William Anthony Granville (1864-1943) was unanimously elected the sixth president of Gettysburg College by the Board of Trustees on June 14, 1910.
An active Lutheran, he was the first layman to serve as president. After teaching mathematics at Bethany College in Kansas and serving as their treasurer, he attended Yale University where he earned a bachelor of philosophy in 1893 and a doctor of philosophy in 1897. While still a student there, he embarked on a 15 year teaching career serving on the university's mathematics faculty.
Granville is noted for many positive changes he effected while at Gettysburg College, one of the more noteworthy ones being that the College was one of 22 Pennsylvania institutions to appear on the first list of accredited colleges and universities issued by the Middle States Association under his presidency in 1921.
Although he was generally respected by students and faculty, especially for his skill as an instructor in the classroom, Granville experienced two waves of controversy during his tenure and resigned in 1923.
Scope and Content Notes
The bulk of the Granville papers consist mainly of correspondence from the later years of his presidency arranged chronologically and alphabetically. Much of this correspondence relates to the admissions process consisting of routine responses to requests for catalogues, admission and financial aid. Of some note is a series of letters between Granville and John F. Dapp, chair of the Board of Trustees, relating to the Board investigation of Granville's controversial decision in the spring of 1922 to dismiss two instructors, one being a department chair, and the subsequent hiring of replacements. Most of the other papers generated while he was in office were lost in the flood of 1996. The collection includes material from his inauguration in 1910, a promotional publication in 1916 to increase enrollment, a 1922 report to the Board of Trustees, a financial statement relating to the Million Dollar Fund Campaign, and his mathematics lecture notebook.
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