List of longest serving higher education presidents in the United States

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Eliphalet Nott, longest serving college president in US history

The longest serving president of a United States institution of higher education is Eliphalet Nott, who served at Union College in Schenectady, New York, for 62 years (1805–66). The longest living college or university president is Dr. Jack Evans Sr., who continues at Southwestern Christian College of Terrell, Texas, as president after 49 years of service.

Criteria[edit]

According to a 2007 report from the American Council on Education, only about 5% of all in-office college presidents had served longer than 20 years.[1] The table below considers candidates who can be demonstrated to have served for 25 years or longer unless another distinguishing factor warrants inclusion. Records for the longest serving college or university presidents are usually kept by the respective institutions themselves. '

List[edit]

Name Term College Location Notes[note 1]
Eliphalet Nott 61 years (1805–1866) Union College Schenectady, NY Longest serving college president in U.S. history.
Paul F. Beacham 59 years (1919–1978) Holmes Theological Seminary Greenville, SC Longest serving seminary president in U.S. history.
Abbot Bernard Pennings 57 years (1898–1955) St. Norbert College De Pere, WI The first and longest serving president of the College.
B. B. Dougherty 56 years (1899–1955) Appalachian State University Boone, NC
W. Wilbert Welch 56 years (1959–2015) Cornerstone University Grand Rapid, MI Served as President until 1983, then Chancellor.
Francis H. Smith 50 years (1839–1889) Virginia Military Institute Lexington, VA Longest serving military superintendent in U.S. history
James Blair 50 years (1693–1743) College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA The first and longest serving president of the college.[2]
Jack Evans, Sr 50 years (1967—present) Southwestern Christian College Terrell, TX The longest serving college president still sitting. Served as President until 2016, then Chancellor.
Norman Francis 47 years (1968–2015) Xavier University of Louisiana New Orleans, LA [3]
Richard I. Gouse 46 years (1971–present)[4] New England Institute of Technology East Greenwich, RI Only 24 at the time of assuming his position.
Ronald E. Carrier 46 years (1971–2017) James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA Served as President until 1998, then Chancellor.
Bob Jones III 46 years (1971–present) Bob Jones University Greenville, SC Served as President until 2005, then Chancellor.
William L. Proctor 46 years (1971–present) Flagler College St. Augustine, FL Served as President until 2001, then Chancellor.
J. Donald Monan 45 years (1972–2017) Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA Served as President until 1996, then Chancellor.
Frederic B. Pratt 44 years (1893–1937) Pratt Institute Brooklyn, NY
Frances Shimer 43 years (1853–1896) Shimer College Chicago, IL Founded Mount Carroll Seminary, which later became Shimer College.
Clarence W. Daugette 43 years (1899–1942) Jacksonville State University Jacksonville, AL State of Alabama's longest serving university president.
Nicholas Murray Butler 43 years (1902–1945) Columbia University New York, NY Columbia's longest serving president.
Joseph N. Hankin 43 years (1971–2014)[5] Westchester Community College Valhalla, NY Longest serving community college president in the US.[6]
Luns C. Richardson 43 years (1974–present) Morris College Sumter, SC Life Member and Golden Heritage Member of the NAACP
Robert H. Spence 43 years (1974–present) Evangel University Springfield, MO Served until May 1, 2014 as President, and since then as Chancellor
Charles A. Blanchard 43 years (1882–1925) Wheaton College Wheaton, IL
Leon Botstein 42 years (1975–present) Bard College Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones 41 years (1936–1977) Grambling State University Grambling, LA
William Foster Peirce 41 years (1896–1937) Kenyon College Gambier, OH Assumed the presidency at the age of 28
W. Sam Monroe 40 years (1974–2014) Lamar State College-Port Arthur Port Arthur, TX
Charles William Eliot 40 years (1869–1909) Harvard University Cambridge, MA
Henry N. Snyder 40 years (1902–1942) Wofford College Spartanburg, SC
Stephen B. L. Penrose 40 years (1894–1934) Whitman College Walla Walla, WA
Pat Robertson 39 years (1978–present) Regent University Virginia Beach, VA
William R. Harvey 39 years (1978–present)[7] Hampton University Hampton, VA
David L. Eubanks 38 years (1969–2007) Johnson Bible College Knoxville, TN
James Burrill Angell 38 years (1871–1909) University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI UM's longest serving president
Philip Pumerantz 38 years (1977–2015) Western University of Health Sciences Pomona, CA Founding president of the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (1977), which became Western University of Health Sciences in 1996
