-Chair of Climb Far: The Williams Campaign.

He and his wife Margrit reside in San Francisco. They have two grown daughters.

 

Harry C. Payne, Ph.D., Litt.D., LL.D., 1994-99

PayneHank Payne assumed the presidency of Williams on Jan. 1, 1994 and initiated three major planning processes focusing on the curriculum, student life outside the classroom, and the college’s major financial priorities.

He oversaw the total renovation of Griffin Hall—a rejuvenation of the oldest classroom building on campus that was historically sensitive and integrated the latest teaching technology. He guided the planning and construction of a $45 million addition and renovation of the college’s science facilities that transformed teaching and learning in those fields. He also launched the initiative for a new center for theatre and dance.

At the same time he worked to increase attention at Williams to civic life and the instilling in students of civic virtues.

Payne taught European intellectual history since joining the faculty at Colgate in 1973. He continued teaching while provost and then acting president of Haverford and while president of Hamilton. As professor of history at Williams he taught a course on historiography.

He has served as president of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, the field in which most of his scholarly work has focused. He wrote The Philosophes and the People, edited three volumes of Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, and produced more than 50 scholarly articles and reviews.

Payne graduated as the highest ranking B.A. candidate in the Yale College Class of 1969 and earned an M.A. at the same time. His Ph.D. in history, also from Yale, came in 1973. He has been awarded honorary degrees by Hamilton (1988), Colgate (1989), Williams (1993) and Amherst (1994).

He was a Danforth Fellow from 1968 to 1973 and an honorary Woodrow Wilson Fellow in 1968. He won a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend in 1975 and won the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies’ annual article prize for 1975-76. He was an overseas fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge University, in 1977.

Payne currently serves as president of Woodward Academy in Atlanta. His wife, Deborah, directed the Science and Mathematics Resource Center at Williams. They have two sons, Jonathan ’97 and Samuel.

 

Francis C. Oakley, Ph.D., L.H.D., Litt.D., LL.D., 1985-1993

OakleyFrancis Christopher Oakley, President Emeritus and Edward Dorr Griffin Professor of the History of Ideas, was born Oct. 6, 1931 in Liverpool, England.

He was elected Scholar of Corpus Christi College, Oxford in 1950 and studied at the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies in Toronto from 1953 to 1955 and at Yale University from 1957 to 1959. He received his B.A. and M.A. from Oxford University in 1953 and 1957, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University in 1958 and 1960. He was awarded an LL.D. from Amherst College in 1986 and Wesleyan University in 1989, an L.H.D. from Northwestern University in 1990, from Bowdoin College in 1993, and from North Adams State College in 1993, and a Litt.D. from Williams in 1994.

After teaching history for two years at Yale, Oakley came to Williams in 1961 as a lecturer in history, became a full professor in 1970 and Edward Dorr Griffin Professor of the History of Ideas in 1984. He was co-founder in 1969 of the Interdepartmental Program in the History of Ideas, serving as its chair in 1974-76, 1985, and 1989-1990, and was dean of the faculty from 1977 to 1984. He became president of Williams on July 1, 1985 and completed his term of office on Dec. 31, 1993.

A former president of the New England Medieval Conference (1983-84), and currently chairman of the Board of the American Council of Learned Societies, he is the author of eight books and more than a hundred articles and book reviews on topics in medieval history and higher education. He serves on the editorial boards of The Journal of the History of Ideas and of Orion: Nature Quarterly. In 1986 he was elected Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America and, in 1991, Honorary Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford.

He is married to the former Claire-Ann Lamenzo. They have four children.

 

John Wesley Chandler, Ph.D., LL.D., L.H.D., 1973-1985

ChandlerJohn Chandler assumed the office of president on July 1, 1973, after serving as president of Hamilton College from 1968 to 1973.

Chandler was born in Mars Hill, N.C. on Sept. 5, 1923. He attended Wake Forest College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and received his B.A. degree in 1945.

