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Barnwell, Robert Woodward (10 August 1801–25 November 1882), educator, congressman, and U.S. and Confederate senator, was born at Beaufort, South Carolina, the son of Robert Gibbes Barnwell, a prosperous planter and Federalist member of Congress, and Elizabeth Wigg Hayne. In 1817 he entered Harvard College, where he became friendly with ...

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Bennett, Henry Garland (14 December 1886–22 December 1951), university and government administrator, was born near New Hope in Nevada County, Arkansas, the son of Thomas Jefferson Bennett, a blind evangelist, and Mary Elizabeth Bright. At the age of eight, Henry was enrolled in the primary department (laboratory school) at Ouachita College in Arkadelphia, where he remained until 1907, when he received the bachelor of arts degree. Following graduation, he earned a teaching certificate, taught in a business college in Texarkana, sold textbooks, and finally entered the public educational system in Oklahoma, subsequently holding teaching or administrative positions in Boswell, Choctaw County, and Hugo. Bennett secured a master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1924, and Columbia University granted him the Ph.D. in 1926 for a dissertation entitled “The Coordination of the State Institutions of Higher Education in Oklahoma.” In Hugo, Bennett met Vera Pearl Connell, the daughter of a lawyer and federal judge who resided in Durant. The couple were married in January 1913; they had five children....

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Burdick, Usher Lloyd (21 February 1879–19 August 1960), author, educator, and legislator, was born in Owatonna, Minnesota, the son of Ozias Burdick and Lucy Farnum, farmers. In 1882 the family settled in Graham’s Island in the Dakota Territory, where Burdick attended local public schools and learned the Sioux Indian language and customs. Following his graduation from the State Normal School at Mayville, North Dakota, in 1900, he worked for two years as deputy superintendent of schools in Benson County, North Dakota. In 1901 he married Emma Rassmussen, and they had two sons and a daughter. Frustrated by local politics, Burdick changed career objectives and moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he taught in a business college while attending the University of Minnesota’s law program, from which he graduated in 1904. He also played football at the university, which won the Big Ten championships in 1903 and 1904. After graduating he returned to Munich, North Dakota, where he was admitted to the bar and began practicing law....

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Crary, Isaac Edwin (02 October 1804–08 May 1854), congressman and educator, was born in Preston, Connecticut, the son of Elisha Crary and Nabby Avery, farmers. He graduated from Trinity College in 1827 and spent two years practicing law in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1832 Crary moved to Marshall, Michigan, where he established that town’s first law firm. While law remained Crary’s profession, the advancement of education was his avocation, and he was instrumental in making Michigan a leader in the field of public education during the nineteenth century....

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Dennett, Tyler Wilbur (13 June 1883–29 December 1949), historian, government official, and college president, was born in Spencer, Wisconsin, the son of William Eugene Dennett, a Baptist preacher, and Roxena Tyler. He attended a small school in Pascaog, Rhode Island, where his parents moved shortly after he was born, and then the Friends School in Providence. His higher education included one year at Bates College in Maine and three years at Williams College in Massachusetts, where he was a scholarship student, edited the school paper, and played football....

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Eisenhower, Milton Stover (15 September 1899–02 May 1985), government official and university president, was born in Abilene, Kansas, the son of David Eisenhower, a mechanic at a local creamery, and Ida Stover. Of Pennsylvania Dutch stock, David raised his six sons to be fiercely independent while Ida nurtured them in the values of the River Brethren Church. “Opportunity is all about you,” was the Eisenhower creed. “Reach out and take it.”...

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Ferguson, John Calvin (01 March 1866–03 August 1945), educator, art historian, and Chinese governmental adviser, was born in Lonsdale, Ontario, Canada, the son of John Ferguson, a Methodist minister, and Catherine Matilda Pomeroy, a schoolteacher. Because of his father’s itinerant occupation, he rarely lived in one location longer than two years. This did not dissuade him from pursuing a career in the clergy, however. He attended Albert College in Ontario before moving to Boston University, where he received the bachelor of arts degree in 1886. After some further study at the school of theology there, he was ordained a minister in the Methodist Episcopal church....

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Ford, Guy Stanton (09 May 1873–29 December 1962), historian, editor, and academic administrator, was born in Liberty Corners, Salem Township, Wisconsin, the son of Thomas D. Ford, a medical doctor, and Helen E. Shumway, a teacher. During Guy’s early childhood, his father’s drinking and business failures forced his mother, with her two sons, to move in with a series of relatives, eventually leading them to Sutherland, Iowa, in 1883. Shortly thereafter his father moved to Plainfield, Iowa, a town of about 300 people. In 1884 the family reunited in Plainfield. Thomas Ford was an extremely impractical man and the family lived in relative poverty throughout Guy’s years in Plainfield....