Janet Eisner 38 years (1979–present) Emmanuel College Boston, MA Longest serving female president still sitting.[8]
Russell Conwell 38 years (1887–1925) Temple University Philadelphia, PA
Dennis J. Murray 37 years (1979–2016)[9] Marist College Poughkeepsie, NY
Sister Denise Roche 37 years (1979–2016) D'Youville College Buffalo, NY
Mary Emma Woolley 37 years (1900–1937) Mount Holyoke College South Hadley, MA
Jerry Falwell 36 years (1971–2007) Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
Mark Hopkins 36 years (1836–1872) Williams College Williamstown, MA
John Wheelock 36 years (1779–1815) Dartmouth College Hanover, NH Dartmouth's longest serving president
Robert L. McLendon Jr. 36 years (1972–2008) St. Johns River State College Palatka, FL
Bevan Morris 36 years (1980–2016)[10] Maharishi University of Management Fairfield, IA
Cornelius P. Haggard 36 years (1939–1975) Azusa Pacific University Azusa, CA
Theodore Hesburgh 35 years (1952–1987) University of Notre Dame South Bend, IN
Stephen W. Paine 35 Years (1937–1972) Houghton College Houghton, NY
Charles P. Adams 35 years (1901–1936) Grambling State University Grambling, LA Founding president of the Colored Industrial and Agricultural School in 1901, which became Grambling State University in 1974.
Willard M. Aldrich 35 years (1943–1978) Multnomah University Portland, OR
Nathan Lord 35 years (1828–1863) Dartmouth College Hanover, NH
E. George Evans 35 years (1884–1919) Champlain College Burlington, VT
A. Gordon Tittemore 35 years (1920–1955) Champlain College Burlington, VT
Sister Joel Read 35 years (1968–2003) Alverno College Milwaukee, WI
William Lowe Bryan 35 years (1902–1937) Indiana University Bloomington, IN
Martin Brewer Anderson 35 years (1853–1888) University of Rochester Rochester, NY
Benjamin Rush Rhees 35 years (1900–1935) University of Rochester Rochester, NY
Marilyn Schlack 35 years (1982–present) Kalamazoo Valley Community College Kalamazoo, MI Longest serving community college president still sitting
George A. Pruitt 35 years (1982–present) Thomas Edison State University Trenton, NJ Longest serving president in the state of New Jersey
Charles Schlimpert 34 years (1983–present) Concordia University Portland Portland, OR Longest serving President in the State of Oregon
Ray Paul Authement, Sr. 34 years (1974–2008) University of Louisiana at Lafayette Lafayette, La
Eugene C. Sanderson 34 years (1895–1929) Northwest Christian University Eugene, OR
James M Rosser 34 years (1979–2013)[11] California State University, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
Edgar Odell Lovett 34 years (1912–1946)[12] Rice Institute Houston, TX
Thomas Hanna McMichael 33 years (1903–1936)[13] Monmouth College Monmouth, IL
C. Hoyt Watson 33 years (1926–1959) Seattle Pacific University Seattle, WA
William Parker McKee 33 years (1897–1930) Shimer College Chicago, IL
Mark W. Ellingson 33 years (1936–1969) Rochester Institute of Technology Henrietta, NY
Palmer C. Ricketts 33 years (1901–1934) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY
H. Mebane Turner 33 years (1969–2002)[14] University of Baltimore Baltimore, MD
Joseph W. Polisi 33 years (1984–present) The Juilliard School New York City, NY
Cloyd H. Marvin 32 years (1927–1959) George Washington University Washington, DC
Steven Van Ausdle 32 years (1984–2016) Walla Walla Community College Walla Walla, WA
Samuel Belkin 32 years (1943–1975) Yeshiva University New York, NY
John F. MacArthur 32 years (1985–present) The Master's College Santa Clarita, CA Longest serving president in the state of California
Henry Hardin Cherry 31 years (1906–1937) Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, KY
Athens Clay Pullias 31 years (1946–1977) Lipscomb University Nashville, TN
R. M. Good 31 years (1921–1952) College of the Ozarks Point Lookout, MO
Felton G. Clark 31 years (1938–1969) Southern University Baton Rouge, LA
Claybrook Cottingham 31 years (1910–1941) Louisiana College Pineville, LA
John Silber 31 years (1971–2002) Boston University Boston, MA Served as President until 1996, then Chancellor. Sabbatical leave 1987–1988 and 1990
James Carnahan 31 years (1823–1854) Princeton University Princeton, NJ
Alvin O. Austin 31 years (1986–present) LeTourneau University Longview, TX Served as President until 2007, then Chancellor
Charles Paul Conn 31 years (1986–present) Lee University Cleveland, TN
Sr. Thomas Welder 31 years (1978–2009) University of Mary Bismarck, ND For her tenure and service, Sr. Thomas Welder was given the Roughrider Award by the state of North Dakota, inducting her into its hall of fame.
Thomas Duckett Boyd 30 years (1896–1926) Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, LA Previously served as interim President of LSU in 1886
Lincoln Hulley 30 years (1904–1934) Stetson University DeLand, FL
Daniel R. Chamberlain 30 years (1976–2006) Houghton College Houghton, NY
Richard V. Clearwaters 30 years (1956–1986) Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis Plymouth, MN
John L. Lahey 30 years (1987–present) Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT
