List of longest serving higher education presidents in the United States
The longest serving president of a United States institution of higher education is Eliphalet Nott, who served at Union College in Schenectady, NY for 62 years, from 1805-1866. The longest living college or university president is Norman Francis, who continues at Xavier University of Louisiana as president after 45 years of service.
According to a 2007 report from the American Council on Education, only about 5% of all in-office college presidents had served longer than 20 years. The table below considers candidates who can be demonstrated to have served for 25 years or longer unless another distinguishing factor warrants inclusion. Records for the longest serving college or university presidents are usually kept by the respective institutions themselves.
|Eliphalet Nott||61 years (1805–1866)||Union College||Schenectady, NY||Longest serving college president in U.S. history.|
|James Blair||50 years (1693–1743)||College of William and Mary||Williamsburg, VA||The first and longest serving president of the college.|
|Jack Evans, Sr||47 years (1967—present)||Southwestern Christian College||Terrell, Texas||The longest serving college president still sitting.|
|Norman Francis||45 years (1968–present)||Xavier University of Louisiana||New Orleans, LA||The longest serving college president still sitting.|
|Nicholas Murray Butler||43 years (1902-1945)||Columbia University||New York, NY||Columbia's longest serving president.|
|Richard I. Gouse||42 years (1971–present)||New England Institute of Technology||Warwick, RI||Only 24 at the time of assuming his position.|
|Joseph N. Hankin||42 years (1971–present)||Westchester Community College||Valhalla, NY||Longest serving community college president in the US.|
|William Foster Peirce||41 years (1896–1937)||Kenyon College||Gambier, OH||Assumed the presidency at the age of 28.|
|Luns C. Richardson||40 years (1974-present)||Morris College||Sumter, SC||Life Member and Golden Heritage Member of the NAACP|
|Charles William Eliot||40 years (1869–1909)||Harvard University||Cambridge, MA|
|Robert H. Spence||40 years (1974–present)||Evangel University||Springfield, MO||Served until May 1, 2014 as President, and since then as Chancellor.|
|Leon Botstein||38 years (1975–present)||Bard College||Annandale-on-Hudson, NY|
|David L. Eubanks||38 years (1969–2007)||Johnson Bible College||Knoxville, TN|
|James Burrill Angell||38 years (1871–1909)||University of Michigan||Ann Arbor, MI||UM's longest serving president.|
|Pat Robertson||36 years (1978-present)||Regent University||Virginia Beach, VA|
|Philip Pumerantz||36 years (1977–present)||Western University of Health Sciences||Pomona, CA||Founding president of the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (1977), which became Western University of Health Sciences in 1996.|
|Jerry Falwell||36 years (1971-2007)||Liberty University||Lynchburg, VA|
|John Wheelock||36 years (1779–1815)||Dartmouth College||Hanover, NH||Dartmouth's longest serving president.|
|William R. Harvey||35 years (1978–present)||Hampton University||Hampton, VA|
|Theodore Hesburgh||35 years (1952–1987)||University of Notre Dame||South Bend, IN|
|Nathan Lord||35 years (1828–1863)||Dartmouth College||Dartmouth College|
|Sister Joel Read||35 years (1968–2003)||Alverno College||Milwaukee, WI|
|Dennis J. Murray||34 years (1979–present)||Marist College||Poughkeepsie, NY|
|Janet Eisner||34 years (1979–present)||Emmanuel College||Boston, MA||Longest serving female president still sitting.|
|William Lowe Bryan||34 years (1902–1937)||Indiana University||Bloomington, IN|
|James M Rosser||33 years (1979–2013)||California State University, Los Angeles||Los Angeles, CA|
|Edgar Odell Lovett||33 years (1912–1946)||Rice Institute||Houston, TX|
|Palmer Ricketts||33 years (1901–1934)||Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||Troy, NY|
|H. Mebane Turner||33 years (1969–2002)||University of Baltimore||Baltimore, MD|
|Lincoln Hulley||30 years (1904–1934)||Stetson University||DeLand, FL|
|Daniel R. Chamberlain||30 years (1976–2006)||Houghton College||Houghton, NY|
|John F. MacArthur||29 years (1985-present)||The Master's College||Santa Clarita, CA|
|James R. Day||29 years (1894–1922)||Syracuse University||Syracuse, NY|
|Jeremiah Day||29 years (1817–1846)||Yale University||New Haven, CT|
|Jack L. Stark||29 years (1970–1999)||Claremont McKenna College||Claremont, CA||Longest serving president in the state of California.|
|David Lieber||29 years (1964–1993)||University of Judaism||Bel-air, Los Angeles, CA|
|John A. Hannah||28 years (1941–1969)||Michigan State College||East Lansing, MI|
|John L. Lahey||27 years (1987–present)||Quinnipiac University||Hamden, CT|
|William P. Tolley||27 years (1942–1969)||Syracuse University||Syracuse, NY|
|Charles E. Young||27 years (1968–1997)||UCLA||Los Angeles, CA||Was also the president of the University of Florida from 1999-2003.|
|Benjamin Labaree||26 years (1840–1866)||Middlebury College||Middlebury, VT|
|Alfred Bryan Bonds||26 years (1955–1981)||Baldwin Wallace University||Berea, OH|
|Diana Natalicio||25 years (1988–present)||University of Texas at El Paso||El Paso, TX||Longest serving president still sitting of a major public research university. Appointed interim president in 1987.|
|Clyde Cook||25 years (1982-2007)||Biola University||La Mirada, CA|
|James McCain||25 years (1950–1975)||Kansas State University||Manhattan, KS|
|Frederick L. Hovde||25 years (1946–1971)||Purdue University||West Lafayette, IN|
|Betty Siegel||25 years (1981–2006)||Kennesaw State University||Kennesaw, GA||Longest serving female president of a state university.|
|Walter Washington||25 years (1969–1994)||Alcorn State University||Lorman, MI|
|Theodore Dwight Woolsey||25 years (1846–1871)||Yale University||New Haven, CT|
- Academic Administration
- Chancellor (education)
- Higher education in the United States
- List of leaders of universities and colleges in the United States
- For the purposes of the list, "Chancellor" and "President" are interchangeable titles.
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