He received his B.D. degree from Duke University in 1952, and earned his Ph.D., also from Duke, in 1954. Chandler was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from 16 colleges and universities including Williams.

Under Chandler's leadership, Williams completed a 10-year transition period in which the college phased out its fraternity system and became a coeducational institution. In 1980 the college successfully completed a $50 million capital campaign, the first of that magnitude to be attempted by a college Williams' size. While Chandler was president, the college completed construction of a new library, built a new art museum, music center and theater and began construction of a major athletic facility. At the same time, the college's endowment grew substantially.

Chandler's teaching career began at Wake Forest in 1948 as an instructor in philosophy. He was named assistant professor in 1954. He came to Williams in 1955 as an assistant professor of religion; from 1960 to 1965 he was associate professor of religion and also chaired the department. In 1968 Chandler was named the Cluett Professor of Religion.

Chandler served as acting provost in 1965-66 and then the college's first dean of the faculty from 1966 to 1968. The curriculum at Williams, with its innovative month-long Winter Study Program dividing two semesters, was proposed by a committee Chandler chaired and was adopted by the faculty in 1966.

In 1969, Chandler was elected a permanent member of the Williams Board of Trustees. He served on a number of college committees, including the one which led to Williams becoming coeducational.

In 1948 Chandler married Florence Gordon. They have three daughters and one son. Allison, born in 1954, graduated from Williams in 1976. John, born in 1957, is a 1980 graduate of Trinity College. Jennifer and Patricia, twins, were born in 1961. Jennifer attended the College of Wooster and Patricia Bates College.

 

John Edward Sawyer, M.A., LL.D., Litt.D., L.H.D., 1961-1973

SawyerJack Sawyer (1917-1995) was a graduate of Williams in the Class of 1939. He was appointed a permanent trustee at age 34 in 1952 and named Williams's 11th president at age 44 in 1961. He served as president for 12 years and, when he left in 1973, every aspect of the college was transformed: students, faculty, curriculum, administration, trustees, alumni, finances, and physical plant.

He was instrumental in the trustees' decision to replace fraternities with a residential house system which set the stage for the construction of housing and dining facilities. At the same time, he experimented with more flexible admissions criteria, ended compulsory attendance for the classroom and the chapel, instituted paid assistant professor leaves, created the offices of provost and dean of the faculty, and was persuaded to build a science center for research and computing. He took the lead in revising the curriculum to include non-western studies, instituting the Winter Study Program, establishing the center for environmental studies and the Graduate Program in the History of Art, increasing the number of African-American students, expanding the recruitment of women and minorities for faculty and administration positions, and completing a capital campaign eight times the scale of the previous one. He also helped create the Twelve College Exchange Program, engineered the change to coeducation, and was one of the leaders in establishing the New England Small College Athletic Conference. Throughout his tenure he increased the diversity of trustee membership by including women, minorities, and young alumni.

John Edward Sawyer was born in Worcester, Mass., on 5 May 1917. He attended Deerfield Academy and earned an A.B. degree from Williams. He received his A.M. degree from Harvard in 1941. He completed all requirements for a Ph.D. except the thesis before serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1946, assigned to the Office of Strategic Services in Washington, North Africa and Europe. He than returned to Harvard as a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows (1946-1949) and as an Assistant Professor (1949-1953). He was an Associate Professor at Yale University (1953-1961) before becoming President of Williams College (1961-1973). In 1974 he became Vice President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and served as its President from 1975 until his retirement in 1987 at age 70.

His many honors included the U.S. Navy Bronze Star medal, thirteen honorary degrees, the National Academy of Sciences Public Welfare Medal, the Phi Beta Kappa Award for Distinguished Service to the Humanities, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Chairman's Award, and the Williams College Bicentennial Medal.

In June 1941 he married Anne Swift, who in 1984 was the first recipient of the college's Ephraim Williams Medal. Jack Sawyer died in Woods Hole, Mass., on 7 February 1995 at age 77.