Ernest O. Holland 30 years (1915–1945) Washington State University Pullman, WA
Jeffrey Bullock 29 years (1988–present) University of Dubuque Dubuque, IA
Diana Natalicio 29 years (1988–present) University of Texas at El Paso El Paso, TX Longest serving president still sitting of a major public research university. Appointed interim president in 1987.[15]
Edgar Young Mullins 29 years (1899–1928) Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Louisville, KY
James S Luckey 29 years (1908–1937) Houghton College Houghton, NY First President of Houghton as an incorporated college
Jeremiah Day 29 years (1817–1846) Yale University New Haven, CT
Rees Edgar Tulloss 29 years (1920–1949) Wittenberg University Springfield, OH
Albert Parker 29 years (1929–1958) Hanover College Hanover, IN
John Horner 29 years (1958–1987) Hanover College Hanover, IN
Paul Ambrose Fontaine 29 years (1929–1958) Marist College Poughkeepsie, NY
Jack L. Stark 29 years (1970–1999) Claremont McKenna College Claremont, CA
David Lieber 29 years (1964–1993) University of Judaism Bel-air, Los Angeles, CA
Charles E. Young 29 years (1968–1997)[16] UCLA Los Angeles, CA Was also the president of the University of Florida from 1999–2003.
Edith Lesley 29 years (1909–1938) Lesley University Cambridge, MA
Charles J. Smith 29 years (1920–1949) Roanoke College Salem, VA
Edwin Massey 29 years (1988–present) Indian River State College Fort Pierce, FL
Jerry C. Davis 29 years (1988–present) College of the Ozarks Point Lookout, MO
Gary Cook 29 years (1988–present) Dallas Baptist University Dallas, TX Served as President until 2015, then Chancellor
Katharine Elizabeth McBride 28 years (1942–1970) Bryn Mawr College Bryan Mawr, PA
M. Carey Thomas 28 years (1894–1922) Bryn Mawr College Bryan Mawr, PA
E. Wilson Lyon 28 years (1941–1969) Pomona College Claremont, CA
Daniel Fisher 28 years (1879–1907) Hanover College Hanover, IN
John A. Hannah 28 years (1941–1969) Michigan State College East Lansing, MI
Joab Mauldin Lesesne Jr. 28 years (1972–2000) Wofford College Spartanburg, SC
James R. Day 28 years (1894–1922) Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
Richard Vernon Moore 28 years (1947–1975) Bethune-Cookman University Daytona Beach, FL
Oswald Perry Bronson 28 years (1975–2003) Bethune-Cookman University Daytona Beach, FL
William P. Tolley 27 years (1942–1969) Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
Ray Lyman Wilbur 27 years (1916–1943) Stanford University Stanford, CA
John E. Murray Jr. 27 years (1988–2015) Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA Served as President until 2001, then Chancellor
James Henry Carlisle 27 years (1875–1902) Wofford College Spartanburg, SC
Edwin H. Welch 27 years (1989–present) University of Charleston Charleston, WV
Alexander Schure 27 years (1955–1982) New York Institute of Technology New York, NY
Edward H. Hammond 27 years (1987–2014) Fort Hays State University Hays, KS
Norman Lamm 27 years (1976–2003) Yeshiva University New York, NY
Bowman Foster Ashe 26 years (1926–1952) University of Miami Coral Gables, FL
John H.T. Main 26 years (1905–1931) Grinnell College Grinnell, IA
Benjamin Labaree 26 years (1840–1866) Middlebury College Middlebury, VT
Dan Reneau 26 years (1987–2013) Louisiana Tech University Ruston, LA
John Witherspoon 26 years (1768–1794) Princeton University Princeton, NJ
Don Moon 26 years (1978–2004) Shimer College Chicago, IL
Lawrence Biondi 26 years (1987–2013) Saint Louis University St. Louis, MO
Harry Augustus Garfield 26 years (1908–1934) Williams College Williamstown, MA
Alfred Bryan Bonds 26 years (1955–1981) Baldwin Wallace University Berea, OH
Daniel Coit Gilman 26 years (1875–1901) Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
Elizabeth Coleman 26 years (1987–2013) Bennington College Bennington, VT
Royce Money 26 years (1991–present) Abilene Christian University Abilene, TX Served as President until 2010, then Chancellor
James H. Daughdrill, Jr. 26 years (1973–1999) Rhodes College Memphis, TN
John Hitt 25 years (1992–present) University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
Robert D. Wexler 25 years (1992–present) American Jewish University Bel-Air, CA
Clyde Cook 25 years (1982–2007)[17] Biola University La Mirada, CA
James McCain 25 years (1950–1975) Kansas State University Manhattan, KS
Frederick L. Hovde 25 years (1946–1971) Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
Betty Siegel 25 years (1981–2006) Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GA
Homer B. Williams 25 years (1912–1937) Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OH
F. Jay Taylor 25 years (1962–1987) Louisiana Tech University Ruston, LA
Walter Washington 25 years (1969–1994)[18] Alcorn State University Lorman, MI
Theodore Dwight Woolsey 25 years (1846–1871) Yale University New Haven, CT
Ellen Fitz Pendleton 25 years (1911–1936) Wellesley College Wellesley, MA
Julius D. Dreher 25 years (1878–1903) Roanoke College Salem, VA
Bernard Revel 25 years (1915–1940) Yeshiva University New York, NY

