ABRAM WINEGARDNER HARRIS, Sc.D., LL.D.
President of the American Social Hygiene Associaiton. Elected October 8, 1915, to succeed Dr. Charles W. Elliot, who retains his official connection with the Association as its Honorary President.
Abram Winegardner Harris, President of Northwestern University, was born in Philadelphia on the seventh of November, 1858. Dr. Harris acquired his early education and preparation for college at the Friendsí Central School, Philadelphia. In 1876, he entered Wesleyan University, Connecticut, from which he graduated A.B., in 1880. He was made instructor in mathematics in Dickinson Seminary at Williamsport, Pennsylvania, during the collegiate year 1880-81. He was subsequently tutor in mathematics and registrar of Wesleyan University from 1881 until 1884, after which he went abroad, spending a year in study in the Universities of Munich and of Berlin and returning to Wesleyan University as instructor in history for the period 1885 until 1888. In the succeeding eighteen years, he was associated with the organization or reorganization of three institutions. He helped to organize the Office of Experiment Stations of the United States Department of Agriculture, and served as assistant director of that office from 1888 to 1891, and as director from 1891 until 1893. In 1892 he was selected for the presidency of the Maine State College at Orono, which office he filled until 1901. During the eight years that he remained at the head of that institution, the college widened its scope and made substantial advance in the number of its students and of its faculty and in its income as well, leading to the reorganization of the school in 1896 under the name of the University of Maine. He resigned from the University of Maine in 1901
(2) to become director of the Jacob Tome Institute, at Port Deposit, Maryland. The school had been furnished by its founder with an endowment and an equipment of buildings unequalled in secondary educational institutions. In the five years of his administration, Dr. Harris clearly defined the objects of the institutions, coordinated its departments, and directed the founderís gift into channels where it would be most useful. When he resigned in 1906, he left the school upon a firm foundation.
On the first of February, 1906, Dr. Harris was elected president of Northwestern University, and at the opening of the college year, the following September, took charge. During his administration the enrollment has increased from four thousand to over five thousand, and gifts amounting to a million dollars have been received; a school of commerce has been organized and now has an enrollment of over eight hundred pupils; a college of engineering has been established, with an excellent building and equipment; a gymnasium was built in 1909 which is not surpassed anywhere in the country; the Harris Building of history and political science is now under construction; a campus commission has established the development of the campus. The standards of the Schools of the University have advanced consistently. All Schools require at least a high school education, the Law School requiring in addition one year of college, and the Medical School two years of college. In the year 1915, 705 students were graduated. Probably the greatest work which Dr. Harris has done for the institution is manifest in his inspiration of loyalty and interest among its alumni. He has combined and affiliated the interests of the graduates of the various Schools and a university spirit of devotion to alma mater has increased among alumni, professors, and students.
From time to time there has come to President Harris substantial recognition of the work that he has done in the educational field. In 1883, he received the A.M. degree from his alma mater; in 1894, the Sc.D. degree from Bowdoin College; in 1900, the LL. D. degree from the University of New Brunswick; and in 1901, the same degree from the University of Maine; while in 1904, his alma mater, Wesleyan University, conferred
(3) upon him the LL.D. degree. He has prepared many scientific and administrative documents for the United States Department of Agriculture, has been a contributor to leading periodicals and has delivered occasional lectures before learned societies. He is now chairman of the executive board of the Religious Education Association, chairman of the Vice Commission of Chicago, a vice-president of the Committee of Fifteen of Chicago, honorary vice-president of the Chicago Peace Society, a member of the Board of Education of the the University Senate of the Methodist Episcopal Church, a member of the College Presidentsí Association, a member of the Rhodes Scholarship Committee of Illinois; founder and president-general of the Alpha Delta Tau, an honorary scholarship society for preparatory schools; he also founded the Phi Kappa Phi, an honorary scholarship society, at the University of Maine.
In 1888, Dr. Harris was married to Miss Clara Virginia Bainbridge, who died on the third of February, 1908, leaving a son, Abram W., Jr. He has for many years held prominent place among the laymen of the Methodist Episcopal Church, has twice been a representative to the General Conference of the Church, and was recently elected as a delegate to the General Conference of 1916. He represented his church in the Joint Commission of 1906 which prepared a common service and common catechism for use in the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church South. He is also identified with the Laymenís Missionary Movement.