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Brodbeck, May (26 July 1917–01 August 1983), philosopher, teacher, and university administrator, was born in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of Louis Brodbeck and Etta Bragar. In 1941 she took a B.A. in chemistry from New York University. Upon graduating she spent a few years teaching high school chemistry, working in industry, and participating as a physicist in the Manhattan Project....

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Bryan, William Lowe (11 November 1860–21 November 1955), philosopher, psychologist, and educator, was born William Julian Bryan on a farm near Bloomington, Indiana, the son of John Bryan, a Presbyterian minister, and Eliza Jane Philips. In 1876 he entered the preparatory department of Indiana University in Bloomington, which served as the local high school, and the next year he matriculated as a university student. As an undergraduate he developed his skills in public speaking and helped to revive the ...

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Buchanan, Scott Milross (17 March 1895–25 March 1968), educator and scholar, was born in Sprague, Washington, the son of William Duncan, a physician, and Lillian Elizabeth Bagg, a milliner and dressmaker. Buchanan received his A.B. in Greek and mathematics from Amherst College in 1916. He was influenced by ...

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Gulliver, Julia Henrietta (30 July 1856–26 July 1940), college president and philosopher, was born in Norwich, Connecticut, to the Reverend John Putnam Gulliver, college president and theological seminary professor, and Frances Woodbury Curtis. The family moved several times during her childhood because of changes in her father’s employment. In 1865 he left his Norwich pastorate for another in Chicago; in 1868 he moved to Galesburg, Illinois, to serve as president of Knox College for four years and then to Binghamton, New York, where he held a Presbyterian pastorate....

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John Grier Hibben [left to right] Charles Evans Hughes, John Grier Hibben, and John W. Davis, at Princeton, 1924. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-102283 ).

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Hibben, John Grier (19 April 1861–16 May 1933), philosopher, educator, and president of Princeton University, was born in Peoria, Illinois, the son of the Reverend Samuel Hibben and Elizabeth Grier. Born in the first year of the Civil War, Hibben was a year old when his father, a volunteer chaplain, died in a Union army camp. Brought up alone by a mother who worked hard to educate her only child, he graduated in 1882 from Princeton University as both valedictorian and class president. He studied at the University of Berlin for a year and then at the Princeton Theological Seminary; he was ordained in 1887. In that same year, he married Jenny Davidson of Elizabeth, New Jersey; they had one daughter. They moved to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, where he served the congregation of Falling Spring Presbyterian Church as minister....

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Hopkins, Mark (04 February 1802–17 June 1887), moral philosopher and president of Williams College, was born in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, the son of Archibald Hopkins and Mary Curtis, farmers. He studied at a number of academies and taught school before enrolling in 1821 at Williams College, from which he graduated in 1824. The following six years he taught school, served as tutor at Williams, and studied at Berkshire Medical College in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, receiving an M.D. in 1829. After practicing medicine in Binghamton, New York, and New York City, he was appointed in 1830 professor of moral philosophy and rhetoric at Williams. Though never formally trained in theology, he was licensed to preach in 1833 by the Berkshire Association of Congregational Ministers. In December 1832 he married Mary Hubbell of Williamstown; they had ten children. In 1836 he was named President of Williams College, serving for thirty-six years....

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Johnson, Samuel (14 October 1696–06 January 1772), Anglican priest-missionary, philosopher, and college president, was born in Guilford, Connecticut, the son of Samuel Johnson, a fuller, and Mary Sage. Samuel was devoted to books and learning even as a small boy. At fourteen he entered the Collegiate School (later Yale College). Adept in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, he began a lifetime of intellectual activity by composing “A Synopsis of Natural Philosophy,” which he expanded into “An Encyclopedia of Philosophy.” Even before graduation in 1714, Johnson began teaching school at Guilford, and in 1716 he was made a tutor of the Collegiate School. Johnson expanded his intellectual horizons by voluminous reading in the library collected by ...

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Lloyd, Alfred Henry (03 January 1864–11 May 1927), philosopher and university administrator, was born in Montclair, New Jersey, the son of Henry Huggins Lloyd and Anna Mary Badger. After refusing an offer of financial support to prepare for the Congregationalist ministry, the religion in which he was born and reared, Lloyd chose Harvard and supported himself by fellowships and tutoring. He graduated in 1886. He taught for a year at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, before returning to Harvard for graduate work in philosophy. He received his doctorate in 1893, writing a dissertation on freedom. Lloyd’s main teachers at Harvard were ...

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Porter, Noah (14 December 1811–04 March 1892), minister, college professor and president, and philosopher, was born in Farmington, Connecticut, the son of Noah Porter, minister of the town’s Congregational church, and Mehetabel Meigs, who raised six other children, including Sarah Porter, founder of a famous boarding school, and Samuel Porter, an educator of the deaf. Porter prepared for college at the Farmington Academy and then entered his father’s alma mater, Yale College, at the age of sixteen. He graduated in 1831. Two events during Porter’s college years shaped his search for a vocation. He read Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s ...

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Tappan, Henry Philip (18 April 1805–15 November 1881), university president and philosopher, was born in Rhinebeck, New York, the son of Peter Tappan, a merchant and trader, and Ann DeWitt. The youngest of seven children, Tappan attended district schools and a local academy. His enrollment at the academy was interrupted at the age of sixteen when his family experienced financial troubles. He then taught elementary school for two years in order to finance the completion of his secondary education. Tappan entered Union College in 1821, graduated in 1825, and moved to the Auburn (N.Y.) Theological Seminary, where he received his divinity degree in 1827....

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Walker, James (16 August 1794–23 December 1874), religious philosopher and university president, was born in Woburn, Massachusetts (in an area that later became part of Burlington), the son of John Walker and Lucy Johnson, farmers. John Walker was commissioned a major general in the army during the Quasi-War with France. The young James Walker prepared for college at Groton and took his degree from Harvard College in 1814. He taught at Phillips Exeter Academy for a year and then became a member of the first class to be graduated from the new Harvard Divinity School in 1817....

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Wayland, Francis (11 March 1796–30 September 1865), moral philosopher and university president, was born in New York City, the son of Francis Wayland, a currier and Baptist minister, and Sarah Moore. He graduated from Union College at the age of seventeen, studied medicine for two years, and then decided to become a Baptist minister. After a year of Bible study under ...