See also[edit]

Education in the United States
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Notes[edit]

  1. ^ For the purposes of the list, "Chancellor" and "President" are interchangeable titles.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.ctmirror.org/sites/default/files/ACP%20report_0.pdf
  2. ^ "William & Mary – 19th Century Presidents". 
  3. ^ Mangan, Katherine. "The Chronicle of Higher Education". America's Longest Serving President has More to Do. The Chronicle. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "Executive Compensation at Private and Public Colleges". The Chronicle of Higher Education. 
  5. ^ "Page not found – Westchester Community College". 
  6. ^ Sarina, Trangle (2011-09-24). "President Joseph Hankin Celebrates 40 Years at WCC". Greenburgh Daily Voice. The Greenburgh Daily Voice. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  7. ^ "About the President". Hampton University. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  8. ^ http://www.emmanuel.edu/About_Emmanuel/News_and_Events/News/News_Articles/COFBillBrett.html
  9. ^ "About Marist – Dennis J. Murray: Marist College". 
  10. ^ Hallman, Andy (June 20, 2016). "Lynch addresses M.U.M. graduates". The Fairfield Ledger. Retrieved June 21, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Cal State L.A. President James M. Rosser Announces His Retirement". 18 September 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  12. ^ http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/flo34 | The Handbook of Texas | Accessed 13 April 2014
  13. ^ Davenport, F. Garvin (1953). Monmouth College : the first hundred years, 1853–1953. Iowa: Torch Press. p. 71. ASIN B007T3FF0G. 
  14. ^ Bowler, Mike (29 June 2002). "The university that Meb built". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  15. ^ "UTEP Encyclopedia". 
  16. ^ Chambers, Veronica. "College Presidents in the Spotlight". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  17. ^ "Clyde Cook Biola Profile". Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  18. ^ "Alcorn State University: Past Presidents". Alcorn State University. Retrieved 20 September 2012.