By Prof. J. Hodge Markgraf (Williams Class of 1952)

 

James Phinney Baxter, 3rd, Ph.D., Litt.D., L.H.D., D.Sc., LL.D., 1937-1961

BaxterJames Phinney Baxter's twenty-four year career as Williams College president made him one of the most admired and fondly remembered presidents in Williams history.

Baxter was born on February 15, 1893, in Portland, Maine. By the time he graduated from Williams in 1914, the list of activities under his name in the yearbook was long and illustrious. The valedictorian of his class, Baxter was also senior class president, president of the Gargoyle society and the student council, editor of both the Williams Record and the Gulielmensian, and Phi Beta Kappa. He was voted the man "most likely to succeed" by his classmates.

While convalescing from tuberculosis, Baxter earned his Master's Degree from Harvard and met Anne Holden Strang whom he married in 1919. The couple moved back to the East Coast and Baxter worked on his Ph.D. in history at Harvard. He was offered the presidency of Williams in 1934, but declined. When the presidency was offered to him once more in 1937, following Tyler Dennett's tumultuous three-year relationship with the college, Baxter accepted.

From the beginning of his term as president, Baxter changed the Williams way of life greatly. Although the number of students during his first years as president jumped from 820 to 1100, he stood by his decision to keep Williams small. He continued to uphold the right to academic freedom, defending a professor with leftist ideas. "You don't get this freedom we talk about without paying a price," Baxter said, "And the price in this case is one I am willing to pay."

Baxter quadrupled the school's budget for instruction and brought in many new professors. He undertook many improvements to college buildings, making additions to Stetson Hall and the Thompson Labs, as well as renovating The Log, constructing Adams Memorial Theater and the student union (later named Baxter Hall), and putting a roof on the ice rink. During Baxter's tenure, new majors were added to the curriculum, such as Music, Spanish, and Psychology, and the Center for Development Economics and the summer program that would become known as the Executives Program were also introduced. Although his administration diligently tried to reform the Greek system at Williams, fraternities remained in place during Baxter's presidency.

Outside of Williams, Baxter was on the boards of many colleges and universities, and was given 17 honorary degrees throughout his lifetime. He was the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Scientists Against Time, which he wrote in 1947 when he was the historical researcher for the Office of Scientific Research and Development. Baxter was very active during World War II, and left Williams for a few years while he served as research coordinator of information (1941-1943) and Director of the Office of Strategic Services (1942-1943). Baxter also enjoyed fishing and hunting.

Baxter resigned as President of Williams on June 30, 1961, but remained active in college activities, especially enjoying Williams football games. He died of a heart attack at Sweetbrook Nursing Home in 1975.

 

Tyler Dennett, Ph.D., Litt.D., LL.D., 1934-1937

DennettTyler Wilbur Dennett served as the 10th president of Williams College, holding the position from the fall of 1934 until his resignation only a few years later, in the summer of 1937. Despite his short tenure as president, Dennett is often heralded as playing a major role in the liberalizing of Williams, serving as he did after the long and extremely tradition-minded term of Harry A. Garfield.

Dennett was born on June 13, 1883 in Spencer, Wisconsin, but raised in Rhode Island. He was descended from a long line of New Englanders, and his father was a Baptist Minister. After graduating in 1900 from the Moses Brown School in Providence as the valedictorian of his class, Dennett enrolled at Bates College. He transferred to Williams as a sophomore.

A notable member of the football team while at Williams, Dennett played in all but one game in his three years at the college. He was also a distinguished student, winning many academic prizes as a history and economics major, as well as being an editor for the Gulielmensian and Literary Monthly and a member of the Gargoyle Society.

After his graduation in the spring of 1904 and a year of work in Williamstown, Dennett attended the Union Theological Seminary, where he was awarded a diploma in 1908. He served briefly as a Congregational Minister, but soon left to pursue a career in journalism. In 1922 he published Americans in Eastern Asia, a study of American policy in the Far East, which was well received and was long held as an important work in the field. Dennett was awarded a Ph.D. in history from Johns Hopkins University in 1925, doing work on Theodore Roosevelt and the Russo-Japanese War.

