Charles Seymour

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Charles Seymour
President of Yale University
Term 1937 – 1951
Predecessor James Rowland Angell
Successor Alfred Whitney Griswold
Born (1885-01-01)January 1, 1885
New Haven, Connecticut
Died August 11, 1963(1963-08-11) (aged 78)
Chatham, Massachusetts

Charles Seymour (January 1, 1885 – August 11, 1963) was an American academic, historian and President of Yale University from 1937 to 1951.

Early life[edit]

Seymour was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Thomas Day Seymour, who taught classics at Yale. His paternal grandfather, Nathan Perkins Seymour, was the great-great grandson of Thomas Clap, who was President of Yale in the 1740s. His paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Day, was the grandniece of Jeremiah Day, who was Yale's president from 1817 through 1846. An ancestor of his mother, the former Sarah Hitchcock, was awarded an honorary degree at Yale's first graduation ceremonies in 1702.[1]

Seymour was awarded a Bachelor of Arts at King's College, Cambridge in 1904; and he earned a second B.A. from Yale in 1908. He went on to earn a Ph.D. from Yale in 1911.[1] In 1908, he was also tapped as a member of the Skull and Bones Society and in 1919 he was founding member of The Council on Foreign Relations.

Career[edit]

Seymour's teaching experience began at Yale in 1911 when he was made an instructor in history. He was made a full professor in 1918; and when he eventually left teaching, he had risen amongst the faculty to become Sterling Professor of History (1922–1927).[2] He taught history at Yale from 1911 though 1937, when he became president of the university.[1]

Seymour served as the chief of the Austro-Hungarian Division of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace in 1919. He was also the U.S. delegate on the Romanian, Yugoslavian, and Czechoslovakian Territorial Commissions in 1919.[3]

In 1933, he delivered the Albert Shaw Lectures on Diplomatic History at Johns Hopkins University on the subject of American Diplomacy during the First World War.

Seymour served for ten years as the university's provost (1927–1937).[1] During this period, Yale College was re-organized into a system of ten residential colleges, instituted in 1933 with the help of a grant by Yale graduate Edward S. Harkness, who admired the college systems at Oxford and Cambridge. Seymour became the first Master of Berkeley College.[4]

At age 52, Seymour succeeded James Rowland Angell as the university's 15th president in October 1937.[3] After his retirement in July 1950, he would be succeeded by Alfred Whitney Griswold.[5]

After his retirement as president, Seymour continued his involvement with the university as curator of the papers of Edward M. House at the Yale University Library.[1]

He died in Chatham, Massachusetts in 1963 after a long illness. His son, Charles Seymour, Jr., was a professor of art history at Yale.[1]

Quote: "We seek the truth and will endure the consequences."

Selected works[edit]

  • 1963 -- Letters from the Paris Peace Conference. New Haven

References[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
James Rowland Angell
President of Yale University
1937–1951
Succeeded by
Alfred Whitney Griswold