List of Presidents of the Pennsylvania State University

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Old Main at Penn State, the administrative center of the university, contains the Office of the President.

The President of the Pennsylvania State University is the chief administrator of the Pennsylvania State University, serving as chief executive officer of the institution and an ex officio member of the 32-member Penn State Board of Trustees. Included in the list below are all Presidents of the Pennsylvania State University and its precursor institutions, from the first President Evan Pugh and through the current President, Eric J. Barron. There have been 18 Presidents of the Pennsylvania State University, not including three interregnum presidencies during university presidential transitions.

Pennsylvania's only land-grant university, the Pennsylvania State University was established in 1855[1] as the Farmers' High School of Pennsylvania, before becoming the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania in 1863 under University President Evan Pugh, the Pennsylvania State College under James Calder in 1874 and, finally, the Pennsylvania State University under Milton S. Eisenhower in 1953. Today, the university is part of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education and is one of the largest universities in the United States.

List of presidents[edit]

President Term of office Education Notes
1 Evan Pugh - Penn State.jpg Evan Pugh
(1828–1864)
[2][3]
1859 – 1864
(5 years)
In the shadow of the Civil War, Evan Pugh became the first president of the then Farmers' High School. He was a member of the London Chemical Society and a professor at Yale University. He was burdened with meeting the objectives of the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862 and the necessary completion of Old Main. On May 2, 1862 Pugh had the name Farmers' High School changed to the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania. After his five years as president, Pugh died in office on April 29, 1864. Pugh Street in State College, Pennsylvania is named in his honor.
2 William Henry Allen.jpg William Henry Allen
(1808–1882)
[4][5]
1864 – 1866
(2 years)
Before becoming the President of the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania Allen was the President of Girard College for 12 years. He also served 10 years at Dickinson College as professor and a year as president. He arrived at Penn State with the burden of a $50,000 debt the infant institution had amassed to that point. In 1866 the Board of Trustees borrowed $80,000 in Mortgage bonds to pay off the debt with excess used to set up a working fund. He also major restructured and implemented Evan Pugh’s original curricula, as well as brought in instruction on military tactics. After his two-year stay at Penn State, he was re-elected to the Girard College Presidency, and then to be the president of the American Bible Society. Allen Street in State College, Pennsylvania and Allen Road on the Penn State University Park campus are named in his honor.
3 John Fraser.jpg John Fraser
(c. 1823–1878)
[6][7]
1866 – 1868
(2 years)
4 Thomas Henry Burrowes.jpg Thomas Henry Burrowes
(1805–1871)
[8][9]
1868 – 1871
(3 years)
5 James Calder.jpg James Calder
(1826–1893)
[10][11]
1871 – 1880
(9 years)
6 Joseph Shortlidge.jpg Joseph Shortlidge
(1832–1911)
[12][13]
1880 – 1881
(1 year)
James Y McKee Penn State.jpg James Y. McKee (interregnum)
(1836–1891)
[14][15][16]
1881 – 1882
(1 year)
7 G W Atherton.jpg George W. Atherton
(1837–1906)
[17][18]
1882 – 1906
(24 years)
  • LL.D., Yale University (1863)[19]
Atherton inherited a university that struggled to find its identity between agricultural education and traditional studies. He transformed Penn State from a struggling university with low enrollment to a respected land-grant university, by strengthening the liberal arts program while creating one of the premiere engineering programs in the country. He is often called the "second founder" of the university.
J A Beaver.jpg James A. Beaver (interregnum)
(1837–1914)
[20][21]
1906 – 1908
(2 years)
8 Edwin Erle Sparks.jpg Edwin Erle Sparks
(1860–1924)
[23][24]
1908 – 1920
(12 years)
9 Jno Martin Thomas.jpg John Martin Thomas
(1869–1952)
[25][26]
1921 – 1925
(4 years)
10 Ralph D. Hetzel
(1882–1947)
[27][28]
1927 – 1947
(20 years)
James Milholland (interregnum)
(1887–1956)
[29][30][31]
1947 – 1950
(3 years)
  • B.A., Pennsylvania State University (1911)[32]
11 Milton S. Eisenhower
(1899–1985)
[33][34]
1950 – 1956
(6 years)
12 Eric A. Walker
(1910–1995)
[35][36]
1956 – 1970
(14 years)
  • B.S., Harvard University
  • M.A., Harvard University
  • Sc.D., Harvard University
13 John W. Oswald
(1917–1995)
[37][38]
1970 – 1983
(13 years)
14 Bryce Jordan
(1924–2016)
[39][40]
1983 – 1990
(7 years)
15 Joab Thomas
(1933–2014)
[41][42]
1990 – 1995
(5 years)
  • B.S., Harvard University (1955)
  • M.S., Harvard University (1957)
  • Ph.D., Harvard University (1959)
16 Graham Spanier.jpg Graham Spanier
(born 1948)
[43][44]
1995 – 2011
(16 years)
17 Rodney Erickson
(born 1946)
[45]
2011 – 2014
(3 years)
18 Eric Barron.jpg Eric J. Barron
(born 1951)
[46][47]
2014 – present

