Alfred Whitney Griswold
Alfred Whitney Griswold
|16th president of Yale University|
|Preceded by||Charles Seymour|
|Succeeded by||Kingman Brewster Jr.|
|Born||October 27, 1906|
Morristown, New Jersey
|Died||April 19, 1963 (aged 56)|
New Haven, Connecticut
|Relations||Eli Whitney (ancestor)|
|Education||Hotchkiss School (1925)|
Yale University (B.A. 1929)
Alfred Whitney Griswold (October 27, 1906 – April 19, 1963), who went by his second given name, was an American historian and educator. He served as 16th president of Yale University from 1951 to 1963, during which he built much of Yale's modern scientific research infrastructure, especially on Science Hill.
Griswold was born in Morristown, New Jersey, the son of Elsie Montgomery (Whitney) and Harold Ely Griswold. He graduated from Hotchkiss School in 1925, before obtaining his B.A. from Yale University in 1929, where he edited campus humor magazine The Yale Record.
A member of the Griswold family, he was a descendant, on his mother's side, of Eli Whitney, and of six colonial governors of Connecticut on his father's side. As an undergraduate, Griswold, along with a handful of students and faculty members, founded the Yale Political Union.
He taught English for a year, then changed to history, which he taught at Yale from 1933, becoming an assistant professor in 1938, an associate professor in 1942, and a full professor in 1947. Griswold received a Ph.D. in the new field of history, the arts and letters, writing the first dissertation in American studies in 1933. The American cult of success was the dissertation's subject, informed in part by Griswold's brief time on Wall Street between his graduation and the stock market crash of 1929. Griswold authored The Far Eastern Policy of the United States (1938), Farming and Democracy (1948), Essays on Education (1954), In the University Tradition (1957), and Liberal Education and the Democratic Ideal (1959). Although Griswold was not a specialist in foreign affairs, his 1938 book on Far Eastern policy was an elegantly written and vigorous survey which for many years was the most influential work in the field.
President of Yale University
In 1951, Griswold became president of Yale University, serving until his death in 1963. Griswold was unaware of his imminent rise to the presidency. The day of his elevation, he told his wife, "Thank God we're not in that racket", after they had lunched with a friend, the president of Mount Holyoke College. As president, Griswold is credited with tripling the university endowment to $375 million, building 26 new buildings and establishing research fellowships for young scholars, particularly in the sciences. He was arguably Yale's first modern president, and was widely quoted in the national media for his views on foreign affairs, amateur athletics, academic freedom, and in defense of the liberal arts against government intrusion. Griswold also worked in successful collaboration with Nathan Pusey, his counterpart at Harvard, to maintain amateurism in athletics among universities known now as the Ivy League.
The decision to create the eleventh and twelfth residential colleges at Yale, known as Morse College and Ezra Stiles College, was made by Griswold. In 1952, he established Master of Arts programs in teaching, affiliated with the traditional liberal arts departments. During World War II he headed special U.S. Army training programs in languages and civil affairs.
On ideas and the banishment of books:
Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom. The surest path to wisdom is a liberal education. —Alfred Whitney Griswold, Essays on Education
On coeducation at Yale:
- By keeping in step with the male,/
- we proceed at the pace of the snail./
- Said the Dean of Admission,/
- "Let's switch our position/
- and get some fast women at Yale!"
Griswold married Mary Brooks (1906–1997) on June 10, 1930 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. His former home, at 237 East Rock Road in New Haven, is a contributing property in the Prospect Hill Historic District.
- "Alumni Award: Previous Recipients". The Hotchkiss School. 2004. Archived from the original on March 10, 2015. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
- Griswold, A. Whitney (November 18, 1927). "Harvard Men 'Moist', According to Associate Editor of Yale Record: Only Those Who Think Too Much or Not at All at Harvard-Finds Polish of Little Use in Selling Bonds". The Harvard Crimson. Cambridge.
- Karabel, Jerome. The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admissions and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, Houghton Mifflin and Company, New York, 2005. p. 222. ISBN 978-0-618-57458-2, ISBN 0-618-57458-1
- "Two Yale Groups Turn to Politics; New Union's Plan to Train an Intelligent Minority for Leadership Is Approved". The New York Times. December 9, 1934. pp. N3.
- Kabaservice, Geoffrey. The Guardians: Kingman Brewster, His Circle, and the Rise of the Liberal Establishment, New York: Holt, 2004. p. 51. ISBN 0-8050-6762-0
- Karabel, Jerome. The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admissions and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, Houghton Mifflin and Company, New York, 2005. p. 222. ISBN 0-618-57458-1
- "Yale in the Great Depression", Gaddis Smith, Yale Alumni Magazine, p. 38, November/December 2009, Volume LXXIII, Number 2
- Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol. 12, Micropædia 15th edition, Vol. 12
- See the essays by John Garraty and Ernest May in Dorothy Borg, ed., Historians and American Far Eastern Policy (New York: East Asian Institute, Columbia University, 1966).
- Time cover story, June 11, 1951, article pgs. 74-82
- Karabel, Jerome. The Chosen: The History of Admissions and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, Houghton Mifflin and Company, New York, 2005. p.222. ISBN 0-618-57458-1
- Time, "New Haven, Safe Haven", April 17, 1964.
- Oren, Dan. Joining the Club: A History of Jews and Yale, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2000. p. 221. ISBN 0-300-08468-4
- Bergin, Thomas A. The Game: The Harvard – Yale Football Rivalry, 1875–1983, Yale University Press, New Haven and London. p. 200. ISBN 0-300-03267-6
- The Holocaust and United Nations Outreach Programme, Discussion Papers Series Volume I, "Hitler, Pol Pot, and Hulu Power: Distinguishing Themes of Genocidal Ideology", by Professor Ben Kiernan, A. Whitney Griswold Professor of History, Professor of International and Area Studies, Director, Genocide Studies Program, Yale University
- letters to the editor, from Sarah Griswold Leahy, Yale Alumni Magazine, p. 4, November/December 2009|Volume LXXIII, Number 2
- Susan Ryan (January 5, 1979). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Prospect Hill National Register District / Prospect Hill". National Park Service. p. 9.
- Kelley, Brooks Mather. (1999). Yale: A History. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-07843-5; OCLC 810552
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Alfred Whitney Griswold|
- "The Birth of a New Institution: How two Yale presidents and their admissions directors tore up the 'old blueprint' to create a modern Yale". Yale Alumni Magazine, December, 1999.