Frederick W. Hinitt

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Frederick William Hinitt
Frederick W. Hinitt 1866-W&J.jpg
Fourth President of
Washington & Jefferson College
In office
January 4, 1915 – June 30, 1918
Preceded by James D. Moffat
Succeeded by Samuel Charles Black
Personal details
Born November 21, 1866
Kidderminster, England
Died October 25, 1927(1927-10-25) (aged 60)
Indiana, Pennsylvania
Alma mater Westminster College
McCormick Theological Seminary
Wooster College
Religion Presbyterian

Frederick W. Hinitt was the 4th president of Washington & Jefferson College.[1]

Hinitt was born on November 21, 1866, in Kidderminster, England, and his emigrated to the United States when he was young. In 1889, he graduated with distinction from Westminster College and from McCormick Theological Seminary in 1892. He went on to earn a doctor of philosophy in 1896 and a doctor of divinity in 1902, both from Wooster College.[2] Following graduation, he served as a pastor in Iowa and Missouri before assuming the presidency of Parsons College in 1900.[2] He assumed the presidency of Centre College in April 1904.[2] Hinitt worked to increase the educational standards of Centre and pushed the state legislature to establish public high schools in every county of the state.[2] He worked to distance the school from the Presbyterian Synod and became associated with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.[2] In 1913, Centre built a new library funded with a $30,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie.[2] Hinitt also pursued a plan for expansion, to include the remodeling of Breckinridge Hall, and building the Young Science Halland and Boyle-Humphrey Alumni Gymnasium. He resigned the presidency of Centre College on January 1, 1915.[2]

Hinitt's official Centre College presidential portrait

Hinitt was named president of Washington & Jefferson College on September 23, 1914.[1] He assumed the duties of the presidency on January 4, 1915, and was officially inaugurated June 15, 1915.[1] His tenure as president of W&J was dominated by the United States' entry into World War I.[1] Total college enrollment dropped to 180, a decrease of 50%.[1] The commencement of 1918 was held early to accommodate men who were deployed to Europe, but only 24 were able to attend.[1] Hinitt's commencement sermon that year reflected this reality: "To the Class of 1918, divided on this day, with so many of your men absent in service, I have but this word to say: Fear God and serve your country!" [1]

He resigned the presidency of W&J on June 30, 1918 to accept the pastorate of the First Presbyterian Church of Indiana, Pennsylvania.[1] He took a year's leave of absence to work with the YMCA in army caps in England and to serve as an army field secretary in the American Expeditionary Force.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Frederick W. Hinitt (Pro Tem. 1915-1918)". U. Grant Miller Library Digital Archives. Washington & Jefferson College. 2003-09-04. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Centre College President - Frederick W. Hinitt". Special Collections · Grace Doherty Library. Centre College. 2002-06-29. 

See also[edit]

Media related to Frederick W. Hinitt at Wikimedia Commons

Academic offices
Preceded by
James D. Moffat
President of Washington and Jefferson College
Succeeded by
William E. Slemmons (Interim)