A graduate of Yale College and trained at Phillips Academy, Andover, and the Andover Theological Seminary, he founded the Contra Costa Academy, later chartered as the College of California after leaving his position as headmaster of the Dummer Academy (today known as The Governor's Academy) in Byfield, Mass. The college later disincorporated and merged with the state of California's Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Arts College to create the University of California in 1868 (now the Berkeley campus of the UC system). Durant was elected the first president of the University on August 16, 1870 and resigned only two years later in order to relinquish the position to a younger man (Daniel Coit Gilman). Old age did not keep Durant from being elected the 16th mayor of Oakland, although he only served for three years before dying in office, on January 22, 1875.
- SF Chronicle, July 25, 2010. "Where to Find Celebrities' Resting Places" by Charlie Wells
|President of the University of California
Daniel Coit Gilman
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