William Preston Few in his later years, Courtesy of the Duke University Archives
In 1924, he presided over the transformation of Trinity College into Duke University, and was president of the renamed university until his death in 1940.During his 30 years as president, Few oversaw an expansion of the institution that is difficult to compare in modern terms. He worked with James B. Duke to make The Duke Endowment a reality and led the school’s growth from a college of 363 students and 32 faculty in 1910 to a university consisting of nine schools, 3,716 students, and 476 faculty. Much of the growth occurred during the Great Depression, which brought hard financial times to most universities. He died of coronary thrombosis in 1940.