After teaching at Johns Hopkins for a year, Dennett took on editorial and administrative duties in the State Department as Chief of the Division of Publications and Editor (1924-1929) and historical advisor (1929-1931), also teaching for a brief time at Columbia University (1927-1928). In 1931 he resigned from the State Department to chair the new School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He taught and continued his scholarship at Princeton, winning a Pulitzer in 1932 for his biography John Hay, until assuming the presidency of Williams in 1934.

Dennett's short tenure as president came between two of the longest terms in the college's history: he was preceded by Harry A. Garfield (1908-1934) and followed by James Phinney Baxter (1937-1961). (Only Mark Hopkins served longer). While president, Dennett was extremely critical of the conservatism and homogeneity of Williams and sought to modernize Williams on both counts.

In 1937, a disagreement between Dennett and the Board of Trustees over whether the college should purchase the Greylock Hotel became a major issue, with arguments extending into the role of the presidency. Dennett's resignation was accepted by the Board in 1937.

 

Harry Augustus Garfield, L.H.D., LL.D., 1908-1934

GarfieldHarry Augustus Garfield was born on Oct. 11, 1863 in Hiram, Ohio. In 1880, his father, James A. Garfield, was elected president of the United States. Harry and his brother James were acccompanying their father to his Williams class reunion when President Garfield was shot at the Washington train station on July 2, 1881. The brothers entered Williams on Sept. 5, 1881, just two weeks before their father died.

At Williams, Garfield was a member of Alpha Delta Phi, the Philologian Society, Glee Club, church choir, and the Athenaeum writing staff. He graduated in 1885 and went on to study law at Columbia Law School, spending his second year reading law at All Soul's College in Oxford and the Inns Court in London.

Garfield returned to Ohio in 1888 to practice law with his brother in Cleveland. In the same year he married Belle Mason. They had four children: James in 1889, Mason in 1892, Lucretia in 1894, and Stanton in 1895. During these years, Garfield was professor of contracts at Western Reserve Law School and very active in the Cleveland community.

From 1900-1906 Garfield served as president of the National Consular Reorganization Committee, which worked to abolish political patronage in consular appointments. In 1903 Woodrow Wilson appointed him professor of politics at Princeton University.

In 1908 Garfield was inducted as the eighth president of Williams College. Garfield served as chairman of the Price Committee of the U.S. Food Administration in 1917 and took a leave of absence from 1917-1919 to serve as fuel administrator of the U.S. Fuel Administration, regulating the production, price, and distribution of coal during World War I. Garfield was presented with the Distinguished Service Medal in 1921.

Garfield oversaw the eleven-year life of the Institute of Politics at Williams from 1921-1932. He retired in June 1934 and embarked on a one-year round-the-world trip with Belle.

The Garfields returned to the U.S. in 1935, settling in Washington, D.C., where Garfield spent his time studying international problems. The Garfields continued to summer in Williamstown and Duxbury.

Garfield re-entered the national arena briefly in 1941, accepting an appointment to the War Department Defense Board, a 14-member board studying the Excess Profits Law during World War II. On Dec. 12, 1942, Garfield died of natural causes at the Williamstown Inn.

 

Henry Hopkins, D.D., LL.D., 1902-1908

Henry Hopkins, son of Mark Hopkins, the most famous and longest tenured president of Williams College, was born on November 30, 1837. He grew up in Williamstown, and graduated from Williams in 1858, while his father was in the middle of his presidency. Henry then studied theology for two years at Union Seminary and for a year under the expert tutelage of his father before being ordained as a minister in the fall of 1861.

Hopkins served as a chaplain during the Civil War, stationed at the Federal Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia after a personal commission from President Lincoln. He headed the ambulance corps at the battlefields of Chantilly and Bull Run, and then enlisted as a field chaplain in the New York Infantry in May of 1864.

