Penn's Leadership in Higher Education
Selected Rosters of Alumni, Faculty and Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania who have served as:
Chief Executive Officers of Institutions of Higher Education, surnames A to J

Scholars and the general public alike recognize Benjamin Franklin as the founding genius of the University of Pennsylvania. Few, however, know that Penn's genius for founding has helped spread higher education throughout the United States and the rest of the world. Scott W. Hawley and the University Archives and Records Center present forty two founding geniuses in the list that follows below. Additions are solicited.

This roster has been researched, compiled and presented by Scott W. Hawley (B.A., 1992; B.S. in Econ., 1992) in partnership with the University Archives and Records Center published July 2003. These entries have been arranged by surname in alphabetical order from A to Z.



Michael T. AIKENBorn 1932; University of Pennsylvania: Professor of Sociology, 1984-1985; Thomas Sovereign Gates Professor of Sociology and Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, 1985-1987; Provost, 1987-1993; Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1993-2001; living.
Frederick Moore BINDER Born 1920; University of Pennsylvania: A.M. (Master of Arts), 1948; Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy), 1955; President of Hartwick College, 1959-1969; President of Whittier College, 1975-1979; President of Juniata College, 1979-1986; living.
Lewis W. BLUEMLE, Jr. Born 1921; University of Pennsylvania: Assistant Professor of Medicine, 1955-1961; Associate Professor of Medicine, 1961-1968; President of the Upstate Medical University of the State University of New York, 1968-1974; President of Thomas Jefferson University, 1977-1990; living.
Baruch S. BLUMBERGBorn 1925; University of Pennsylvania: Associate Professor of Medicine, Human Genetics, and Anthropology, 1964-1970; Professor of Medicine, 1970-1977, Professor of Human Genetics, 1974-1977, Professor of Anthropology, 1975-1977; University Professor of Medicine and Anthropology, 1977-present; Master of Balliol College, Oxford University, 1989-1994; living.
Detlev W. BRONKBorn 1897; University of Pennsylvania: Professor of Biophysics, 1929-1949; Hon. LL.D. (Doctor of Laws), 1949; Trustee, 1954-1975; President of Johns Hopkins University, 1950-1953; President of Rockefeller University, 1953-1968; died 1975.
John Lott BROWNBorn 1924; University of Pennsylvania: Assistant Professor of Physiology, 1955-1961; Associate Professor of Physiology, 1961-1965; President of the University of South Florida, 1978-1988; living.
Martin Grove BRUMBAUGH Born 1862; University of Pennsylvania: Ph.D., 1894; Professor of Pedagogy, 1895-1900, 1902-1906; Governor of Pennsylvania and Trustee (ex officio), 1915-1919; President of Juniata College, 1892-1910, 1924-1930; died 1930.

