Henry Noble MacCracken

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Henry Noble MacCracken
Henry Noble McCracken (1880-1970) circa 1915.jpg
MacCracken circa 1915
5th President of Vassar College
In office
Preceded by James Monroe Taylor
Succeeded by Sarah Gibson Blanding
Personal details
Born (1880-11-19)November 19, 1880
Toledo, Ohio, United States
Died May 7, 1970(1970-05-07) (aged 89)
Poughkeepsie, New York, United States
Nationality American
Spouse(s) Marjorie Dodd (m. 1907)
Education New York University (English/M.A., 1900/1904)
Harvard University (M.A./Ph.D., 1905/1907)

Henry Noble MacCracken (November 19, 1880 – May 7, 1970) was an American academic administrator who was the fifth president of Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, serving from 1915 to 1946 as the first secular president of the college.[1] MacCracken's term as president of Vassar College is the longest in the college's history, spanning over thirty years.


Born in Toledo, Ohio in November 19, 1880 to Henry Mitchell MacCracken. Henry's brother was John Henry MacCracken, president (1915–26) of Lafayette College.[1] His son, Calvin Dodd MacCracken, was a noted inventor.

MacCracken earned an English degree in 1900 from New York University (NYU). After graduation, he joined the faculty of Syrian Protestant College in Beirut for three years before coming back to NYU for graduate study. After completing a master's degree in English, he earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

MacCracken married Marjorie Dodd on June 12, 1907.[2]

MacCracken was president of Vassar from 1915 to 1946.[2] In the 1920s, MacCracken was involved in the founding of Sarah Lawrence College, which was initially a women's junior college affiliated with Vassar. A residence hall named after MacCracken was completed in 1930. He was on the board of trustees of the college until its affiliation with Vassar was severed in 1935.[3]

MacCracken died on May 7, 1970 at his home, 87 New Hackensack Road, in Poughkeepsie, New York.[1] His wife, Marjorie Dodd MacCracken died in 1974.


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