When the war finished, Hopkins returned to Massachusetts as the pastor of the Second Congregational Church in Westfield. After fifteen years there, he was called to Kansas City where he was a pastor for twenty-two years, until he assumed the role of president at Williams in 1902, stepping in as the permanent replacement after the short and interim tenure of Henry Haskell Hewitt.

Hopkins was inaugurated with much fanfare during the commencement exercises on June 24, 1902. Delegates from twenty-three other schools and many alumni returned to honor both the new president and the memory of his father. In his address, Hopkins praised the ideal of a liberal arts education, calling for the continuation of generalized study amid the nation's new demand for specialists.

Hopkins first major action was to restructure the college's curriculum. A committee from the faculty oversaw the drafting of new guidelines, and the faculty as a whole accepted the program without a single vote of dissent. The new curriculum laid out a proscribed program focusing on the humanities for freshman, with more choices allowed for upperclassmen. Hopkins also oversaw the erection of Thompson Memorial Chapel and other buildings, the lengthening of the term, and the improvement of student-faculty relations.

Hopkins resigned in 1908, at the age of seventy, as planned. Very soon afterwards, he set off for Europe with his family, but fell ill during the voyage. He died in Rotterdam on August 28, 1908.

 

John Haskell Hewitt, LL.D., Acting President, 1901-1902

John Haskell Hewitt was born in Preston, Connecticut on August 8, 1835 to Charles and Eunice (Witter). After an extremely modest beginning to his education, Hewitt received encouragement and instruction from a few new teachers and tutors in the area (often walking five miles to recite lessons) and was able to enter Yale University in 1855. After his plans to study law fell through, Hewitt returned to New Haven and entered the Yale Divinity School. In 1865 he took a temporary post in Latin at Olivet College. His teaching there was obviously quite successful, as the trustees of the college promoted Hewitt to the rank of Full Professor of Latin Language and Literature at the end of the year. He developed health problems, however, and was told by doctors that a change of climate would be beneficial. He took a post in Latin and Greek and Lake Forest, where he went on to become a trustee and act as president under his condition that it be only a temporary post.

In 1882, Franklin Carter, who had know Hewitt at Yale and who was then the president of Williams, offered Hewitt the Garfield Professorship of Ancient Languages. Hewitt accepted and entered into his long relationship with Williams. In addition to his teaching, he led both chapel and local religious services and was a popular speaker on campus and at alumni events. When President Carter resigned in the spring of 1901, the board of trustees could not decide on a permanent replacement and named Hewitt as an interim leader instead. He served as acting president of Williams College from 1901 to 1902, but is not counted officially in the numbered list of presidents. His tenure was not particularly of note, except that many of the college's oldest and most respected faulty members passed away. Henry Hopkins, the seventh president of Williams, was named as president after Hewitt's one year. Even after retiring, Hewitt remained studiously busy in his scholarship, publishing a study of the relationship between Williams and foreign missions. He died, still making his home in Williamstown, on October 8, 1920, at 86 years old.

 

Franklin Carter, Ph.D., LL.D., 1881-1901

CarterFranklin Carter (1837-1919) was a graduate of Williams in the Class of 1862, which he entered as a junior from Yale in 1860, having been the valedictorian of his class at Phillips Academy, Andover. He became the first scholar-president of Williams in 1881, a position that he filled with imagination and skill for twenty years. Before coming to the presidency he had served Williams as a professor of Latin and French, and Yale as a professor of German; his first five years as president of the College, he was also president of the Modern Languages Association, the new and significant organization of language scholars. During his presidency he raised over a million dollars, directed a building program that added eight new buildings to the College plant, doubled the size of the faculty, dropped Greek as an admission requirement, increased electives in the curriculum and welcomed the introduction of the honor system. By temperament an aristocrat, he insisted that the College not be a "refuge for rich men's sons:" much of the curricular innovation that he encouraged was designed to open the doors of the College to a larger clientele. Franklin Carter House, named in his honor, is one of four houses that comprise the Greylock Quadrangle.

