Frederick B. Robinson

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Frederick Bertrand Robinson
5th President of City College of New York
In office
Preceded by Sidney Edward Mezes
Succeeded by Harry N. Wright

Frederick Bertrand Robinson (1883 – October 20, 1941) served as the fifth president of the City College of New York between 1927 and 1939.


He graduated from City College of New York in 1904 and was the first alumnus to serve as president of the college. He received his doctorate from New York University.[1]

During his tenure, the college was a hotbed of leftist activism. During his tenure, Robinson attempted to stifle leftist activism on campus by firing and suspending faculty and students who espoused Marxist viewpoints. In total, Robinson succeeded in having of 43 CCNY students expelled, 38 suspended, and hundreds of undergraduates summoned before campus disciplinary boards between 1931 and 1934.[2] On October 9, 1934, Robinson invited an official delegation of students representing Mussolini’s fascist regime in Italy to be honored at a special assembly.[3] As a result of student protests in opposition to the invitation, Robinson had 21 student leaders expelled and temporarily dissolved the Student Council.[4]

As an opponent of such movements, Robinson was the subject of frequent protests by students and faculty, leading to his resignation in June 1939. Robinson graduated from CCNY in 1904 and was the first CCNY alumnus to serve as its president.

He died on October 20, 1941.[5][6]


  1. ^ Van Nort, Sydney C. "The City College of New York" Arcadia Press, 2007 Page 95
  2. ^ The Struggle for Free Speech at CCNY 1931-42
  3. ^ Cohen, Robert "When the Old Left Was Young: Student Radicals and America's First Mass Student Movement, 1929-1941" Oxford University Press, 1993
  4. ^ Dorman, Joseph "Arguing the World: The New York Intellectuals in their Own Words" University of Chicago Press, 2001
  5. ^ "Ex-President Robinson Dies at Age 58". The Campus. October 21, 1941. 
  6. ^ "Dr. Frederick Robinson". New York Times. October 21, 1941.