Gaylen J. BYKERBorn 1948; University of Pennsylvania: Ph.D., 1993; President of Calvin College, 1995-present; living.
Louis J. CALISTIBorn 1925; University of Pennsylvania: D.D.S. (Doctor of Dental Surgery, School of Dental Medicine), 1949; President of the University of Southern Maine, 1971-1972; died 2001.
Shirley Sears CHATER Born 1932; University of Pennsylvania: B.S. in N. (Bachelor of Science in Nursing): 1956; Hon. L.H.D. (Doctor of Humane Letters), 1997; President of Texas Woman's University, 1986-1993; living.
D. Walter COHENBorn 1926; University of Pennsylvania: A.B. (Bachelor of Arts), 1947; D.D.S., 1950; Assistant Professor of Periodontology, 1956-1959; Associate Professor of Periodontology, 1959-1962; Professor of Periodontics, 1962-1983; Dean of the School of Dental Medicine, 1972-1983; Chancellor of the Medical College of Pennsylvania, 1993-1998; living.
Jared L. COHONBorn 1948; University of Pennsylvania: B.S. in C.E.(Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Science), 1969; President of Carnegie Mellon University, 1997-present; living.
Thomas COOPERBorn 1759; University of Pennsylvania: Professor of Mineralology and Practical Chemistry, 1816-1821; President of the University of South Carolina, 1820-1834; died 1841.
Patricia P. CORMIERBorn 1941; University of Pennsylvania: Assistant Professor of Community Dentistry, 1973-1977, Assistant Professor of Periodontics 1977-1981, Associate Professor of Periodontics, 1981-1984; President of Longwood University, 1996-present; living.
Robert A. CORRIGANBorn 1935; University of Pennsylvania: A.M., 1959; Ph.D., 1967; President of San Francisco State University, 1988-present; living.
Alan W. CRAMB Born 1954; University of Pennsylvania: Ph.D., 1979; President of Illinois Institute of Technology, 2015-present; living.
William DARRACHBorn 1796; University of Pennsylvania: M.D. (Doctor of Medicine, School of Medicine), 1819; President of the Pennsylvania Medical College, 1843-1854; died 1865;
Robert DAVIDSONBorn 1750; University of Pennsylvania: A.B., 1771; Hon. D.D. (Doctor of Divinity), 1784; Professor of Greek and Latin, 1780-1782; Professor of History, 1782-1784; President of Dickinson College, 1804-1809; died 1812.
William Ian Rees DAVIESUniversity of Pennsylvania: M.S. (Master of Science) and Certificate in Periodontics, 1969; Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong, 2000-2002; living.
Howard I. DILLINGHAM Born 1904; University of Pennsylvania: B.S. in Econ. (Bachelor of Science in Economics, Wharton School of Finance and Commerce), 1927; President of Ithaca College, 1957-1970; died 1998.
Colin S. DIVERBorn 1944; University of Pennsylvania: Professor of Law and Economics, 1989-2002; Dean of the Law School, 1989-1999; President of Reed College, 2002-present; living.
James A. DONNELLONBorn 1906; University of Pennsylvania: A.M., 1936; Ph.D., 1938; President of Villanova University, 1954-1959; died 1971.
John W. DRAPERBorn 1811; University of Pennsylvania: M.D., 1836; President of New York University School of Medicine, 1850-1873; died 1882.
Thomas Messinger DROWNBorn 1842; University of Pennsylvania: M.D., 1862; President of Lehigh University, 1895-1904; died 1904.
James B. EDWARDSBorn 1927; Attended University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Medicine, 1957-1958, but did not earn a degree; President of the Medical University of South Carolina, 1982-2000; living.
Thomas EHRLICHBorn 1934; University of Pennsylvania: Provost and Professor of Law, 1981-1987; Hon. LL.D., 1987; President of Indiana University, 1987-1994; living.
Patrick H.J. ELLISBorn 1928; University of Pennsylvania: A.M., 1954; Ph.D., 1960; President of the Catholic University of America, 1992-1998; living.
Alice F. EMERSONBorn 1931; University of Pennsylvania: Dean of Women, 1966-1974; Dean of Students, 1974-1975; President of Wheaton College (Massachusetts), 1975-1991; living.
Gregory C. FARRINGTON Born 1947; University of Pennsylvania: Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, 1979-1984; Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Chemical Engineering, 1984-1998; Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, 1990-1998; President of Lehigh University, 1998-present; living.
Drew Gilpin FAUST Born 1947; University of Pennsylvania: M.A. 1971, Ph.D. 1975; Annenberg Professor of History and director of the Women’s Studies Program; President of Harvard University, 2007-present; living.
Sandra Green FEATHERMAN Born 1934; University of Pennsylvania: A.B., 1955; A.M., 1978; Ph.D., 1978; President of the University of New England, 1997-present; living.
Happy Craven FERNANDEZ Born 1939; University of Pennsylvania: A.M., 1970; President of Moore College of Art and Design, 1999-present; living.
James O. FREEDMANBorn 1935; University of Pennsylvania: Assistant Professor of Law, 1964-1967; Associate Professor of Law, 1967-1969; Professor of Law, 1969-1982; Dean of the Law School, 1979-1982; President of the University of Iowa, 1982-1987; President of Dartmouth College, 1987-1998; living.
Richard M. FREELANDBorn 1941; University of Pennsylvania: Ph.D., 1969; President of Northeastern University, 1996-present; living.