By Prof. Fred Rudolph (Williams class of 1942)

 

Paul Ansel Chadbourne, D.D., LL.D., 1872-1881

ChadbournePaul Ansel Chadbourne, the fifth president of Williams College, was born in North Berwick, Maine, on October 21, 1823. At 16, Chadbourne became a druggists’ assistant and decided to devote his life to medicine. He later attended Exeter at 19, an age when many young men would already be at college. Paul was not discouraged by his age or lack of money. During his first year, he copied the documents of Mr. John Woodbury for one cent each. Chadbourne worked hard, and graduated from Williams as valedictorian of his class in 1848.

After graduating, Chadbourne taught in Freehold, New Jersey. Throughout his life, Chadbourne experienced many health problems, and this part of his life, directly out of college, was especially troubling for him. After a bad case of pneumonia, he had a lung removed because it had become infected with gangrene. Continued pulmonary trouble eventually made him leave teaching. He became the principal of a high school in Great Neck, New Jersey, but was there only a year due to further ill health. Finally, he came upon the job of tutor at Williams College in 1851, and worked through his illness. This same year, Chadbourne married Elizabeth Sawyer Page. He moved to another teaching job for one year, but returned to Williams in 1853 as the chair of Chemistry, Botany, and Natural History. During his professorship and later, Chadbourne led many scientific expeditions to places such as Newfoundland, Florida, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, writing many noteworthy essays on these trips. Trips during his Williams years were often made with the student Lyceum of Natural History.

After teaching for fifteen years at his alma mater, Chadbourne became president of the State Agricultural College at Amherst (University of Massachusetts-Amherst). Due to pulmonary attacks, he served two separate terms, in 1866 and 1882. He was president of the University of Wisconsin for two years where he was strongly opposed to coeducation, insisting that women were "a distraction." He created a separate "Ladies College" where the women slept and studied.

In 1872, President Mark Hopkins recommended Chadbourne as his successor. The students and faculty received him very warmly at Hopkins's announcement on July 27, 1872. As to Chadbourne's presidential career, many people related to the college held opposing opinions. He did many things that were for "the good of the school" and he devoted himself to attracting students to Williams; enrollment went up 90% during his presidency. He wanted a good education for all young men, even those who could not afford one, and he tried to improve on the old college buildings and build new ones, including the Chadbourne Gymnasium and Clark Hall.

Chadbourne's relationships with the students were not always pleasant, however. He was a good teacher and wanted to relate to the young men, but some people thought "his manner was sometimes harsh and protective, and many students disliked him."

In 1881, Chadbourne resigned at the commencement ceremonies. In his life after and beyond Williams, Chadbourne became an editor of The Public Service of the State of New York and The Wealth of the United States. Chadbourne became involved in politics because of personal interests and his friendship with James A. Garfield. He was a state senator in 1865 and 1866, a delegate to the Republican Convention in 1876, and a presidential elector-at-large in 1880.

Paul Ansel Chadbourne died on February 23, 1883, and was buried in the Williams College cemetery.

 

Mark Hopkins, M.D., D.D., LL.D., 1836-1872


Mark HopkinsMark Hopkins (1802-1887) was a graduate of Williams in the Class of 1824, which he entered from secondary school as a junior in 1822. Professor of moral and intellectual philosophy from 1830 to 1887 and president of the College from 1836 to 1872, he symbolizes in the history of American education the era of small country colleges, where poor boys, simple surroundings, and dedicated teachers created an environment friendly to liberal learning. A skilled teacher in the Socratic tradition, he has been immortalized by the aphorism attributed to one of his former students, James A. Garfield: "The ideal college is Mark Hopkins on one end of a log and a student on the other." A popular lecturer on moral and religious questions, for many years president of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions he earned the love and respect of generations of Williams men by his qualities as a teacher and friend. For over fifty years he helped to shape Williams men who knew how to respect their own minds and hearts and who knew the duty to listen to them.

