George Woods (Pitt Chancellor)

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George Woods

George Woods was the fifth chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, then called the Western University of Pennsylvania, serving from 1858 to 1880. Although Woods is generally numbered as Pitt's fifth chancellor, he was actually the first head of the university to have the title "Chancellor" as previously heads of the university were referred to as "Principal", a holdover from the institution's academy days. Woods has been credited with creating the university's endowment, founding the science and engineering programs, and dramatically increasing enrollment.

In the early 1850s, Woods, then resident in Yarmouth, Maine, established the Yarmouth Institute as direct competition to North Yarmouth Academy. Although it attracted students from as far afield as Cuba, his institute lacked an endowment and closed after five years. In 1859, while serving in his new role at the University of Pittsburgh, a lawsuit involving his dispute with NYA precipitated the split in Yarmouth's First Parish Church.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Woods' father was an abolitionist in Yarmouth, Maine.[1]

Preceded by
John McLaren
University of Pittsburgh Chancellor
Succeeded by
Henry MacCracken


  1. ^ a b Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.17