1970-1979: Cole, Dennis, & Waggoner
Charles Chester Cole (1970-1975)
President Cole was born on Sept. 12, 1922 in Altoona, PA. He served in the US Army Air Corps as a 1st lieutenant and fighter pilot in the Eighth Air Force during WWII.
Cole received in AB, MA, and PhD in history from Columbia University. From 1946-1958 he served as Associate Dean of Students and taught American history at Columbia. From 1958-1970 he was Professor of History, Dean, and Provost at Lafayette College. In 1963, he participated in the historic March on Washington. On July 1, 1970 he became the President of Wilson College. He held the position until March 1, 1975.
President Cole died on June 18, 2010.
Dr. Lawrence E. Dennis (1975)
Dennis served as Acting President between President Cole's resignation and President Waggoner's election. Dennis placed a great emphasis on increased enrollment for the college through student-enacted recruiting as well as increased financing with an emphasis on financial aid. Dennis outlined all of this in an article he wrote for the Wilson Alumnae Quarterly Magazine entitled "Wilson-Transition and Tomorrow". Dennis was also supportive in Wilson College’s participation in the Central Pennsylvania Consortium (CPC) which helped foster an intellectual community amongst local colleges in the central PA area.
Dr. Margaret A. Waggoner (1975-1979)
President Waggoner began her presidency at Wilson on August 1, 1975. Under her leadership, Wilson faced its greatest struggle. On February 19, 1979 she announced the Board's decision to close the College, with the closing date set for June 30, 1979, citing declining enrollment and financial difficulties. Alumnae, students, faculty, and staff established a Save Wilson Committe and rallied against the decision, which was overturned in court. President Waggoner resigned on May 26, 1979.