By Prof. Fred Rudolph (Williams class of 1942)

 

Edward Dorr Griffin, D.D., 1821-1836

GriffinTo many people in 1821, Edward Dorr Griffin was considered the savior of Williams College. There had been many debates regarding whether or not Williams should be removed from its present location to Northampton. The presidency of the college had been offered to two prominent men from other institutions, but both had declined. No one thought that someone of such importance as Edward Dorr Griffin would accept the presidency of a college that seemingly had no future. But Griffin was present at Commencement 1821 and spoke to the crowd of students, a sparse crowd for many young men had already left Williams for the new Amherst Collegiate Institution.

Griffin was born in 1770 in East Haddam, Connecticut, the son of a farmer. Since he was almost constantly sick during his childhood, he was always at school. Griffin entered Yale at age 16, graduating in 1790 as the school's first Phi Beta Kappa student. He studied theology under Jonathan Edwards, and completed his Doctorate of Divinity from Union College in 1808.

Griffin was made head of gospel ministry in Newark and was later inaugurated as the Professor of Sacred Rhetoric in the Theological Seminary at Andover. He would become well known, even while president of Williams, as a revivalist, and he brought this fervor to Williamstown and the college. Griffin claimed that the new interest in religion that sprouted up among the Williams students in 1825 was a clear sign that God wanted the school to stay where it was, so he held a giant revival. During his years at Williams, he also encouraged the growth of missionaries, believing that "it would be the duty of all the Christians in America to go in a body to carry ... the gospel."

There were only two professors at the college when Griffin arrived: one who wanted to move elsewhere, and the other with his "foot in the grave." Determined to save the failing college, Griffin raised $25,000 and hired two professors who would become emblematic of the institution: Mark Hopkins and his brother, Albert Hopkins. Griffin also left his mark on the campus in the form of the college chapel, a building completed in 1828 and later named Griffin Hall.

President Griffin was described as a "striking man," "full six foot three in height ... without any undue obesity." Griffin gained the respect of townspeople and demanded respect of Williams College students. If any young man should fail to look Griffin in the face during one of his Sunday sermons or fall asleep during the service, Griffin reprimanded or awakened the student by name.

In early 1836, President Griffin notified the college trustees of his failing health and resigned the following August. Edward Dorr Griffin died in Newark, New Jersey in 1837.

 

Zephaniah Swift Moore, D.D., 1815-1821

MooreZephaniah Swift Moore, the second president of Williams College, was born in 1770 in Palmer, Mass. He attended "Clio Hall," a preparatory school in Bennington, Vermont, and went to New Hampshire to attend Dartmouth in 1789.

Upon graduating, Moore felt strong urges to preach and teach, so he began to study preaching and Hebrew under Rev. Dr. Backus in Connecticut. He attained some success as a preacher, filling the pulpit of a Presbyterian church in Leicester, Mass. for eleven years, but never decided to make preaching his chosen profession.

In 1811, Moore was called upon to return to Dartmouth and become a professor of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. He was elected by contingency to the presidency of Williams College in 1815. The College was failing and appeared on the verge of being relocated to the Connecticut River Valley. When Moore accepted the presidency, "he had no idea that the College was to remain in Williamstown, but had all the while supposed that it was to be removed someplace in Hampshire County." Moore became a highly successful disciplinarian and a popular president, all the while believing that "the college could not flourish in this narrow valley, and his expressions never wavered in regard to its removal." He supported one proposal that Williams join Amherst Academy in Amherst, and he was always involved in Trustee discussions that concerned the removal of the college.

