Frank Palmer Speare

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Frank Palmer Speare
Frank Palmer Speare.jpg
Speare pictured in The Cauldron 1921, Northeastern yearbook
1st President of Northeastern University
In office
Preceded by None
Succeeded by Carl Stephens Ell
Personal details
Born 1869
Boston, Massachusetts[1]
Died May 28, 1954 (aged 84–85)[1]
Spouse(s) May Cushing Whiting[1]
Alma mater Bridgewater State Teachers College, 1889[1]

Frank Palmer Speare (1869 – May 28, 1954) was the first president of Northeastern University, serving from 1898-1940. He began the evening program at the Boston YMCA that later became Northeastern. As founding president, he oversaw the launching of the university's evening law school, the now-defunct automobile school, the evening polytechnic schools, the school of commerce and finance, and the co-operative engineering school.

A man of diverse talents and interests, he was, in addition to being an educator, a sailor, farmer, and music enthusiast. He composed songs ("Silver Bay, a Song of Vacation Days") and other music (the "Northeastern March"), plays (Mystic Waters, or The Spirit of Winnipesaukee), and musicals.


  1. ^ a b c d Ohles, Frederik (1997), Biographical Dictionary of Modern American Educators, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, p. 300. 

External links[edit]

  • Frank Palmer Speare: Educational Visionary. Parr, Jessica. the online edition of a Northeastern University Libraries exhibition. Boston: Northeastern University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections, 2004. Contains numerous photographs plus biographical information.
Academic offices
Preceded by
President of Northeastern University
1898– 1940
Succeeded by
Carl Stephens Ell