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Our History". Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  2. ^ "Evan Pugh papers, 1822-1864". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  3. ^ "Evan Pugh". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "William Henry Allen (1808-1882)". Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections. Dickinson College. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "William Henry Allen". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  6. ^ "Col. John Fraser". Scots Around the World. ElectricScotland. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "John Fraser". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  8. ^ "Dr Thomas Henry Burrowes". Find A Grave. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "Thomas Henry Burrowes". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  10. ^ "BIO: James CALDER, Dauphin County, PA". Commemorative Biographical Encyclopedia of Dauphin County. USGenWeb Archives. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  11. ^ "James Calder". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "Joseph J Shortlidge". Find A Grave. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  13. ^ "Joseph Shortlidge". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  14. ^ Orth, Samuel Peter (1910). A History of Cleveland, Ohio: Biographical. S.J. Clarke Publishing Company. p. 453. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  15. ^ Annual Report of the Pennsylvania State College For the Year 1906-1907. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Harrisburg Publishing Co., State Printer. 1908. p. 216. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  16. ^ "James Y. McKee". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  17. ^ "George W. Atherton papers, 1837-1950". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  18. ^ "George W. Atherton". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  19. ^ Parsons, Eben Burt (1900). Phi Beta Kappa Hand-book and General Address Catalogue of the United Chapters. Walden & Crawley. p. 176. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  20. ^ "Governor James Addams Beaver". Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  21. ^ "James A. Beaver". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  22. ^ "Governor James Addams Beaver". Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  23. ^ "Sparks, Edwin Earle, 1860-1924". The Online Books Page. University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  24. ^ "Edwin Erle Sparks". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  25. ^ "John Martin Thomas". Rutgers University. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  26. ^ "John Martin Thomas". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  27. ^ "Ralph Dorn Hetzel papers, 1882-1947". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  28. ^ "Ralph D. Hetzel". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  29. ^ Cook, Robert Cecil (1956). Who's who in American Education. Who's Who in American Education. p. 173. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  30. ^ "Judge Milholland Is Laid to Rest". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 18 February 1956. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  31. ^ "James Milholland". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  32. ^ "Penn State Distinguished Alumni Recipients". Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  33. ^ "Milton S. Eisenhower papers, 1943-1985". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  34. ^ "Milton S. Eisenhower". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  35. ^ Martin, Douglas (19 February 1995). "Eric Walker, 84, Ex-President Of Pennsylvania State U., Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  36. ^ "Eric A. Walker". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  37. ^ Parmley, Rob; DeMarcus, Nancy; Stanger, Frank. "John W. Oswald". University of Kentucky Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  38. ^ "John W. Oswald". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  39. ^ "Dr. Henry Bryce Jordan". Hardin-Simmons University. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  40. ^ "Bryce Jordan". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  41. ^ "University mourns loss of President Emeritus Joab Thomas". Penn State News. Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  42. ^ "Joab Thomas". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  43. ^ "Details on ex-Penn State President Graham Spanier". The Associated Press. 16 August 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  44. ^ "Graham Spanier". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  45. ^ "Rodney A. Erickson". Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  46. ^ "Tags: BARRON, Eric, 1951-". EBSCO Host. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  47. ^ "Penn State Office of the President - Biography". Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 

External links[edit]