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William Holmes McGuffey, D.D., LL.D.,1800-1873

Fourth President of Ohio University, 1839-1843

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Native of Pennsylvania and educated at Washington College, Dr. McGuffey came to the presidency at age 38 from the same position at the Cincinnati College, where he had gone from a professorship at Miami University. The original Academy building (located behind the present Galbreath Chapel) was torn down in 1841. The Hocking Canal reached Athens in 1843 making travel easier and the "McGuffey Elms" on the College Green were planted. The expanded physical plant and faculty, and the proliferation of studies to include such subjects as music and drawing contributed to increasing financial problems. Additional problems, stemming from disagreements between McGuffey and the University community, included an extreme drop in staff and students. Problems at the University reached a climax in 1843 when the state legislature forbade the revaluation of rents for University lands. As a result President McGuffey resigned and assumed a position at Cincinnati's Woodward high school and then moved to a professorship at the University of Virginia. The first two editions of the McGuffey Readers, for which he is famous, were copyright before his term as President of Ohio University; his work on the Readers continued through and after his term as President.


Dick Piccard revised this file (http://www.ohiou.edu/athens/history/people/mcguffey.html) on April 9, 2007.
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