In August of 1819, resolutions of the Board of Trustees were accepted to move the college to Northampton, but a meeting of Berkshire gentlemen in October issued a statement that Williams College should remain in Williamstown. The citizens of the town and Berkshire County appealed to the State Legislature and proceeded to raise $17,500 to support the college. In 1820, the Trustees wrote to the Legislature, "nine out of twelve of the present trustees, are decidedly of the opinion that the interests of the College would be greatly promoted by the removal; and that it will languish, and expire, in its present location." But even the majority vote could not move Williams, and the State Legislature decided that it was "unlawful" to move such an institution to another location.

Seeing that the College was going to remain in Williamstown, Moore gave his resignation to the Board of Trustees on July 17, 1821, commenting that "I would now only say, that divine providence had clearly opened the way for my leaving this college, and that I had made up my mind that I should leave it at this next commencement." The students were shocked that their beloved president was leaving, and forty students decided to follow him to Amherst or go on to other institutions, thus causing the beginnings of the "ill blood" between Williams and Amherst. (It is rumored that President Moore began the library of Amherst College with books stolen from Williams, but there is no proof that this actually occurred. Neither did Moore steal faculty and staff from Williams upon his departure, but rather hired them later.)

As the first president of Amherst, Moore had to travel a great deal to Boston to attend to college business. Travel and a heavy workload became highly stressful for him. He died on June 29, 1823, of "overtaxed constitution" and "bilious colic," serving as Amherst president for only two years.

 

Ebenezer Fitch, D.D., 1793-1815

Ebenezer Fitch, (1756-1833), graduated from Yale College in 1777 as the valedictorian of his class. While in college, Fitch realized that his life had been blessed and saved repeatedly and that he was "under great obligations to devote (himself) wholly to the service of Him." This faith proved to be one of the deciding factors in Fitch's selection as the first president of Williams College, as well as the basis for the college's curriculum in the early years.

Before coming to Williamstown, Fitch had experience as an educator at Yale and as a businessman. In 1790, he was asked to come to Williamstown and become the preceptor of a free academy for boys as had been designated in Ephraim Williams' will. He had been "examined ... in regard to his religious principles and found ... sound." In Fitch's hands, the school evolved dramatically and became highly popular. By May 22, 1792, a petition had been submitted to the State Legislature, requesting that the Williamstown Free School become a college.

Fitch molded Williams into a religious place, bringing in the Westminster Catechism for the students as theology was studied as part of a liberal education. Fitch himself delivered sermons on Sundays. William Cullen Bryant (Class of 1811) commented on Fitch's sermons that "he often preached to us on Sundays, but his style of sermonizing was not such as to compel our attention."

During his presidency, Fitch married the widow of an old friend and took her children as his own, eventually fathering eleven more. The Fitch family lived in the first president's house at Williams, Kellogg House, when it stood where Hopkins Hall is today.

As there was only one other faculty member in the earliest days of the college, Fitch taught many classes himself. To the seniors, Fitch taught Mental Science, Moral Philosophy, and Law of Nations, and under him, Williams College grew in "celebrity and influence" as well as academic esteem. Class size grew each year for his first few years as president. But as he grew older, Fitch showed "failing tact and lessening grip."

Class sizes began to drop off and in 1815, Fitch's last year, only 24 students were enrolled. Other colleges sprouted up that sparked interest in potential students and the funds at Williams were small. A Hampshire county newspaper asked, "what has Williamstown, that can attract the attention of the public or that can render a term of four years' residence agreeable or pleasant?"

Although the blame for the plan to relocate Williams to the Connecticut River Valley is placed on second college president Zephaniah Swift Moore, on May 10, 1815, President Fitch wrote to Abel Flint, "Under these local disadvantages, the College has for several years declined, and must continue to decline. In my opinion, there is no way to save it from extinction but to remove it to the County of Hampshire." Because of his belief that the future of the college was bleak, Fitch announced to the Board of Trustees that he would resign in September of that year.

Following his resignation, Fitch was named pastor of a church in New York where he remained until his death on March 21, 1833. Originally buried in New York, he was later reinterred in the Williams College cemetery.

Williams Faculty members who have become college presidents

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