John A. FRY Born 1959; University of Pennsylvania: Executive Vice President, 1995-2002; President of Franklin and Marshall College, 2002-2010; President of Drexel University, 2010-present; living.
Thomas Sovereign GATES Born 1873; University of Pennsylvania: Ph.B. (Bachelor of Philosophy, Wharton School of Finance and Commerce), 1893; LL.B. (Bachelor of Laws, The Law School), 1896; Hon. LL.D., 1931; Ph.D., 1946 (as of 1904); President of the University of Pennsylvania, 1930-1944; Chairman of the University of Pennsylvania, 1944-1948; died 1948.
Claire L. GAUDIANIBorn 1944; University of Pennsylvania: Senior Fellow in Romance Languages and Associate Director of the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies, 1981-1988; President of Connecticut College, 1988-2001; living.
William F. GLAVINBorn 1932; University of Pennsylvania: M.B.A. (Master of Business Administration), 1955; President of Babson College, 1990-1997; living.
Neil R. GRABOISBorn 1935; University of Pennsylvania: A.M., 1959; Ph.D., 1963; President of Colgate University, 1988-1999; living.
William H. GRAY, Jr. Born 1911; University of Pennsylvania, M.S. in Ed. (Master of Science in Education, School of Education), 1934 and Ph.D., 1942; President of the Florida Normal and Industrial Institute (now Florida Memorial University), 1941-1944; President of Florida A&M University, 1944-1949; died 1972.
Arthur GREENBorn 1942; University of Pennsylvania: Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, 1974-1980; Associate Professor of Religious Studies, 1980-1987; President of Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, 1987-1993; living.
Vartan GREGORIANBorn 1934; University of Pennsylvania: Tarzian Professor in Armenian History and Culture, 1972-1981; Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, 1974-1978; Provost, 1979-1981; President of Brown University, 1989-1997; living.
James W. HALLBorn 1937; University of Pennsylvania: A.M., 1964; Ph.D., 1967; President of Empire State College of the State University of New York, 1971-1997; Chancellor of Antioch University, 1997-2002; living.
Gaylord P. HARNWELLBorn 1903; University of Pennsylvania: Professor of Physics, 1938-1953; Hon. LL.D., 1953; President of the University of Pennsylvania, 1953-1970; Hon. A.M., 1971; University Professor of Physics, 1970-1982; died 1982.
Peyton R. (Randy) HELMBorn 1949; University of Pennsylvania: Ph.D., 1980; Coordinator of Penn's College House Program,1981-1984; Associate and Director of Development, School of Arts & Sciences, 1984-1988; President of Muhlenberg College, 2003-present; living.
Elizabeth L. HOFFMANBorn 1947; University of Pennsylvania: A.M., 1969; Ph.D., 1972; President of the University of Colorado, 2000-present; living.
Jerome H. HOLLANDBorn 1916; University of Pennsylvania: Ph.D., 1950; Hon. LL.D., 1973; President of Delaware State College (now Delaware State University), 1953-1960; President of Hampton Institute (now Hampton University), 1960-1970; died 1985.
Christopher HOPEY Born c. 1965; University of Pennsylvania: Ph.D. 1998.; Vice Dean for Graduate Admissions and Executive Education at the Graduate School of Education; President of Merrimack College in Massachusetts, 2010-present; still living.
Joseph HOPKINSONBorn 1770; University of Pennsylvania: A.B., 1786; Trustee, 1806-1819, 1822-1842; President of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, c. 1840; died 1842.
Thomas HUNTBorn 1808; University of Pennsylvania: M.D., 1829; in 1834 he was a key founder of the Medical College of Louisiana (now Tulane University School of Medicine); President of the University of Louisiana (now Tulane University), 1865-1867; died 1867.
Daniel ISAACMAN Born 1924; University of Pennsylvania: A.B., 1948; M.S. in Ed., 1951; President of Gratz College, 1973-1982; died 1982.
Edmund Janes JAMES Born 1855; University of Pennsylvania: Professor of Administration and Finance, 1883-1895; President of Northwestern University, 1902-1904; President of the University of Illinois, 1904-1920; died 1925.
D. Bruce JOHNSTONEBorn 1941; University of Pennsylvania: Executive Assistant to the President, 1972-1977; Associate Professor of Education, 1976-1979; Vice President for Administration, 1977-1979; President of Buffalo State College, 1979-1988; Chancellor of the State University of New York, 1988-1994; living.



Portrait of Edmund Janes James
Edmund Janes James (1855-1925)


Founders and first chief executives of other institutions, A to Z

Chief executives of other institutions:


Note to the reader:
All abbreviations and phrases used in the standard entries below are intended to be self-explanatory. The editors have given special attention to abbreviations used for academic degrees. Abbreviations for academic degrees are spelled out in the entry of first instance. Nevertheless, among the degrees listed below, three are not in common use today. In order to assist the reader, the editors have defined those degrees here:
M.B. (Bachelor of Medicine)
B.F. (Bachelor of Finance)
LL.B. (Bachelor of Laws).



Political and government notables

University of Pennsylvania administrative leaders

Leaders of other institutions of higher education

Recipients of major awards and honors