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Graham, Frank Porter (14 October 1886–16 February 1972), university president and U.S. senator, was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the son of Alexander Graham, the superintendent of schools, and Katherine Sloan. Both parents were of Scotch Presbyterian ancestry.

At the University of North Carolina, which he entered in 1905, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in his junior year, and, as president of the YMCA, took part in evangelical Protestant programs to improve society. The college yearbook for 1909 called him “Frank, Laddie Buck. Everyman’s friend, confidant and playfellow.”...

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Oliver O. Howard. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-3719).

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Howard, Oliver Otis (08 November 1830–26 October 1909), soldier, government official, and educator, was born in Leeds, Maine, the son of Rowland Bailey Howard and Eliza Otis, farmers. As a boy Howard worked in the company of a young black farmhand, an experience to which he later attributed his broadmindedness in racial matters. Howard graduated from Bowdoin College in 1850 and entered the U.S. Military Academy. He graduated from West Point in 1854, ranked fourth in his class. In 1855 Howard married Elizabeth Ann Waite; the couple had seven children. He first served at the federal arsenals in New York and Maine and then as an ordnance officer in Florida. In 1857 Howard returned to West Point to teach mathematics. The same year he experienced the religious conversion that would earn him such sobriquets as “the Christian Soldier.” His distaste for alcohol and profanity hardly endeared him to many of his fellows. ...

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Hunt, Henry Alexander, Jr. (10 October 1866–01 October 1938), educator and government official, was born in Sparta, Hancock County, Georgia, the son of Mariah and Henry Alexander Hunt, Sr., a tanner and farmer. Mariah, who exhibited some of the fundamentals of an education and had studied music, was a free woman of color; Henry Alexander was white. Available evidence suggests that the couple lived together before the Civil War but maintained separate households afterward. Henry was the fifth of eight racially mixed children. At age sixteen, having completed the formal education available to him in Hancock County, he followed his older sister and enrolled at Atlanta University. A popular campus leader, Hunt was captain of the baseball team, moot court judge, and president of the Phi Kappa Society. In addition to his college course, Hunt learned the builder’s trade and, during vacations, worked as a journeyman carpenter to earn money for his education. He graduated with a B.A. in 1890....

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Keppel, Francis C. (16 April 1916–19 February 1990), educational administrator, was born in New York City, the son of Frederick Paul Keppel and Helen Tracy Brown. His father was dean of Columbia College and in 1923 became president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York....

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James M. Landis. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-115254).

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Landis, James McCauley (25 September 1899–30 July 1964), federal administrator and Harvard Law School dean, was born in Tokyo, Japan, the son of Henry Mohr Landis and Emma Marie Stiefler, missionary-teachers. He first came to the United States at age thirteen for schooling. He graduated from Mercersburg Academy (1916), Princeton University (1921), and Harvard Law School (1924), attaining at each the highest levels of academic achievement and receiving one of Harvard’s first doctorates of juridical science....

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Miller, Thomas Ezekiel (17 June 1849–08 April 1938), political leader and educator, was born in Ferrebeeville, South Carolina, the son of Richard Miller and Mary Ferrebee, occupations unknown. Miller’s race was a source of periodic concern and speculation. Although he always considered himself to be black, Miller’s very fair complexion led to allegations during his political career that he was white, the abandoned child of an unmarried white couple....

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Morgan, Arthur Ernest (20 June 1878–15 November 1975), college president and first chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), college president and first chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of John Morgan, a surveyor and schoolteacher, and Anna Wiley, also a schoolteacher. Shortly after Arthur’s birth, the family moved to St. Cloud, Minnesota, where he grew up. If his father influenced Arthur to become an engineer, his mother influenced him to become hard working, disciplined, and self-righteous; to seek perfection in all his pursuits; and to hold others to his elevated personal standards. Morgan’s lifelong inability to tolerate behavioral and moral differences in associates and subordinates alike originated in childhood....

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Preston, William Campbell (27 December 1794–22 May 1860), U.S. senator and college president, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Francis Smith Preston, a wealthy and well-connected member of Congress from Abingdon, Virginia, and Sarah Buchanan Campbell, the daughter of the celebrated revolutionary war colonel ...

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Quincy, Josiah (04 February 1772–01 July 1864), Federalist congressman, Boston mayor, and president of Harvard, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Josiah Quincy, Jr., a lawyer and revolutionary pamphleteer, and Abigail Phillips. Quincy’s father died in 1775, leaving him to be raised by his mother and grandfather, Colonel Josiah Quincy. At age six he was sent off to Phillips Academy, where he submitted to a regimen of Calvinist doctrine and corporal punishment. In 1786 he enrolled at Harvard, where eleven Phillipses and ten Quincys had preceded him. There he became a Unitarian and class orator....

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Hiram Rhoades Revels. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-98798)