John Franklin Crowell

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John Franklin Crowell
John Franklin Crowell, Courtesy of the Duke University Archives
President of Trinity College
In office
Preceded by Marquis Lafayette Wood
Succeeded by John Carlisle Kilgo
Personal details
Born (1857-11-01)November 1, 1857
York, Pennsylvania
Died August 6, 1931(1931-08-06) (aged 73)
East Orange, New Jersey
Alma mater Yale University
Columbia University
University of Berlin
John Franklin Crowell
Sport(s) Football
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1888-1889 Duke
Head coaching record
Overall 3-2

John Franklin Crowell (November 1, 1857 – August 6, 1931) served as president of Trinity College, the predecessor of Duke University, from 1887 to 1894. Crowell studied economics at Yale University, Columbia University and the University of Berlin. Crowell is primarily known for overseeing Trinity's movement to Durham, North Carolina and for reforming Trinity's curriculum, along with Joseph L. Armstrong, to be more in line with the German research university model. Toward that end Crowell persuaded the competing student literary societies to combine their libraries into a single college collection, where he personally catalogued the books and kept hours at a reference desk to encourage proper research methods. He also corrected the Latin in the college motto. Crowell increased the number of visiting lecturers at Trinity, and helped establish several academic student publications, one of which, the literary magazine The Archive is the second oldest such publication in the United States.[1] Crowell also served as the head coach of the football program from 1888–1889, compiling a 3-2 record. After resigning from Duke, Crowell became head of the Department of Economics and Sociology at Smith College. He received an honorary LL.D. degree from Trinity in 1917.[2]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
1888 Duke 2-1
1889 Duke 1-1
Total: 3-2
Indicates Bowl Coalition, Bowl Alliance, BCS, or CFP / New Years' Six bowl.
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.


  1. ^ John Franklin Crowell at
  2. ^ Duke's Presidents. Duke University Archives. Accessed on January 29, 2008.

External links[edit]