Ray Lyman Wilbur
|Ray Lyman Wilbur|
Ray Lyman Wilbur
|Third President Stanford University|
|Term||January 1, 1916 – 1943|
|Predecessor||John C. Branner|
|Successor||Donald B. Tresidder|
|Born||April 13, 1875
Boonesboro, Boone County, Iowa
|Died||June 26, 1949
|Alma mater||Stanford University|
|Spouse||Marguerite May Blake|
Early life 
Wilbur was born in Boonesboro in Boone County, Iowa, to Dwight Locke Wilbur, an attorney and businessman, and Edna Maria Lyman. A brother, Curtis Dwight Wilbur, became United States Secretary of the Navy under President Calvin Coolidge and a Judge of the Supreme Court of California. The Wilbur family moved to Riverside, California when Ray Lyman was twelve.
Wilbur graduated from Riverside High School, then studied at Stanford University, receiving a B.A. degree in 1896 and an M.A. degree in 1897. He then studied at Cooper Medical College, receiving a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1899.
While a freshman at Stanford, he met future US President Herbert Hoover, who was drumming up campus business for a local laundry. The two men became lifelong friends. Wilbur's wife, the former Marguerite May Blake was a college friend of Hoover's wife and was one of Lou Hoover's closest friends in Washington during Mrs. Hoover's years as First Lady. Marguerite Wilbur was severely injured when she fell from a horse in 1922, breaking several vertebrae in her spine and becoming permanently incapacitated. She died in 1946. The couple had five children.
During World War I, Wilbur served as chief of the conservation division of the United States Food Administration. While at the USFA, he coined the slogan "Food Will Win the War." He later became US President Warren Harding's personal physician and was present at Harding's deathbed.
He first became a member of Stanford's faculty in 1896 as an instructor in physiology. In 1900 he was made an assistant professor while carrying on a busy medical practice; he was the only physician in the university community. From 1903 to 1909 he practiced medicine fulltime. In 1909 he became a professor of medicine and in 1911 he was named Dean of the new Stanford University School of Medicine, located at the former Cooper Medical College where Wilbur had received his M.D. degree. He served as Dean until 1916. In 1916 he was elected to serve as president of Stanford, continuing in that position until 1943, including during his period as Secretary of the Interior. Upon his inauguration as president he said that he intended to devote the rest of his life to Stanford, and he did. From his retirement as president in 1943 until his death in 1949, he served as the university's chancellor. Among his most notable stances while at Stanford were his opposition to fraternities and to automobiles on campus. He reorganized graduate education, established the Lower Division, introduced Independent Study, and grouped academic departments within the Schools of the university. He launched the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Food Research Institute.
Wilbur served as President of the American Medical Association from 1923 to 1924. His son, Dwight Locke Wilbur, followed in his footsteps as President of the AMA in 1968-1969. Wilbur belonged to several private men's clubs, including the Bohemian Club, the Pacific-Union Club, the Commonwealth Club and the University Club in San Francisco.
When the California Legislature established the State Park Commission in 1927, Wilbur was named to the original commission, along with Major Frederick Russell Burnham, W. F. Chandler, William Edward Colby, and Henry W. O'Melveny.
Secretary of the Interior 
President Hoover nominated Wilbur as United States Secretary of the Interior on 5 March 1929; Wilbur assumed that office the same day. His tenure ended on 5 March 1933, as Hoover left office.
As Interior Secretary, Wilbur addressed corruption in granting contracts for naval oil reserves, which had caused controversy during the Harding Administration's Teapot Dome scandal. Wilbur promulgated a policy that no new oil leases would be granted to private individuals except when mandated by law.
Secretary Wilbur was criticized by political opponents for his allocation of power from the Boulder Dam to private utilities. Opponents also criticized him for renaming the Boulder Dam after President Hoover.
Wilbur took a particular interest in Native Americans while in office and reorganized the department's Bureau of Indian Affairs. He assisted Native Americans in working to become more self-reliant.
New Deal critic 
After leaving the Department of the Interior Wilbur became a vocal critic of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal and a leading champion of "rugged individualism." He wrote: "It is common talk that every individual is entitled to economic security. The only animals and birds I know that have economic security are those that have been domesticated--and the economic security they have is controlled by the barbed-wire fence, the butcher's knife and the desire of others. They are milked, skinned, egged or eaten up by their protectors."
Wilbur died of heart disease at his Stanford home on June 26, 1949. He is buried at Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Palo Alto, California. Herbert Hoover eulogized him as "my devoted friend and constant friend since boyhood." He said of Wilbur: "During all his years, including his later chancellorship of Stanford, he has given a multitude of services to the people. Public health and education have been enriched over all these years from his sane statesmanship and rugged intellectual honesty. America is a better place for his having lived in it."
A dormitory complex at Stanford University is named after Dr. Wilbur.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Ray Lyman Wilbur|
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
- "Ray Lyman Wilbur (1875-1949)". Lane Library. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- Ray L. Wilbur Dies at Stanford at 74, The New York Times, June 27, 1949
- "Memorial Resolution: Ray Lyman Wilbur". Academic Council. Stanford University. September 30, 1949. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- Mrs RL Wilbur is Close Friend of First Lady, Atlanta Constitution, March 11, 1929
- Mrs Ray L. Wilbur, The New York Times, Dec. 25, 1946
- "Ray Lyman Wilbur". NNDB. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- Ray Lyman Wilbur Taken By Death, Los Angeles Times, June 27, 1949
- Dr. RL Wilbur, Hoover Cabinet Member, Dies, Chicago Daily Tribune, June 27, 1949
- Dulfer & Hoag. Our Society Blue Book, pp. 177–178. San Francisco, Dulfer & Hoag, 1925
- "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings: A History of the Sierra Club".
- Colby, William E.; Frederick Law Olmsted (April 1933). "Borrego Desert Park". Sierra Club Bulletin. XVIII: 144.
- Ray Lyman Wilbur, The Washington Post, June 28, 1949
Further reading 
- The Memoirs of Ray Lyman Wilbur 1875-1940, Stanford University Press, 1960
- Ely, Northcutt. (1994-12-16). "Doctor Ray Lyman Wilbur: Third President of Stanford & Secretary of the Interior." Paper presented at the Fortnightly Club of Redlands, California, meeting #1530
John C. Branner
|President of Stanford University
Donald B. Tresidder
|U.S. Secretary of the Interior
Served under: Herbert Hoover
Harold L. Ickes