Woodrow Wilson Elected President Of Princeton University
On June 9, 1902, Woodrow Wilson was unanimously elected president of Princeton University, a position he held until he resigned in 1910 to run for governor of New Jersey.
As university president, Wilson exhibited both the idealistic integrity and the occasional lack of political acumen that marked his tenure as the twenty-eighth president of the United States (1913-21).
Wilson graduated from Princeton in 1879 and next studied law at the University of Virginia for one year. He then attended Johns Hopkins University where he received his Ph.D. in political science in 1886. His dissertation, "Congressional Government," was published. Wilson remains the only U.S. president to have earned a doctoral degree.
In 1896, the college officially changed its name from the College of New Jersey to Princeton University to honor the town in which it resides. During this year, the college also underwent large expansion and officially became a university. Under Woodrow Wilson, Princeton introduced the preceptorial system in 1905, a then-unique concept that augmented the standard lecture method of teaching with a more personal form in which small groups of students, or precepts, could interact with a single instructor, or preceptor, in their field of interest.
While attending a recent Lincoln celebration I asked myself if Lincoln would have been as serviceable to the people of this country had he been a college man, and I was obliged to say to myself that he would not. The process to which the college man is subjected does not render him serviceable to the country as a whole. It is for this reason that I have dedicated every power in me to a democratic regeneration.
The American college must become saturated in the same sympathies as the common people. The colleges of this country must be reconstructed from the top to the bottom. The American people will tolerate nothing that savors of exclusiveness.”— Woodrow Wilson
On This Day In History: June 9